How to fix the Microsoft error “We can’t upload or download your changes because your cached credentials have expired”

If you frequently use programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and OneNote, you are probably aware that you can store your documents online with OneDrive. The process takes advantage of your cached Office credentials, such as the username and password, which means you don’t need to log in to your account every time you want to access your MS programs.

However, cached data can expire and create conflict errors. One credential error is the following: “We can’t upload or download your changes because your cached credentials have expired.” Fortunately, that problem can be resolve this easily by following the steps below.

How to fix the Microsoft error “We can’t upload or download your changes because your cached credentials have expired”:

  1. Close all Office programs.
  2. Search for “Credential Manager” in your Windows search bar.
  3. Click on the Credential Manager app.
  4. Select “Windows Credentials.”
  5. Remove all Office and OneDrive related credentials.
  6. Sign back into Office and OneDrive.

In this post, we will demonstrate how you can use the Windows Credential Manager to prevent issues regarding file changes. And we have included screenshots to guide you through the process.

get office app-icons
compatible Compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Android.FROM $6.00 user/month
info Contents:

1. Guide | Clearing cached credentials
Info | Why clearing cached credentials helps
Endnote | Recap & Farewell

Clear the expired cached credentials to fix the Microsoft download & upload error

Step 1 – Close all Office programs

You must ensure you have saved all of your work and closed each Office application.

Step 2 – Open the Windows Credential Manager

If you’re not using Windows 10 or 11, click the Start button or press the Windows key on your keyboard to access the search bar. Enter “Credential Manager” into the search bar and click “Open” in the application card to the right of your search results.

Step 3 – Switch to the appropriate tab

If you’re experiencing issues with Desktop Office applications, consult the “Windows Credentials” tab. Otherwise, open “Web Credentials.” Accessing either option is achieved with a simple left-click.

Step 4 – Delete relevant generic credentials

Under “Generic Credentials,” find and delete credentials referencing OneDrive or Microsoft. You can delete credentials by selecting the dropdown arrow next to each credential. Then, click “Remove” in the bottom left corner. You must remove each credential individually.

Step 5 – Add new credentials

Now your expired credentials have been removed, you can sign into your Office 365 account to create new credentials. Windows will use the resulting data to generate new credentials.

Info | Why does clearing the expired cached credentials fix the Microsoft download & upload error?

What is cache?

A cache is a volatile form of storage utilised by applications to store data temporarily. Such data may include login credentials, application preferences, and application settings.

Why are my cached credentials causing problems?

You may run into issues if your cached credentials become outdated or otherwise invalid; this is because your device will attempt to use your cached credentials to authorise itself regardless. Hence why they must be updated. You may find it interesting that this is also why most services sign you out of related programs when you’re updating your sensitive information.

surface pro 8Surface Go 3surface pro 8

Endnote | Recap & Farewell


Office programs, as expected, cache certain pieces of information to enhance the user experience; despite that, this can hinder the user experience when cached data becomes outdated or otherwise invalid. We can manually remove dated credentials and replace them with new ones to circumvent the issue.


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

Our related articles: 

  • How to unsync SharePoint folder from desktop – When a user uses the OneDrive sync client to synchronize a SharePoint Document library, the whole library of files and folders is transferred to the user’s PC. It is not, however, simply replicated. Between the user’s PC and SharePoint, a two-way relationship is formed. Any changes in one location are immediately reflected in the other. This is unwanted behavior if you intend to merely copy. As such we’ll be showing you how to unsync SharePoint. 
  • A guide to checking the size of a folder in SharePoint – If you’re navigating your SharePoint Online site documents often, you’ve more than likely ran into folders frequently. Folders contain files, as well as additional folders. As you’d expect, this causes them to grow in file size. If your site utilises a manually set storage quota, you may wish to clean up folders which are getting too big. Unfortunately, you’ve found you don’t know how best to check. This post, you’ll soon find, is your solution.
  • SharePoint: can’t add site members: Causes and fixes – As we all may be aware that SharePoint is one of the most widely used file sharing and management programs — its effortless connectivity with Microsoft programs and devices makes It easily one of the most optimized available on the market. However, there are some flaws in the Office suite which includes SharePoint who may not be able to add new members to a pre-existing organization. In this blog, we will cover points on how to help users fix the error of not being able to add site members. We will also help find solutions to fix the error in a way that it won’t occur again. We will also address some of the issues that can cause the issue of not being able to add additional members to a site.
  • What is the simplest way to transfer files from Google Suite to SharePoint? – If you’ve decided on switching from the Google Suite to the Office 365 Suite, you may be a little baffled as to how to go about it. Fortunately for you, we’ve got a better method than re-downloading and uploading everything one-by-one. Have a read to find out more.

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.

Recent Posts