A guide to stopping a OneDrive folder syncing

OneDrive is ideal for cross-computer work, collaboration and saving storage space. Despite this, certain circumstances may come about which require us to stop syncing. This post aims to guide you on how you can go about doing this. Stopping a folder from syncing prevents changes made to the file on your PC being transferred to the digital copy, or vice versa. 


  1. Right click the OneDrive toolbar icon 
  2. Select settings from the dropdown 
  3. Switch to the account tab 
  4. Select Stop sync 
  5. Click Unlink account (if needed) 

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Read along to learn how you can stop your one drive folders from syncing/uploading changes, what exactly syncing does and how you can revert to previously synced versions of a OneDrive file on your PC. 

Quick links: 

Stop syncing OneDrive folders on your PC 

Please note OneDrive must be open and running to attempt the following instructions. 

Step 1 – Select settings via the OneDrive toolbar icon 

  • You can identify the OneDrive toolbar icon as a blue cloud shape. Right click it to access its context menu- from which you can select Settings

Step 2 – Select Stop sync from the Account tab 

  • Click Account from the top of the new window to navigate to the account tab. On this tab locate and click Stop sync

Step 3 – Unlink your account/Select the folder you’d like to stop syncing 

  • If you are no longer syncing your last synced folder, you’ll be asked to unlink your account 
  • Otherwise, please select the folder you’d like to stop syncing to finish off. 

Reverting to a previously synced version of a OneDrive file 

Please note OneDrive must be open and running to attempt the following instructions. 

Step 1 – Access Version history from the OneDrive file’s context menu 

  • Locate your target file and right click it to access the context menu. From the context menu find and click Version history

Step 2 – Right click your intended version and select restore 

  • Right click the version you’d like to revert to and select Restore to resync the current file back to its prior state. 
  • You can alternatively download a copy of the reverted file, without updating the cloud version 

What is syncing 

OneDrive syncing 

OneDrive syncing is the process which ensures the latest versions of documents stored in the cloud are accessible everywhere all the time. When syncing occurs, changes to a file on your end (client side) are logged and applied on the back end (in the cloud). Thanks to this, your progress is transferred over automatically when you attempt to continue your work on another device using OneDrive. 

What happens if two syncs for one file occur at the same time 

Due to the many variables impacting when OneDrive will be made aware of a change to your file, it’s currently a statistical improbability that you’d have the same file be synced from two different devices at the same time. In reality one would still come first. In which case, if you need to return to your own version. You can access it via the OneDrive version history feature. This will allow you to restore the file to being a prior version, or download a copy of said older version- independent of the currently synced file. 

End note 


OneDrive provides a syncing feature which allows changes to a file or folder to be tracked. This is used to make sure uploaded documents match the modified versions on your PC and vice versa. In this post we explained syncing, version history (and how you can use it) as well as how you can prevent a folder from syncing (uploading your changes). 


As usual, this section is dedicated to thanking readers for their support. We’d be pleased to know you found this post useful and/or informative. If you have any more Office 365 related queries, please consult our related articles (listed below). However, if you have other queries, consider looking at the rest of the site. We’re frequently posting new stuff each week and may just have the guide or troubleshooting tips you need. Regardless, we wish you a good day/night. Farewell readers. 

Our related articles: 

  • A complete guide to using OneDrive to transfer files to a new computer – OneDrive is a cloud storage platform offered as part of the Microsoft 365 suite. With it, your various folders and files may be stored online and downloaded for use from anywhere with an internet connection. As such, OneDrive is very useful if you’re looking to get files from one computer to another without wanting to mess around with storage devices. 
  • A complete guide to fixing OneDrive sync issues on Mac – OneDrive sometimes has issues, and many users have claimed that OneDrive isn’t synchronizing on their Mac OS devices, however, there are solutions available. In this blog, we will cover the most effective approaches to help users fix sync issues on their OneDrive devices. We will address some of the causes of why OneDrive won’t sync correctly and what users can do to help resolve these issues. Use the guide below to see how you can resolve OneDrive sync issues on Mac OS devices. 
  • How to move OneDrive for Business files between users – The question for today is how can you move OneDrive for Business files between users? What is the best approach and how will it affect users who attempt to move files across users who use our method? 
  • How to fix “access to the cloud file is denied” OneDrive error – The prevailing issue that will be addressed here is the concerns surrounding the error “Access to the cloud file is denied”. This error comes when a file a user tries to access has been denied due to an underlying fault within the file. There are multiple reasons why this can be caused — for instance, the file is not on the cloud but still showing on the Drive. In this case a simple refresh will resolve the issue or other more complex faults. 

Jack Mitchell

Jack Mitchell has been the Operations manager at telecoms and MSP Optionbox for more than 4 years. He has played a crucial role in the company, from marketing to helpdesk, and ensures that the IT requirements of over 300 clients are continuously met. With his innate passion for technology and troubleshooting and a particular interest in Apple products, Jack now delivers the most comprehensive tech guides to make your life easier. You can connect with Jack on LinkedIn.

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