2 methods to uninstall OneDrive from Windows

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Hive OS Linux commands for beginners

2 methods to uninstall OneDrive from Windows

All Windows installations are pre-installed with OneDrive. Microsoft’s cloud storage solution that integrates with the Office 365 suite of apps. But not everyone uses OneDrive to store their files. Not everyone uses Office apps like Word. It makes sense that these users uninstall or remove OneDrive from Windows 10.

Microsoft doesn’t want you to uninstall OneDrive, or even Cortana and some other apps, for that matter. The process of disabling OneDrive is pretty straightforward. However, uninstalling it completely will require a deeper look and additional steps.

Why should you uninstall OneDrive?

There are a few reasons why you should consider uninstalling OneDrive completely from your Windows installation if you aren’t using it:

  • Save system resources
  • Save storage space
  • You don’t need to download OneDrive updates
  • Faster startup / reboot time
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These are just a few of the many possible reasons.

Disconnect or uninstall OneDrive

You can easily disconnect or uninstall Microsoft OneDrive from your computer. This is what most people do when they want to uninstall an app and it works fine except in the case of OneDrive. This will uninstall the app but won’t completely remove it from your PC.

After removing it, the icon will disappear from the notification area of ​​the taskbar. The problem is that you will still find OneDrive tracks as the empty OneDrive folder in File Explorer in the Windows username folder. Although it is harmless, some users may not want it. There are ways to fix this too.

Many people recommend using Revo Uninstaller to remove all traces of apps from Windows computers and it works wonders. The app also has a section dedicated to Windows apps, even in the free version. But it couldn’t find and list OneDrive in my case.

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However, I will recommend Revo Uninstaller instead of Control Panel because it digs deep and also removes registry entries from the system of the app in question. I use it to uninstall any app from my system.

Note: Once OneDrive has been unplugged / uninstalled, you can safely delete all leftover files on your computer. Deleting them on your computer won’t delete them on the OneDrive server.

Registry editor trick

This trick is for when you can still witness empty OneDrive folder after uninstalling OneDrive from your computer.

  • Search and open Registry Editor from the Start menu with administrator rights
  • See the folder structure in detail below. You can also copy and paste the path: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT CLSID {018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6}
  • Double click on the file System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree to open it.
  • Set the value data to 0 (zero) instead of 1. Save all changes and restart the computer.

The empty OneDrive folder should disappear from File Explorer.

Use the Group Policy Editor (gpe) to remove OneDrive traces

Use GPE if Registry Editor doesn’t work. Note that GPE is only available in the Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows. It is an advanced and very powerful app. Caution is recommended during use.

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1. Search and open GPE from the Start menu.

2. See the folder structure in detail below.

  • Computer Configuration> Administrative Templates> Windows Components> OneDrive
  • Double-click “Prevent OneDrive from being used for file storage” to open it.

3. Select Enabled in the pop-up that follows and save the settings. Restart your computer to check if OneDrive is still visible in File Explorer.

Note: some users reported that they keep seeing empty OneDrive folder in File Explorer after changing GPE. Reinstall OneDrive from the Microsoft Store. Even if the app is installed, you won’t notice any traces while using OneDrive normally in File Explorer, Camera Roll, or elsewhere. This is counterintuitive but it is what it is, thanks to Microsoft.

Remove remaining files

Use the following commands in the command prompt only when you’re sure you don’t want to use OneDrive on that computer. These commands will remove the leftover files and registry keys associated with OneDrive. I highly recommend making a backup of the Registry Editor before continuing. Creating a restore point should also work.

rd "%UserProfile%OneDrive" /Q /S
rd "%LocalAppData%MicrosoftOneDrive" /Q /S
rd "%ProgramData%Microsoft OneDrive" /Q /S
rd "C:OneDriveTemp" /Q /S

These commands will remove the keys showing OneDrive in the navigation pane in File Explorer.

REG Delete "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6}" /f
REG Delete "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTWow6432NodeCLSID{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6}" /f

By following the steps above you should have either uninstalled Microsoft OneDrive or disabled completely. You shouldn’t notice this in File Explorer or anywhere else during daily computer use.

Microsoft makes it incredibly difficult to uninstall OneDrive in the traditional sense, like the way we uninstall other apps on the fly. The reason is quite simple. It’s a freemium app that connects with many other Office 365 apps, which is now further part of the Microsoft 365 suite.

In some ways, OneDrive works very similar to Google Drive. It acts as a container or space to save all files related to all Microsoft apps you use. Frankly, I like OneDrive, especially the Personal Vault function, and I wish Google would offer something like this too.

While understanding the urge to get rid of it for those who don’t use it, I recommend that you disconnect your account and uninstall the app.

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