Troubleshoot Sync Problems in OneDrive

Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1

If you're having problems syncing in OneDrive for Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, we're here to help.

There are a few simple things you can try first before getting into more in-depth troubleshooting:

  • Verify that the size of your file doesn't exceed the OneDrive file size limit of 10GB.

    - Possible error messages - "This file is too big to upload" or "Reduce the size of this file to upload it to…"

  • Verify you have the latest Windows updates installed. For more information, see Install the latest Windows 8.1 Update.

  • Make OneDrive check again for changes - In the OneDrive app, swipe up from the bottom or right-click, then tap or click Sync.

  • Run the OneDrive troubleshooter.

  • Sync problems can sometimes actually be a problem with missing files. For more information, see Find lost or missing files in OneDrive.

Note

  • If you get the following message, you don't need to do anything: "We’re checking all your files to make sure they are up to date on this PC. This might take a while if you have a lot of files." OneDrive has detected a possible problem and is automatically fixing it.

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Sync isn't working

There are several symptoms of Sync not working. Some examples are:

  • OneDrive is paused or is stuck on “File syncing is paused”

  • Files are taking too long to upload or download

  • Can’t upload or download files

  • Sync is taking too long

  • Sync doesn’t work after hibernation

  • Sync is stuck on “Processing changes”

  • OneDrive is stuck on “OneDrive is starting up”

  • OneDrive app shows in sync but the desktop doesn't

If you're experiencing any of the previous symptoms, please try the following steps:

OneDrive may be paused. If so, follow these steps to start syncing again:

  1. Open the OneDrive app.

  2. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Settings.

    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Settings.)

  3. Tap or click Options, and then turn on Sync files.

Your Internet connection may be metered. If so, check your sync settings:

If your Internet service provider charges for the amount of data you use, you might have turned off the setting to sync or upload and download files over metered connections. To turn this back on, follow these steps:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.

    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Tap or click OneDrive.

  3. Tap or click Metered connections, and turn the Upload and download files over metered connections and Sync and backup settings over metered connections settings to On

Check the OneDrive Sync Engine Host to verify its running:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.

    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)

  2. In the search box, enter Task Manager, and then, in the results, tap or click Task Manager.

  3. If you don't see tabs at the top of the window, tap or click More details.

  4. On the Processes tab, under Background processes, make sure OneDrive Sync Engine Host appears.

If you don’t see it, follow these steps to get it started it again:

  1. Open File Explorer, and then press and hold or right-click OneDrive on the left.

  2. Tap or click Properties, and then tap or click the Security tab.

  3. Tap or click Advanced.

  4. On the Permissions tab, make sure SYSTEM, Administrators, and your Microsoft account appear, and the Access for each is Full control.

  5. If you don't see your Microsoft account, tap or click Add.

  6. In the Permission Entry for OneDrive window, tap or click Select a principal.

  7. Enter your Microsoft account and tap or click OK. Your Microsoft account should now appear next to Principal.

  8. Make sure that Type is set to Allow and Applies to is set to This folder, subfolders and files.

  9. Under Basic permissions, select Full control, and then tap or click OK.

  10. In the Advanced Security Settings for OneDrive window, select Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permissions from this object, and then tap or click Apply and then OK. Your Microsoft account should now appear on the Security tab.

  11. Tap or click OK, and then restart your PC.

  12. Sign in to your PC again, wait a few minutes, and then check if the OneDrive Sync Engine Host process is running.

“Windows Search” can affect OneDrive syncing. To verify it’s running, you can do the following:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys and select Task Manager from the menu

  2. Tap or Click the Services tab, you may need to select More Details to expand the Task Manager window

  3. Look for “WSearch” under Name, and verify the Status shows Running

If the status isn't running, you can do the following to get it started again:

  1. Right click “WSearch”

  2. In the context menu, click Restart

“SkyDrive.exe” can also affect OneDrive syncing. Go through these steps to make sure it’s running as normal:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys and select Task Manager from the menu

  2. Tap or Click the Details tab, you may need to select More Details to expand the Task Manager window

  3. Look for “SkyDrive.exe” under Name, and verify the Status shows Running

If SkyDrive.exe isn't running, do the following:

  1. In the Task Manager window select File from the top toolbar

  2. Select New Run Task

  3. In the Open field enter the following - %system32%\Microsoft\SkyDrive\SkyDrive.exe then click OK.

OneDrive may need to be Reset:

You want to be cautious when using OneDrive reset. It won't affect your files, however, reset does re-sync all of your OneDrive data which could take some time depending on the size of your data. To verify if this is needed, open your OneDrive app to check when the last time your files were synced, or you can check the notification area icon to see the status of your OneDrive and if it’s up to date. If after checking all that, there is a problem, you can reset OneDrive by doing the following:

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run Window

  2. In the Run Window enter the following – skydrive.exe /reset

  3. Click OK

OneDrive files have a character that's not allowed or a path that is too long

There are certain characters for OneDrive files and folders that aren’t allowed and if used, can cause sync problems. If this is the case, you may receive some of the following errors:

  • “This file name contains characters that aren’t allowed. Please change the file name so it doesn’t begin or end with a space, end with a period, or begin with two periods”

  • “This folder name contains characters that aren’t allowed. Please change the folder name so that it doesn’t begin or end with a space, end with a period, or begin with two periods”

You may also see a yellow “!” on your OneDrive icon in the notification area at the bottom right corner of your PC.

You'll need to Change the name of the file so that it doesn’t begin or end with a space, end with a period, or include any of these characters: / \ < > : * " ? | These names aren't allowed for files or folders: AUX, PRN, NUL, CON, COM0, COM1, COM2, COM3, COM4, COM5, COM6, COM7, COM8, COM9, LPT0, LPT1, LPT2, LPT3, LPT4, LPT5, LPT6, LPT7, LPT8, LPT9 .

The file path is too long

Example of file path - C:\Users\<UserName>\Pictures\Saved\2014\January\Holiday\NewYears\Family The entire path, including the file name, must contain fewer than 255 characters. Shorten the name of your file or the name of subfolders in OneDrive, or select a subfolder that's closer to the top-level folder. Once these problems are corrected, to start Syncing again:

  1. Go to File Explorer

  2. Right click the OneDrive folder

  3. Click Sync

OneDrive may be blocked because of a Group Policy or corporate firewall

To verify if this is the case, open the OneDrive app and check if you have the error “Your system administrator has blocked the use of OneDrive”. If that is the case you'll need to contact your IT Administrator to discuss this.

Your program is incompatible with OneDrive

Some programs maybe not be compatible with OneDrive smart files technology. You can use compatibility mode to help fix this:

  1. Open File Explorer, go to the executable file for your program (example: iexplorer.exe)

  2. Right-click and select properties

  3. Click the Compatibility tab and check “Enable this program to work with OneDrive files”, then click OK

Note

  • If you still have problems with files not syncing, run the troubleshooter or contact customer support. Make sure to provide any details and other symptoms or errors you’ve seen after running the troubleshooter.

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