How to prevent OneDrive syncing duplicate files

One of the most useful features of OneDrive is the option to sync your files to your desktop. This allows users access to their files easily from their device. Although this is a very useful feature, a number of users have found that when they are syncing their files to their desktop, OneDrive automatically creates duplicate files. This can be quite frustrating, especially if you have limited storage space to begin with, as syncing the files will take double the space required. In this blog post, I will demonstrate how to prevent OneDrive from creating duplicate files when syncing. In order to do this you have to refresh the credentials on your device.

How to prevent OneDrive syncing duplicate files:

  1. Go to the start menu.
  2. Search ‘Credential Manager.’
  3. Select ‘Windows Credentials.’
  4. Click on ‘OneDrive Cached Credential Business.’ 
  5. Click ‘Remove.’ 

Please note that this process is for Windows. For Mac, select ‘Keychain Access’ from Spotlight search. Then, search for ‘OneDrive’ and delete ‘OneDrive Cached Credential.’

It is also important to note that after following this process on both Windows or Mac, you must restart OneDrive to allow the system to process the changes made.

Why does OneDrive duplicate my files when syncing? 

The reason why OneDrive for business creates duplicate files is that a conflict exists when the file has been updated by more than one person who both have contribution permissions in different locations. The OneDrive server can’t merge both versions of the file due to this and ends up creating a series of duplicate files. As briefly mentioned previously, this can be extremely frustrating for users who have limited storage space on their computer drives to begin with. Having a duplicate for every file  means that it requires double the storage space. Although you can manually delete these duplicate files, there is a simple way to prevent these files from duplicating. Below is an easy to follow guide with screenshots on how to prevent OneDrive from duplicating files when syncing.

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Clear credentials to prevent OneDrive syncing duplicate files

  1. Go to the start menu 

From the bottom of your computer, slick on the windows icon to access the start menu.

  1. Search ‘Credential Manager.’

In the search bar, type in ‘Credential Manager’. When the Credential Manager option appears, click on it. 

  1. Select ‘Windows Credentials.’

When the new window appears, click on ‘Windows Credentials’

  1. Click on ‘OneDrive Cached Credential Business.’ 

Under the section for Generic Credentials, click on the arrow facing down for ‘OneDrive Cached Credential Business’. This will open up more information about your OneDrive credentials.

  1. Click ‘Remove.’ 

At the bottom of the section, click on the option to ‘Remove.’ This will delete the credentials for your OneDrive and will prevent the OneDrive server from creating duplicate files. Please ensure that you restart OneDrive to allow the system to process the changes made.

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Thanks for reading! If you have any further questions about this blog post, then feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll be more than happy to help. Here are some more of our blog posts about OneDrive: 

Time Machine is a feature specific to storage in Mac OS and is quite an effective tool. It ensures data safety should your main drive data get corrupted or lost. Windows has File History as an alternative convenience to restore lost files, but it doesn’t share the same appeal as something like the Mac OS time machine. This blog post demonstrates how to use this feature.

Certain tasks carried out by “Guest Contributors” have also been assigned to colleagues, therefore they also have permissions to for example edit certain files that only “guest contributors” can. This blog post looks at how you can prevent colleagues from showing as “Guest Contributors” who have a different set of editing permissions.

When sharing important files, it’s vital to make sure that the file is protected and won’t be shared with others or won’t be edited (depending on why and with who you need to share the file with). This blog post demonstrates how you can get access to the option to set a password when sharing a OneDrive file, as well as suggesting some other ways that you can ensure your shared files will remain protected.

Siddra Afzal

Siddra Afzal has been a researcher and content writer at Business Tech Planet since 2021. Siddra formerly wrote newsletters for the NHS and was a PR and Communications Officer. She now combines her passion for photography and video editing with her knowledge of communications, writing, and research to the art of crafting the perfect tech guides for BTP. You can connect with Siddra on LinkedIn.

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