How to Disable OneDrive in Windows 11

Windows 11 and OneDrive are very interconnected by design. Microsoft has been gradually nudging their users to rely on OneDrive for file backups, especially when it comes to Word and Excel.

How to Disable OneDrive in Windows 11

However, not every Windows 11 user utilizes OneDrive — some might prefer Dropbox or Google Drive as their default storage services. But even when that’s the case, OneDrive prompts may pop up, and the platform could continue to sync files, which can become a little frustrating.

Fortunately, there are several ways you can temporarily or permanently disable OneDrive in Windows 11. We’ll guide you through all the steps and let you choose which option works best for your device.

How to Temporarily Pause OneDrive in Windows 11

You might not want to disable or delete OneDrive entirely, but just make sure it doesn’t interfere with other activities and cloud-storage services.

The most efficient way to get OneDrive “out of your way” for a moment is to pause it. The service offers several built-in solutions, which you can access by following these steps:

  1. Open OneDrive by double-clicking on the OneDrive icon on the taskbar.
  2. Select the “Settings” icon located in the top-right corner.
  3. Click “Pause Syncing.”
  4. Select how long the pause should be. You can choose from 2, 8, or 24 hours.

The three timeframes are your only option – there is no way to customize how long the pause should last.

How to Disable OneDrive Startup in Windows 11

When you turn on your computer, some apps need a little more time to get going. These types of apps are called “high impact,” and cloud-based services such as OneDrive or Dropbox fall into this category.

But if you’re tired of waiting for OneDrive to start up every time you start your PC or laptop, you can disable this feature entirely. Once you disable the OneDrive startup, your computer will skip this process and leave it for a manual startup when needed.

To disable OneDrive startup, follow these steps:

  1. Press “Win key + I” to open Windows 11 “Settings.”
  2. Click “Apps” followed by “Startup.”
  3. Find “Microsoft OneDrive.”
  4. Move the toggle button from “On” to “Off.”

How to Unlink OneDrive from Your Computer in Windows 11

Another super-efficient way to disable OneDrive is to unlink it from your Windows 11 device. This is typically the fastest solution if you’re sure you won’t be using it anytime soon. Here are all the steps you need to follow:

  1. Click the OneDrive icon on your Windows 11 taskbar.
  2. Click the cogwheel icon.
  3. Choose “Settings.”
  4. Move to the “Account” tab when a pop-up window appears.
  5. Click the “Unlink this PC” option and confirm your choice.

Keep in mind that all the locally available OneDrive files will stay on your device, but you will no longer have access to those that are online only.

How to Permanently Disable OneDrive in Windows 11

If you have no use for OneDrive, you likely don’t want to keep it on your computer, especially if you’re short on storage space.

Removing OneDrive from your Windows 11 computer is a relatively effortless process and requires you to take these steps:

  1. Go to Windows 11 “Settings” by pressing the Win key + I simultaneously.
  2. Select “Apps” followed by “Apps & Features.”
  3. Scroll through and find “Microsoft OneDrive.”
  4. Click the three vertical dots next to it.
  5. Select “Uninstall” from the drop-down menu.
  6. Confirm you’re uninstalling OneDrive.

Note that if you decide to use OneDrive again, you’ll need to download it first. However, your OneDrive account remains valid, even after uninstalling the desktop app.

How to Disable OneDrive from Group Policy Editor in Windows 11

Like every Windows version before it, Windows 11 has the “Group Policy Editor,” an administrative tool that allows users to manage various operating system configurations. Among other settings, you can use it to disable OneDrive. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the search bar and enter “Group Policy.”
  2. Select “Computer Configuration,” followed by “Administrative Templates.”
  3. Click “Window Components” followed by “OneDrive.”
  4. Select the “Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage.”
  5. Choose “Enabled” from the “Policy Settings” section.
  6. Select “Apply” followed by “Ok.”

Additional FAQs

Is OneDrive available on mobile devices?

Yes, it is. You can download a mobile app version of OneDrive from the App Store and Google Play store. You can use the mobile app to back up photos and videos you take, but you have to be mindful about the storage space.

Some users prefer not to use their OneDrive account for Windows but keep the precious gigabytes for storing precious memories.

How much storage space is available for OneDrive?

When you open a OneDrive account, you get 5GB of free storage space. However, the good news is that you can always buy more space. Another 100GB costs $19.99 per year, whereas 1TB is $69.99 per year.

But if you subscribe to Microsoft 365 account, the 1TB of storage is complimentary as you get access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Microsoft apps. However, if you’re already using Google Drive or Dropbox, it might make more sense to invest in storage upgrades for these cloud-based services.

Can you sync third-party apps in OneDrive?

No, you cannot, and that’s one of the reasons why some users choose to disable OneDrive or permanently delete it. There’s no way to integrate your calendar, management platforms, or message boards, which is a deal-breaker for some users.

Using Windows 11 Without OneDrive

OneDrive offers many benefits like file sharing, sync experience, and security. But if you’re already using other cloud-based storage services, it’s probably only a nuisance.

Windows 11 is not subtle with OneDrive suggestions, and the two platforms are very well integrated. That doesn’t mean you have to use OneDrive, though, as there are several ways to disable it.

You can start with simply pausing it to disabling it from startup to entirely removing it from your device. When you need OneDrive again, you can download it in no time.

Do you use OneDrive or another storage service in Windows 11? Let us know in the comments section below.

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