Connect with us

how to

How to Turn Off SkyDrive Syncing in Windows 8.1



When Microsoft first added SkyDrive syncing it expected most users to love it. It expected them to want to offload their files and settings to its servers and have them automatically sync between Windows PCs. It expected that users would want to have access to their files anywhere and everywhere they possible could.

While the company may have been right, not all users are ready for cloud syncing and the troubles it sometimes causes. In fact, a vocal number of users don’t appreciate that their Windows 8.1 PC is automatically storing their PCs in the cloud – even though doing so makes it easier for them to move between different PCs at any given time.

Here’s how to turn off SkyDrive settings syncing in Windows 8.1.

Go to the Start Screen by pressing the Windows key on your laptop, desktop or tablet.

How to Turn Off SkyDrive Syncing in Windows 8 (1)

Place your cursor in the top right hand corner of your screen to open the Charms Bar. If your device has touch, slide your finger from the right edge of its display to the left. Click or tap on Settings.

How to Turn Off SkyDrive Syncing in Windows 8 (2)

Click or tap Change PC Settings.

How to Turn Off SkyDrive Syncing in Windows 8 (3)

Click or tap on SkyDrive from the settings menu on the left side of your screen.

How to Turn Off SkyDrive Syncing in Windows 8 (4)

Click or tap on Sync Settings.

How to Turn Off SkyDrive Syncing in Windows 8 (5)

Tap or click on each thing you’d like to prevent from syncing to other PCs or SkyDrive.

How to Turn Off SkyDrive Syncing in Windows 8 (6)

That’s how to turn off SkyDrive syncing in Windows 8.1. By default Microsoft enables syncing of all of settings if a user enabled SkyDrive syncing when they first setup their PC. There are individual toggles for syncing the Start Screen, Windows themes and backgrounds, apps, app settings and more.

Read: How to Back Up Windows 8 Settings Automatically Using SkyDrive


Turn Off SkyDrive File Syncing

Go to the Start Screen by pressing the Windows key on your laptop, desktop or tablet.

How to Turn Off SkyDrive Syncing in Windows 8 (7)

Place your finger on the bottom edge of your device’s display and swipe move it update if you device has a touch display. If it doesn’t then click the arrow on the bottom of the Start Screen in the left hand corner.

How to Turn Off SkyDrive Syncing in Windows 8 (8)

Select SkyDrive from your list of installed apps.

How to Turn Off SkyDrive Syncing in Windows 8 (9)

Select the folder you’d like SkyDrive to not sync to your PC by right clicking on it if you’re using a mouse and keyboard or by placing your finger on it and pulling down slightly if you’re using a device with a touch display.

How to Turn Off SkyDrive Syncing in Windows 8 (10)

Click or tap on Make File Online-Only.

You’ve stopped SkyDrive from syncing files onto your Windows device. It’s important to remember that SkyDrive is still storing that file online. As such, you’ll need to click the Delete button if you’d like to rid yourself of that folder entirely.

It’s also important to remember that without SkyDrive, syncing your files and settings backing up your PC is crucial. That’s especially true if you’ve chosen to delete the file from SkyDrive entirely. Deleting a file from SkyDrive won’t delete it from your Windows device.

Read: Sync Your Windows 8 Files Automatically with SkyDrive




  1. ItsMichaelNotMike

    02/21/2014 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks for posting this. I bought my first Windows 8 notebook last month (an Acer touch screen, with backlit keyboard, very nice). Turned off Skydrive on Win 8, installed 8.1 and it was back again, like a zombie.

    Forgot how I turned off anything and everything to do with Skydrive, your page reminded me.

  2. ItsMichaelNotMike

    02/21/2014 at 3:40 pm

    By the way, for those coming across this article, why would anyone want to turn off Skydrive?

    – I have confidential client files that must remain confidential. Storing on stranger’s servers puts control of that confidentiality into the hands of third parties. No thanks.

    – These third party services at times have dishonest employees, or those seeking revenge. Those people will steal the employer’s data (aka “your stuff”).

    – On many services you have to keep paying them to access your data. If you don’t pay annual fees, for example, they can lock you out and keep your stuff hostage until you pay up.

    – Anything that can go wrong, will. That’s why all companies limit their liability to you, for example, the cost of one month service. If they lose 30 years worth of your information, too bad, all you are going to get is $5, for example.

