Recently, I’ve had my OneDrive seem to uninstall or break itself.  That’s annoying.  The icon in Explorer reverts back to a regular folder and nothing syncs because the client program isn’t running in the background.  Fortunately, it’s an easy fix and everything resets itself without a restart.  Here’s the quick and dirty way to get it done…

Check OneDrive’s status

The best place to start is with a general reset of OneDrive.  Don’t worry, you are not going to lose any files or data!  It’ll just ‘refresh’ the install and, worst case, you’ll have to enter your login details again.

Go to your Start Menu and type ‘run’ then hit enter to open the Run box (or just press -key + r).  In the run box, type the following:

%localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\

This will open a Windows Explorer window at that location.  From here you may see a few things, so we’ll go choose-your-own-adventure style:

Option 1 – OneDrive is installed but screwed up

Good news!  OneDrive is still installed, it just needs a kick in the butt to reset itself.  Open the run box just as before and this time type:

%localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset

You should see OneDrive disappear from your taskbar and reappear.  If it doesn’t reappear after a few minutes, go ahead and restart it manually by opening a run box and typing:

%localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe

That should do it, everything should be back to normal!  If it’s still not cooperating, we’ve got one more trick… see Option 3.

Option 2 – OneDrive uninstalled itself

Sometimes updates and stuff can break OneDrive… just like everything else.  In the Windows Explorer window we just opened, you’ll probably see at least one folder with long version numbers like “18.065.0328.9567”, “18.065.0328.9597”, “18.065.0329.0002” and/or “18.065.0329.0002_2” (these aren’t all real version numbers, it’s just an example).  Open the folder with the HIGHEST version number.  In my example, you’ll notice that I have “18.065.0329.0002” and “18.065.0329.0002_2”.  In such a case, check for the one that has OneDriveSetup.exe in it and, if they both do, then pick the one with the highest number after the underscore (“18.065.0329.0002_2” in my example).  Once you’ve found OneDriveSetup.exe, run it.

That should do it, OneDrive should re-install itself using any existing parameters it can find on the system.  If for some reason those parameters are also missing, then you’ll have to supply your username and password again and everything should start syncing almost immediately.  If you don’t see OneDrive in your taskbar after the reinstall, check out Option 3.

If setup pops up an error message complaining about not finding OneDrive or some parameters, you’ll notice that it displays a version number in the error message.  That number will correspond to one of the numbered folders you noted earlier.  Switch to that folder and run OneDriveSetup.exe from that location.  If you don’t see OneDrive in your taskbar after the reinstall, take a look at Option 3.

Extra step – Registry value errors

If you followed Option 1 or 2 above but the icon still isn’t showing up and the program isn’t running, it’s possible your Registry has settings to disable OneDrive sync.  Let’s check that out.  Go to your Start Menu and type “regedit”.  Hit enter to open up regedit (the Registry Editor).

Be super-careful here!

Editing your Registry incorrectly can cause all kinds of screwy system problems or even prevent your computer from starting altogether. Follow these instructions EXACTLY and take backups of your Registry before proceeding. If you do not know how to backup and restore your Registry, you should not be editing it in the first place and should NOT proceed! (Okay, obligatory warning out of the way... back to the good stuff)


Check to see if your registry has the following entries and if so, change them to match below.

Key Path:   HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\OneDrive

dword: DisableFileSyncNGSC
value: hex: 00000000 OR decimal: 0 OR delete the dword entry entirely

dword: DisableFileSync
value: hex: 00000000 OR decimal: 0 OR delete the dword entry entirely

After you’re done editing the Registry, you might need to restart to load the new settings.  At the very least, you’d need to restart OneDrive.

That’s it!  I hope that helped get you reunited with your OneDrive!  Thanks for reading my techie-thoughts on this issue. Have any comments? Suggestions? Want to add your tips? Things you want me to cover in a future article? Comment below!

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