Turn Off OneDrive in Windows If You Don’t Use It

Featured image depicting OneDrive being turned off on a Windows device. Image courtesy Freepik.

If you don’t use OneDrive much, you can turn it off on your Windows device. You can either uninstall the application completely from your PC or disable it. The second of the two approaches allows you to continue using OneDrive without the annoying notifications, “on this day” memories, or sync reminders. This guide shows how to turn all of that off in OneDrive settings.

Can I Uninstall OneDrive?

Yes, you can safely uninstall OneDrive, and it won’t harm your Windows PC. Once you do, OneDrive will no longer show as an option when you use “Save as” with different types of files in File Explorer. There are multiple ways to uninstall OneDrive.

If you installed OneDrive from the official Microsoft Store, search for the OneDrive app, and click Uninstall. This will open a pop-up window that says: “the app and its related info will be removed.” Click Uninstall again to confirm. It takes a few seconds for the app to be removed.

Steps to uninstall OneDrive directly from Windows Search in a regular way.

Note: the regular uninstallation methods work best with updated Windows 11 devices. Read on to learn how to handle uninstalling OneDrive from un-updated Windows 10 and older devices.

2. Uninstall from Apps Section

Whether you downloaded OneDrive from Microsoft Store or a web browser, open Settings -> Apps -> Installed apps in Windows 11, or Start -> Settings -> Apps -> Apps & features in Windows 10. Easily uninstall the app as you would any other program.

Right-click to uninstall an app from App settings.

Tip: new to PowerShell? Here’s a list of essential PowerShell commands to get started.

3. The PowerShell Method

On Windows 10 and older devices, it’s more convenient to uninstall OneDrive from the command line interface. Open PowerShell in administrator mode, and enter the following command:

This will populate a series of applications on your Windows device. Identify the name and Packagefamily names for OneDrive on your specific computer, then enter the following command, which is commonly used to remove stubborn programs from your Windows PC.

Remove-AppxPackage [name] -Package[Packagefamilyname]

4. Using Taskkill Command

This is an advanced method that can help you turn off OneDrive if the program is being stubborn. It utilizes the taskkill Microsoft utility, which helps terminate the OneDrive program then uninstalls it using its System Root Environment variable.

First, kill the OneDrive process using:

taskkill /f /im OneDrive.exe

Uninstall the application setup using the environment variable for OneDrive on your device:

cmd -c "%SystemRoot%\SysWOW64\OneDriveSetup.exe /uninstall"
Taskkill command to uninstall an app from PowerShell window.

Tip: is the OneDrive icon missing on your Windows taskbar? Follow one of the solutions in our guide.

How to Disable OneDrive

As an alternative to uninstallation, it may be more convenient to disable OneDrive in case you need it in the future. This involves activities, such as hiding the OneDrive folder, disabling OneDrive integration with File Explorer, and preventing OneDrive from appearing in the Save as menu.

1. Hide OneDrive Folder

The OneDrive folder is visible on your computer, but you can easily disable it by hiding the folder and its internal files. Navigate to the OneDrive folder, and right-click it to view its Properties. Go to the General tab, and select the Hidden attribute. Click Apply and OK.

Select the apply changes to the folder, subfolders, and files button in the pop-up window.

OneDrive folder hidden attributes via its Properties.

2. Use Local Group Policy Editor

This method to disable the app is helpful when OneDrive continues to show up, despite being uninstalled from your computer.

Open the Local Group Policy editor using the Run command, Win + R, and type gpedit.msc. Go to the following path: Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> OneDrive. Double-click on the Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage policy, and Enable it.

3. Change OneDrive Target

This is a neat tweak that will prevent the OneDrive app from opening anywhere on your device. Using Windows search, look for OneDrive, and click on Open file location to be taken to the exact folder location of the installed OneDrive app. Right-click to view its Properties. Go to the Shortcut tab, and view its Target. Change the value to any location on your PC that you don’t use very often.

Installation path for the storage app in File Explorer, and its Properties.

Follow these steps to turn off OneDrive sync by unlinking your PC from the application.

Right-click the OneDrive icon in your System Tray, and open Settings -> Account. Click on Unlink this PC, then click Unlink account in the pop-up window. OneDrive syncing stops immediately, but the older synced files remain on your computer. If you don’t want to view them, hide the OneDrive folder as discussed above.

Unlink the sync account from your Windows PC.

5. Disable OneDrive Notifications, Such as Memories

Sign in to your OneDrive account, and go to the above OneDrive Settings window, followed by the Notifications tab. Disable various OneDrive notifications, such as On this day memories.

6. Hide the OneDrive Icon from the System Tray

Tired of seeing the OneDrive icon appear in the System tray? It’s very easy to remove it. Go to Settings -> Personalization -> Taskbar -> Other system tray icons. Toggle off the button for Microsoft OneDrive, if it was enabled. This will permanently stop all future OneDrive notifications on your homescreen.

Toggle off OneDrive in System Tray settings.

We have some solutions if you’re facing OneDrive sync issues on your device? Apart from OneDrive, you can also use SharePoint to save your documents and large files, as it has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Image credit: Freepik. All screenshots by Sayak Boral.

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Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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