    – Included in the terms of service of all these companies is that you agree to abide by intellectual property laws. Part of your agreement includes giving the company permission to access your files to see if you are violating any law, for example, the omnipotent DMCA.

    – These services must also comply with all subpoenas issues by law enforcement, civil court Judges, and even a lawyer representing your competition who wants to take you out with a lawsuit. E.g., if Apple perceives you a threat, it can sue you in fed court, then start issuing subpoenas to snoop around your Skydrive.

    While some of this may seem far fetched or indicate paranoia, feel free to read the Terms of Service for this service, or any of the cloud file storage services.

    Moreover, as we all know from the NSA, Target Stores, and other cracking scandals (hacking is not as serious as cracking) any computer or net-based server can be compromised. And nowadays, a teen in the Philippines can take over your computer. So files provided to strangers, well, that’s the same as using one of those street corner toilets, that has a broken lock and the door keeps powering open. (Note: I define a “stranger” as anyone but me.)

    I’ll stick to the “old fashioned” and outdated optical drives, ten 500GB to 1TB 2.5 hard disks, and a variety of thumb drives, from 16 to 128GB.

    No way I am giving my data to strangers who make me sign an agreement that limits their responsibility for idiocy or criminal activity to the price of one month’s service.

    Side Note: This reminds me of a negative experience with Network Solutions. I changed the level of hosting NS provided on one of my domain names. They told me that the switch required them to move all my files to a different server. They would take care of everything. Oh yeah, they took care of me. When I logged on to the new server all my files had vanished.

    I called NS tech support. He checked the old server and the new server. The files had vanished. Because they handled everything they could not blame me. That entitled me to a “sorry about that” and the obligatory “if we find the files we will contact you.” (And as you may suspect, I never heard from them again about the lost files.)

    Scr#w Skydrive or anything similar.


    02/23/2014 at 3:05 pm

    Bravo! Great article. Everyone should read it. Tks.

  4. alex

    03/03/2014 at 11:09 am

    How do I delete skydrive all together?!

    • Travis Pope

      04/04/2014 at 11:22 am

      Unfortunately, you can’t it’s baked in.

      • Alex

        08/04/2014 at 4:37 am

        how irritating!

        thanks for the response!

  5. Darren

    03/09/2014 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Michael or is it Micheal, but seriously, thank you for you post. You mentioned lots of things, people not brilliant at computing don’t even think of – ME. You would imagine that skydrive/onedrive would of at least asked me when i turned on my newly bought notebook with Windows 8.1 about this syncing. Very much appreciate your effort. So cheers

    • Travis Pope

      04/04/2014 at 11:23 am

      I believe the Windows 8.1 setup process does ask. I think it’s just in the really small print.

  6. Bloop

    04/02/2014 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks for the article! So happy I can stop the sync and not feel guilty for running DropBox :)

  7. ken

    04/04/2014 at 11:31 am

    bought new pc lots of thing syncing with sky drive up load data consumed with internet service provider in 3 days shaped for the rest of the month rest all sky drive still on used up upload data again in 3 days 27 days to go in plan and no up load data so shaped again thanks very muck Microsoft!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Jon

    08/03/2014 at 3:17 pm

    Yeah, I got DropBox because I’m tired of hard drives crashing, internal error conflicts, motherboard going bad, et. al. (and I’m paying for that) and losing files. I’m in the country using my cell phone as a “tether”, and am paying it by the gigabyte. Uploading to DropBox AND SkyDrive is double the data. Keeping DropBox, losing SkyDrive.

  9. Nuno

    10/18/2014 at 5:45 am

    Even though i have all options concerning Skydrive/Onedrive deactivated, on the settings page of OneDrive on windows 8.1, when I click on “see my files on Onedrive”, I see: “All files are up to date, last updated 1 minute ago”.
    It seems to still be uploading my files.
    Any ideas?

  10. Sandy

    02/23/2016 at 9:44 am

    I have just experienced the OneDrive. I bought a product to convert my WMA music files to MP3 format and while it took me several hours to get all of my music done……I didn’t realize that in the background, this was eating up my wifi. I got a notice that I had gone over my 10GB (I know that’s not much, but I don’t need much) Yikes….so I really want to get rid of OneDrive or shut it down. Is SkyDrive the same thing?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.