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Troubleshooting OneDrive Sync Issues

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Checking OneDrive Status

Generally when OneDrive has an issue it will notify you and provide guidance, if you click the OneDrive icon in the system tray you can check to see if there are any active errors. You can locate it by going to the bottom right corner of your screen, and searching for the icon that looks like a cloud.

OneDrive status icons and what they mean

OneDrive iconWhat it meansWhat you need to do
OneDrive sync error icon OneDrive for Business sync error iconOneDrive has an ErrorClick the Icon for more information
OneDrive processing changes icon OneDrive for Business processing changes iconOneDrive is currently processing or syncing changesGive OneDrive more time, or check to see if it is stuck on a specific file
OneDrive paused icon OneDrive for Business paused iconOneDrive synced or pausedResume the OneDrive sync or plug in your PC if it is low on battery
OneDrive full iconOneDrive is running low on spaceConsider upgrading your storage space or cleaning up files
OneDrive account frozen notification iconOneDrive is out of space, the account is locked or FrozedClick the Icon for more information
OneDrive not runnning iconOneDrive is not logged inLogin to OneDrive
Icon MissingOneDrive is not runningStart OneDrive or Restart your Computer

Fixing Common OneDrive Issues

OneDrive has an error

If there is an red X on your OneDrive icon, it indicates an issue. Double click the OneDrive icon and it should provide information on what can done to resolve the problem. Ignoring OneDrive issues will not make them go away, you should always pay attention when prompted as it could indicate an issue with a file that can’t be uploaded. This may be caused by file name issues, too many folders inside other folders, or a file conflict, either way OneDrive will provide information on how to resolve it. Until it is resolved that file or changes made to it may not upload or be available to others.

OneDrive is still processing or syncing changes

If the icon has a small sync symbol next to it (two arrows in a circle), this means OneDrive is updating and may just need more time. Generally OneDrive shouldn’t stay like this for more than a few minutes (unless you’d just added or changed a large amount of files). If you think OneDrive might be stuck, restart your computer and give it 10 minutes and then check on it again. If a file has not synced, the changes in that file won’t be visible to others.

OneDrive is paused

If OneDrive is paused this could be because you have accidentally paused it, right click the icon and select “resume syncing”. Syncing may also pause if your computer is low on battery, so check if your computer is not in a battery saving mode.

OneDrive is low on space, out of space or the account is locked

Click the OneDrive icon for more information, if low on space consider removing, clearing or archiving some files. You can also purchase more space from Microsoft if required.

OneDrive is not logged in

Click on the OneDrive icon and you will be prompted to login with your Microsoft 365 username (your email) and your password. Once logged back in OneDrive might take 10 or so minutes to start-up and begin syncing properly again.

OneDrive is not running

Make sure the icon is present, if not you will need to start OneDrive by opening your start menu searching for OneDrive and selecting it. Once started the icon will show up again. Restarting your computer should also resolve this as OneDrive will start automatically.

OneDrive is not showing any errors

If OneDrive is running, up to date and not showing any errors but you are still having other report they cant see certain files, check to see it’s sync status (the icon next to the file). If it shows a tick, the issues may be on the other person side, if it shows a sync symbol it may just not have uploaded yet. If it’s been like that for a long time and the file is not very large, consider restarting your computer.

Regular OneDrive issues?

If you encounter the above issues occasionally, simply follow the advise above. However, if you find you are very regularly dealing with OneDrive errors or file sync problems there may be a more complex underlying issues. OneDrive operates differently to how a typical network drive does, so it may be worth discussing with your IT support if there is anything that can be done to stop issues from occurring in the first place. Often restructuring folders, Archiving old data into a separate location, reducing the amount of synced files or changing the way staff use OneDrive can improve the experience and reduce time spent managing things like delayed syncs or file conflicts.

Want to improve OneDrive’s performance?

If OneDrive is working but seems slow, check out our article on How can I improve OneDrive’s performance?, to better understand how OneDrive works and what can be done to improve your experience with it.

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