How to Disable OneDrive and Remove it from Windows Explorer on Windows 10

Ashish Mundhra

Everyone who has upgraded to Windows 10 must have noticed the prominent OneDrive icon in the Windows explorer along with the icon in the system tray. The application is linked with your default Microsoft account and syncs files to your C: drive by default. Now, if you are a user of OneDrive, the integration is seamless and makes it very easy to work with files on local and cloud drive very easy. It even integrates with Cortana and extends the search to the online files.

OneDrive-API

We have already seen how to change the default save location of Windows 10 along with the option to change the sign-in account. But what if you prefer Google Drive or Dropbox? We are free to make our choices and if you are planning to opt out of OneDrive completely, here’s how you can disable it from Windows 10 completely.

Removing OneDrive from Windows 10 Explorer

If you just want to remove the OneDrive icon from the Windows Explorer, there’s an easy registry fix for that. This time however, instead of showing you how to configure the registry settings manually, you can download the files that can be directly imported to fix the issue. As the location for 32 bit and 64 bit is different, we will have to use separate files for them.

reg file

Once you execute the desired registry file, restart Windows Explorer. You will not see the OneDrive icon in the left hand tree of explorer.

removed

Having done that, you can open the OneDrive settings from the icon from the system tray and click on Unlink OneDrive. Finally, uncheck the option to Start OneDrive automatically when I sign in to Windows.

one drive options

So this was the easiest way to get rid of OneDrive. But this will not disable other programs like Cortana, Windows Store from accessing the files on the OneDrive. So if you would like to disable it completely, it can be done using the Windows Group Policy Editor (not available for Windows Home users).

Disabling One Drive on Completely on Windows 10

Open Windows’ Run box and execute the GPedit.msc command to open Windows Group Policy Editor. You will have to be logged in as administrator to edit the policies.

run

When the window opens up, navigate to Local Computer Policy ->Computer Configuration ->Administrative Templates ->Windows Components ->OneDrive.

policy

On the right pane, you will get a policy name Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage. Double click to open it and then enable the policy. This policy settings prevents apps and features from working with files on OneDrive.

disable

There is a way using which OneDrive can be uninstalled completely from the system. But I won’t be taking it up as it has risks involved. Also, I am not sure about how to install it again as a system app. It might even be restored with future updates of Windows 10. So let’s disable them as it doesn’t take up any significant space on the drive.

So Much for OneDrive!

So that was how you can disable OneDrive from Windows and install other cloud based syncing tool. Before you leave, do share which cloud service do you prefer when compared to OneDrive and why? I always look forward to a healthy discussion.

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Ashish Mundhra

Written By

Ashish Mundhra

Ashish is a staff writer and video editor at Guiding Tech. He loves all things tech and has a soft corner for Android. Apart from contributing articles here, he also takes care of our YouTube Channel.