OneDrive desktop app for Windows: FAQ

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the OneDrive desktop app for Windows. Download the free app

View system requirements. Downloading the app means you agree to the Microsoft Services Agreement and privacy statement. This software might also download and install its updates automatically.

Notes

  • OneDrive desktop app functionality is built into Windows 8.1. If you install the desktop app on a PC running Windows 8.1, Setup won't appear. A setting will be installed that lets you use Office to work on OneDrive documents with other people at the same time, but no other features will be installed. For help with OneDrive in Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1, see OneDrive: FAQ.

  • The OneDrive app isn’t supported on Windows XP. If you try to install it on a PC running Windows XP, you'll get the message "OneDriveSetup.exe is not a valid Win32 application." View the system requirements

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What does the OneDrive folder do?

When you install the OneDrive desktop app for Windows, a copy of your OneDrive is downloaded to your PC and put in the OneDrive folder. This folder is kept in sync with OneDrive. If you add, change, or delete a file or folder on the OneDrive website, the file or folder is added, changed, or deleted in your OneDrive folder and vice versa.

To upload files to OneDrive automatically, just copy or move the files to your OneDrive folder using File Explorer, or save them in your OneDrive folder from a program. Files you upload this way can be up to 2 GB in size. If you installed the OneDrive app on other computers, the files will automatically be added to the OneDrive folders on them, too.

You can also use File Explorer to rename and delete files, create new folders, and move files around in your OneDrive folder. The changes will automatically be made in OneDrive and your other computers that have the OneDrive app installed.

Tip

  • To rotate photos in OneDrive, open the photos in your OneDrive folder and rotate them in a simple photo viewer such as Windows Photo Viewer. When you close the files, your changes will be saved and the photos will be automatically updated in OneDrive.

  • If you use a lot of storage space in OneDrive, it might take a long time to download all your files when you first install the OneDrive app. For tips on maximizing the transfer speed, see Maximize upload and download speed.

How can I add and remove PCs from OneDrive?

When you install the OneDrive desktop app for Windows on a PC, that PC appears on the OneDrive website, in the left pane under PCs. This is how you can access the PC's files and folders that aren’t saved in your OneDrive folder. When you browse a PC remotely, you might be asked to enter a verification code. For more info about using the Fetch files feature to access files remotely, see Fetch files on your PC.

To remove a PC from OneDrive, select the PC and then click Remove PC.

Do I have to install the OneDrive app on all my computers (PC and Mac)?

No. If you don't want to keep all the files in your OneDrive on a computer, you can still work with your OneDrive on that computer by going to the OneDrive website. You can't fetch a PC's files unless you install OneDrive on that PC.

I get the error message "OneDrive can't be run using full administrator rights. Please restart OneDrive without administrator rights." What should I do?

If you're using an Administrator user account on a PC running Windows Vista, make sure User Account Control (UAC) is turned on. Or use OneDrive with a Standard user account.

Can I choose other folders besides the OneDrive folder to sync too?

You can't choose other folders to sync, but you can redirect certain folders such as your Desktop and folders in libraries to your OneDrive folder. You can also add subfolders from your OneDrive folder to libraries to make them easier to work with in File Explorer. For example, if you have a folder of vacation photos in OneDrive, you can include it in the Pictures library in Windows 7 or Windows 8. To learn how to do this, see Include folders in a library.

To redirect a folder to your OneDrive folder

  1. Close OneDrive by right-clicking the OneDrive icon (The OneDrive icon) in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar, and then clicking Exit. (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons arrow next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon.)
  2. Create a subfolder for the redirected files in your OneDrive folder. For example, to redirect the My Pictures folder, you might create a folder in OneDrive called "Pictures."

  3. Right-click the folder you want to redirect ("My Pictures" in this example), and then click Properties.

  4. Click the Location tab, and then click Move.

  5. Browse to the location where you want to redirect this folder (for example, %userprofile%\OneDrive\Pictures).

  6. Click Select Folder, and then click OK.

  7. In the dialog box that appears, click Yes to move all the files to the new location.

  8. Restart the OneDrive service. To do this, click the Start button, enter OneDrive in the search box, and then click MicrosoftOneDrive.

Can I change the name or location of my OneDrive folder after it's created?

No. If you use File Explorer to rename or move your OneDrive folder, OneDrive will stop working.

Can I choose folders in my OneDrive that I don't want to sync on my PC?

Yes. When you first set up OneDrive, click Choose folders to sync. If you didn't do this when you set up OneDrive, you can do it in Settings:

  1. Right-click the OneDrive icon (The OneDrive icon) in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar. (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons arrow next to the notification area to see the icon.)
  2. Click Settings, click the Choose folders tab, and then click Choose folders.

For each folder, you can choose to sync everything in the folder, individual folders within the folder, and files that aren't in any subfolders within the folder. If you choose to sync only some items, new items you add to the OneDrive folder on your PC will sync to OneDrive, but items you add to OneDrive from the website or other devices won't be synced to your PC unless they're in the folders you chose to sync. If you choose to stop syncing folders on a PC, they'll be deleted from the OneDrive folder on that PC, but they'll remain in OneDrive.

Note

  • You can't choose individual files you want to sync, and you can't choose to sync files or folders shared with you.

Can I change the account I use with OneDrive?

You can change the account you use with OneDrive, but you can't use the folder with multiple accounts at the same time.

To change the account you use with OneDrive

  1. Right-click the OneDrive icon (The OneDrive icon) in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar, and then click Settings. (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons arrow next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon.)
  2. On the Settings tab, click Unlink OneDrive.

  3. Restart OneDrive and sign in with the account you want to use. You'll need to select the location for your OneDrive folder again. If you select the same location, the folders for both accounts will be merged. If the PC had the Fetch files feature turned on, you'll need to turn it on again.

Can I recover files or folders I deleted?

Go to the computer that you used to delete the files or folders, and check the Recycle Bin, or check the recycle bin on the OneDrive website by clicking the link to it in the lower left corner.

Something in my OneDrive folder isn't syncing with OneDrive. How can I view more info about the problem?

  • Right-click the OneDrive icon (The OneDrive icon) in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar, and then click View sync problems. (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons arrow next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon.)

Notes

  • If you choose to sync only some folders on your PC, and then add files to OneDrive in locations outside of these folders, the files you add won't sync on your PC.

  • For help with sync problems, see OneDrive desktop app sync problems.

How do I uninstall the OneDrive app?

If you uninstall the OneDrive desktop app from your PC, your OneDrive folder will stop syncing. The OneDrive folder and your files in OneDrive won't be deleted.

  1. Click the Start button. In the search box, type Programs, and then, in the list of results, click Programs and Features.

  2. Click MicrosoftOneDrive , and then click Uninstall. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

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