Errors with OneDrive Sync Functionality and the Available Fixes

Microsoft OneDrive is a popular cloud storage and syncing platform from the techno-giant. OneDrive Client keeps your files updated on all devices and gives you easy access no matter where you are.

When you’re unable to sync your OneDrive files, it’s likely to be a storage issue or a problem with your OneDrive Client. In this workaround, we’ll walk you through common OneDrive Sync issues and the corrective measures to fix them.

Problem 1: Can’t Add & Sync New files, OneDrive Storage Is Full

As a OneDrive user, you get 5 GB of free storage. If you’re regularly syncing your files online, you are likely to run out of storage space. When it occurs, OneDrive might experience trouble syncing new files.

Don’t panic, you don’t necessarily have to delete any important files. Here are some other options:

Buy more storage

The first option is to buy more storage. Upgrading your OneDrive account will extend your storage quota. It costs only $9.99 per month for a plan offering 6 TB of OneDrive storage in addition to full fledged Microsoft 365 Family products and VoIP service Skype.

Delete large files and folders

If you like to continue using OneDrive for free, you may want to delete large sized files. Search your cloud account for files and folders that are significantly affecting your cloud storage. Use the Grouping feature in Windows to re-organize your files by sizes. Move all files above 250 MB to your local hard disk or an external HDD.

Open File Explorer using its Taskbar shortcut.

Select the OneDrive icon from the left-hand side panel.

Right-click on an empty area of your screen.

Select Group by > Size.

That’s it, Windows will now group your files by sizes. You can safely move large files to some other location.

Delete duplicates and free-up GBs of storage

Deleting duplicates will free up a considerable amount of storage. If you’re using OneDrive on multiple devices, you might have re-uploaded multiple versions of the same file from different devices. Over years, you may accumulate hundreds of duplicate files and run out of storage space. Although it is not possible to entirely avoid human errors like this, you can take corrective measures by deleting duplicates. Use the algorithm-based Cloud Duplicate Finder to automatically search and fix duplicate files. No download, no installation, fully browser-based duplicate scan.

Visit the Cloud Duplicate Finder website.

Sign-up for a new account. Confirm your email by clicking the verification link you received in your inbox.

Cloud Duplicate Finder header will display multiple cloud platforms: Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Box and Amazon S3. Click the OneDrive icon.

Click on Add a New Drive button and enter your cloud account’s credentials.

OneDrive will prompt you to approve file access permissions.

After approving permissions to access your files, CDF will display the list of your directories. Mark all directories that you want to scan for duplicates.

Now, select one of the following Scan Modes:


All Files: Use this option to scan all file types. Using this option gives an added advantage: You can reclaim relatively higher storage space compared to the Custom option.

Custom: Use this option to get file type-specific results. Using this option, you can limit the results to only file types of your preference. After selecting the Custom option, check-in one or more of the following types: Documents, Images, Music, Videos and Archives.

Hit Scan and wait for the results to accumulate.

After a comprehensive scan is performed, CDF will list the duplicates. Use the Select Duplicates button to auto-select duplicate files in bulk, or manually check-in and uncheck files of your preference.

Click Select Action and choose one of the following options:

Move files to Trash: Use this option to delete your duplicates. Your cloud service provider might auto delete the contents of the Trash folder after a specific period of time.

Move files to another folder: Use this option if you’re unsure about what to do about your duplicates. You can review and delete such files at a later point of time.

Is Cloud Duplicate Finder safe?

Yes, it is absolutely safe. Your privacy is completely safeguarded as CDF uses APIs from the official vendors. CDF uses strong encryption mechanisms to protect your confidential data against cyber criminals. CDF does NOT store your login credentials and file contents. CDF gives you an option to unlink your account at any time. In simple words, after performing a scan, you can revoke the file access permissions.

Compress your Files

When you compress a file, your file compression program identifies repetitive data patterns. It then re-organizes the file contents with unique algorithms to make the original file considerably smaller. Compressing files in your OneDrive account will take considerably lesser storage.

Download and install Free 7-Zip File Manager.

Right-click the file(s) you like to compress.

Select 7-Zip, followed by Add to archive.

Specify a name for your archive.

Set the Compression Level to Higher.

Click OK to start archiving.

Problem 2: Problem Syncing Existing Files

If you’re unable to synchronize your existing files, there may be some other possibilities. Follow the solutions given below until your problem is resolved:

Close & Re-open OneDrive

A temporary glitch could cause this issue. Simply close and re-open OneDrive as shown below:

Click the Upward arrow on the Notification area of your Taskbar.

Click on the Microsoft OneDrive icon.

Click on the Help & Settings icon.

Select Close OneDrive from the menu options.

Troubleshoot Internet Connection

A network connectivity issue could prevent OneDrive from syncing your files. Use the Diagnostic tool to identify and resolve the network issue.

Click on Start, followed by Settings.

Click the Network and Internet icon.

Scroll down a bit, and look for Network Troubleshooter.

