How to stop OneDrive from automatically creating a “documents” folder

If you’ve been using the OneDrive desktop tool, you’ve more than likely noticed an unwanted “documents” folder which, despite your many attempts, cannot be kept from re-appearing. Cursed with misfortune, we must bear the difficult truth that this is not a new issue, and time has not graced us with a fulfilling answer. Instead, it has brought forth good-willed workarounds. Despite this, we do not personally recommend their usage.

At present, there are no adequate solutions to OneDrive automatically creating a “documents” folder, and proposed workarounds fall short of expectations.

Though we’ve expressed distaste for the workaround we will be talking about today, we felt it best to give you the opportunity to understand how it works, what it can do for you, and the issues it may cause you. Therefore granting you the required knowledge to make a well-informed decision on your own behalf.


  1. Guide | The workaround
  2. Details | How the workaround helps
  3. Issues | The problems caused by the workaround
  4. Endnote | Recap & Farewell

Guide | How to stop OneDrive creating a “documents” folder automatically

Step 1 – Open the your OneDrive folder

You’ll need to open your OneDrive folder to proceed. You can do so by pressing the start/windows key and typing OneDrive. Finish by pressing enter.

Step 2 – Open the OneDrive folder’s properties

To view a folder’s properties you will need to first select and right-click it. Afterward, you may select Properties from the resulting dropdown menu.

Step 3 – Select Advanced in the security tab

Within the folder properties window, click the Security tab to enter it; alternatively, navigate to it with the shortcut control+tab.

Step 4 – Add a new principal

For now, take no notice of the content on the window. Just ensure you’re on the Permissions tab and select the Add button underneath the box of existing principles.

Step 5 – Specify a group for your principle

From the permissions entry window, click Select a principal. From the resulting window, enter everyone into the large text box and select Check Names. Proceed by lastly selecting OK.

Step 6 – Configure basic permissions

Uncheck each box listed under Basic permissions and uncheck the labeled box below the list. Continue after by proceeding to the advanced permissions. This can be achieved by clicking the Show advanced permissions link.

Step 7 – Configure the advanced permissions

To configure the advanced permissions, you need only have the Create folders/append data box checked. After which, you may select OK.

Step 8 – Confirm your changes

Finish by selecting Apply, followed by OK. It may take a few seconds for Windows to finish making your changes.

Details | How the workaround helps to stop OneDrive from creating a “documents” folder

How it works

This workaround works by exploiting OneDrive’s functionality. OneDrive uses your user permissions to create new folders and files. To get around this, we can limit the permissions relevant to our OneDrive folder.

Why it’s helpful

While it does not prevent the re-appearance of the documents folder, it will prevent OneDrive from adding content to the folder and its subfolders.

Issues | The problems caused by the workaround to stop OneDrive from creating a “documents” folder

Folder use complications

While the effects of this workaround are in place, you will be unable to create new subfolders within your root directory, forcing you to only use existing ones. The same can be said for files in the root directory. This means you must undo and redo the workaround every time you require a new folder or something in your root directory.

Endnote | Recap & Farewell


The re-occurring OneDrive documents folder is a dated unresolved issue with few adequate workarounds. While few workarounds do exist, even fewer are worth the hassle caused. It is generally advised you simply make peace with the folder and leave it be.


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. 

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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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