When you’re just done with the intrusiveness and confusion.
It’s unfortunate, really, because OneDrive is a powerful program and has some convenient tools.
However, it’s become intrusive and downright dangerous in some situations. This has led many people to just want it gone.
Let’s do that.
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Getting rid of OneDrive
- Unlink your account in OneDrive Settings.
- Uninstall the OneDrive app from the Windows installed apps list.
- Leave the OneDrive folder alone, but organize your files however you like.
While it’s always good to start with a backup, the processes I’ll outline below should not delete any data.
- Your online account at OneDrive.com will not be affected. Any files uploaded there will remain uploaded.
- Other machines signed into the same OneDrive account will not be affected. Any files they have there will remain.
- Even on the machine on which you uninstall OneDrive, the files will remain on your PC in a folder named OneDrive. (Files that were already online only will not.)
This process affects OneDrive running on a single PC and nothing else.
This is a great place to start and might be all you need.
Right-click on the OneDrive icon in the taskbar notification area and then click on Settings.
In Settings, make sure the Account section is selected.
Click on Unlink this PC.
In the resulting confirmation dialog, click on Unlink account.
While technically OneDrive is still installed and running, it has nothing to do. The association between your machine and your OneDrive.com account has been broken. OneDrive will no longer affect, synchronize, or otherwise operate on the files on your machine.
I recommend this as a first step. Do nothing more for “a while”. If you later discover that there was something about OneDrive that you miss or need, you can simply set up OneDrive again with the same account, and you’ll be back in business.
Something else to consider: This may be all you need. Again, while OneDrive is still installed and running, it’s doing nothing. Any problems you were having with it should no longer exist.
OK, ok. You want to get rid of it for real?
Uninstall the app
In the Windows Settings app, open the list of installed apps. Scroll down until you find Microsoft OneDrive.
Click on the ellipsis (“…”) at the right end of the OneDrive entry and then click on Uninstall.
That’s it.1 OneDrive is no longer installed or running on this machine.
And your files are where you left them.
That OneDrive folder
When all of this is done, a folder named OneDrive will remain. This does not mean OneDrive is present or running; it’s just a folder that happens to be named OneDrive. You’ll find it in:
All the files you used to have in OneDrive on your PC will be there. It’s just a folder, nothing more, and you can store the files in it if you like or move them elsewhere on your PC.
I recommend you leave the folder itself alone, simply because the OneDrive backup “feature” (not to be confused with using OneDrive for backup; this is a specific feature within OneDrive) can damage a few things that uninstalling won’t fix. Removing the OneDrive folder (or potentially even renaming it) could still cause errors.
OneDrive is gone, but the memory lingers.
My recommendation is that you learn to live with, if not love, OneDrive. It’s a very powerful tool, despite its flaws, and it (along with some cloud storage) is yours for free.
However, if you just can’t take it anymore, I get it, and now you know how to get rid of OneDrive.
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Footnotes & References
1: For a more aggressive removal, uninstall using a tool like Revo Uninstaller. The free version will run the OneDrive uninstall for you and then clean up afterward. The Pro version should perform the cleanup even if you’ve already uninstalled OneDrive. In my opinion, neither is required, but I know some people have developed strong opinions about OneDrive.