The Network Troubleshooter will automatically check for Internet connectivity issues and attempt to fix them.


Unlink & Re-link Your Account

Unlink to disconnect your computer from OneDrive client and then re-link it again.


Open up the OneDrive Settings dialog.

Click the Account tab to view account-specific settings.

Click on Unlink this PC.

A confirmation prompt will appear on your screen. Select Unlink account to confirm your account.

Click OK.

Restart your computer and login to OneDrive Client to re-link it again.


Don’t Sync Everything In Your Account

OneDrive gives you an option to either sync everything or specific folders in your account. To avoid bandwidth issues causing syncing issues, sync only necessary stuff.

Open up the OneDrive Settings dialog.

Click the Account tab.

Click on Choose Folders.

In the subsequent dialog that opens, uncheck everything except folders you truly need.

Click on OK.

Alternatively, you can change syncing options for individual folders through File Explorer.


Launch File Explorer.

Open your OneDrive folder.

Right-click a folder you don’t want to sync.

Select Free up space.

Disable Security Software

Sometimes, OneDrive may not function as your third-party Antivirus and Firewall security software prevents it from functioning. You may want to disable your security software to check whether the problem continues to persist or not.

Click the upward arrow icon on the Notification Area of your Taskbar.

Right-click your Antivirus software’s icon.

Select Pause protection.

Choose a time interval to temporarily pause protection.

The steps to disable your third-party Firewall may vary. Please contact the software vendor for detailed information.

Reset OneDrive To Defaults

If you’re experiencing the syncing issues after changing some of your OneDrive settings, resetting it might help. Remember, resetting will disconnect your existing OneDrive connection. You may have to login again to re-start syncing.

Press Windows Key + R keys simultaneously.

In the Run dialog that opens, type in the following command:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset

Click OK.

Note: If the above command doesn’t work, it’s probably because your actual OneDrive installation directory is different. Make changes to the command based on your actual installation path.

Problem 3: Your Items Can’t Be Synced

Unsupported characters into file names and longer file paths could cause issues syncing your files. Here are some possible resolutions:

Remove Illegal Characters

Rename the problematic files and remove any illegal characters. Do NOT use symbols, unsupported characters into your file names. Try Easy File Renamer to smartly rename bulk files within seconds.

Don’t Use Longer File Paths

Syncing issues might occur when the file paths are too long. Don’t maintain a nested directory structure with dozens of sub-folders. Instead, create shorter and easy to navigate directory structure.


Nested directory structure:


Shorter directory structure:


Problem 4: Can’t Sync Microsoft Office Files

If you’re encountering issues specifically syncing your Microsoft Office files, here is a possible workaround:

Avoid Tampering Issues with Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office users enjoy integration with OneDrive accounts. However, OneDrive syncing issues might occur due to tampering with the Microsoft Office products. Disabling the Office upload feature might help.

Open the OneDrive Settings dialog.

Click the Office tab.

Uncheck Use Office 2019 to sync Office files that I open.

Click on OK.

Problem 5: OneDrive Unresponsive While Syncing

If your Microsoft OneDrive becomes unresponsive while syncing your files, you may want to check the following diagnostic guidelines:

Allow Full Registry Privileges

Each program on your computer including OneDrive stores its data to the Registry. If your OneDrive cannot retrieve or add new information to the Registry, it may not function properly. You may want to allow necessary read/ write permissions in order to resolve this issue.

Open up the Registry Editor (“regedit”) using the Run dialog.

Locate the following registry hive:


Look for a key CLSID. Right-click the CLSID, and select Permissions.

Set the Full Control permission to Allow.

Save the changes and click OK.

Close and re-open Microsoft OneDrive.


Disable File Sync NGSC

Some users have fixed the issue by simply disabling the File Sync NGSC feature. Use the Registry Editor to disable the NGSC.

Press Windows Key + R keys simultaneosuly.

Type RegEdit, and click OK.

Look for the following registry hive:


Did you find a string DisableFileSyncNGSC on the right-hand side panel? Double-click it and set the value to 0 (zero).


Reinstall OneDrive

Reinstalling OneDrive can fix issues related to its installation files and components. Before we perform the diagnostic procedure, you need to find out whether you use a 32-bit or 64-bit Windows type. To find it out, follow these simple steps:


Right-click on This PC icon on your Desktop, and select Properties.

Look for the “System Type”.

You should see something like “64-bit operating system, x64-based processor” if you’re using a 64-bit Windows version.


After determining your system type, move ahead to the following procedure:


Click on Start.

Type PowerShell in the Search.

Select Windows PowerShell in the search results.

Type in the following command to force close Microsoft OneDrive:

taskkill /f /im OneDrive.exe


The following command may vary based on your system type:


For 32-bit Windows:

%SystemRoot%\System32\OneDriveSetup.exe /uninstall


For 64-bit Windows:

%SystemRoot%\SysWOW64\OneDriveSetup.exe /uninstall


Finally, restart your computer for the new changes to take effects.


Visit the Microsoft OneDrive Download page and install it on your computer.




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