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Microsoft Office continues to add new features with every edition, with Office 2016 offering plenty of reasons to upgrade 13+ Reasons You Should Upgrade to Microsoft Office 2016 13+ Reasons You Should Upgrade to Microsoft Office 2016 Microsoft Office 2016 is here and it's time for you to make a decision. The productivity question is -- should you upgrade? We give you the new features and the fresher reasons to help you... Read More . However, some people see these new features as bloat and thus stick with older versions, even going so far as to still use Office 2003 today You Can Still Buy Microsoft Office 2003 Online & We Show You Where You Can Still Buy Microsoft Office 2003 Online & We Show You Where While Office 2016 is being rolled out, some people are still longing for Office 2003 instead. Here's how to get your 2003 fix. Read More .

One feature that may puzzle you is the Microsoft Office Upload Center, introduced in Office 2010 and living on through 2013 and 2016. Let’s examine what this feature actually does, and see how you can disable it if you find it annoying.

What Does the Upload Center Do?

Older versions of Office were designed to save documents, spreadsheets, and other Office files only to your local hard drive. With the integration of OneDrive How To Keep Your Files Synced With SkyDrive In Windows 8.1 How To Keep Your Files Synced With SkyDrive In Windows 8.1 Storing data remotely and syncing them across devices has never been so easy, especially if you're using Windows 8.1. SkyDrive received a significant update, improving its integration with Windows and adding interesting new features. Read More and an emphasis on cloud storage in modern versions, however, Microsoft included the Upload Center. Its purpose is to help you when uploading documents to “web servers,” as they put it (in effect, uploading to OneDrive).

With default settings, whenever you click Save on a document, a local copy is saved to your system while Office also tries to upload it to your OneDrive. If all goes well, you never notice a thing, but there might be a problem if you have a slow connection or a weird syncing error occurs.

The Upload Center isn’t useless, though. Microsoft’s help article explains a few situations where it’s useful: mainly when you’re working on a remote file in OneDrive and you lose the connection. You can save the document at any time and have a local copy, and the Upload Center will take care of updating the server copy when it re-connects. As mentioned, it also lets you know of syncing errors sooner rather than later.

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Office Upload Center

If you upload tens of documents at once to OneDrive or frequently deal with poor wireless connections, MS Upload Center is useful for you and you probably shouldn’t disable it. For those who only work on the occasional file in Office or don’t even use OneDrive How to Disable Microsoft OneDrive in Windows 8.1 How to Disable Microsoft OneDrive in Windows 8.1 You should be free to choose where your data is being stored. While having an automatic cloud syncing solution is a great idea, maybe you don't like OneDrive. Here's how to disable it. Read More , it’s extraneous and can be disabled to save resources.

Removing the Notification Icon

If you don’t mind the Upload Center doing its thing behind the scenes, but don’t want its icon in your system tray Manage And Tidy The Windows 7 System Tray Manage And Tidy The Windows 7 System Tray Every Windows user has seen the Windows system tray (also known as the notification area) become cluttered over time. We’ve covered disabling distracting desktop notifications in the past, but what if the icons themselves are... Read More  (aka notification area), you can remove the icon without completely stopping the program.

When the Upload Center is running, right-click its icon in the system tray and choose Settings to open the Upload Center’s window. You can also open this by browsing in your All Programs list in the Start Menu:

  • For Office 2010, go to Microsoft Office > Microsoft Office 2010 Tools > Microsoft Office 2010 Upload Manager.
  • For Office 2013, it’s under Microsoft Office 2013 > Office 2013 Tools > Office 2013 Upload Center.
  • For Office 2016, browse for Microsoft Office 2016 Tools > Office 2016 Upload Center.

Once there, you’ll see a (hopefully) blank box of your pending uploads. Click Settings above this box to open the options menu.

Office Upload Center Settings

In this menu, simply uncheck the box for Display icon in notification area and it won’t show up in your system tray anymore. Note that the program is still running and can be accessed using the Start menu A Guide to the Windows 10 Start Menu A Guide to the Windows 10 Start Menu Windows 10 fixes the Start Menu dilemma! Getting to grips with the new Start Menu will supercharge your Windows 10 experience. With this handy guide, you'll be an expert in no time. Read More as above.

Disable Upload Center Completely

Want to go beyond disabling the notification and shut down the Upload Center completely? The process varies depending on which version of Windows and Office you’re using, as Microsoft has made the feature complicated to disable.

Note that I use Office 2013 on Windows 7, so I haven’t been able to test each of these methods. Your results may vary, so try all the methods and see which works for you.

First, if you’re using Office 2010, try removing the process from startup Make Windows Start Faster: 10 Non-Essential Startup Items You Can Safely Remove Make Windows Start Faster: 10 Non-Essential Startup Items You Can Safely Remove So your computer has been booting slowly lately? You probably have too many programs and services trying to start up all at once. Are you wondering how they got there and how to remove them? Read More by typing MSConfig into the Search bar. On the Startup tab, check for the MSOSYNC entry and disable it, if you find it there. You can also disable any instance of Microsoft Office 2010 here since that doesn’t need to run at startup either.

Another method that’s reported to only work for Office 2010 on Windows 7 is to edit the Registry. As always, be careful if you do this to avoid damaging your computer How Not to Accidentally Mess Up the Windows Registry How Not to Accidentally Mess Up the Windows Registry Working with the Windows registry? Take note of these tips, and you'll be much less likely to do lasting damage to your PC. Read More . Browse to this location in the Registry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Here, delete the OfficeSyncProcess value and after restarting, Upload Center should be gone.

If you’re using Office 2013, you can try to remove the Upload Center from running through the Task Scheduler 7 Nerdy Things You Can Automate with the Windows Task Scheduler 7 Nerdy Things You Can Automate with the Windows Task Scheduler The Windows Task Scheduler can automate almost anything. If you can make it happen in a command line or a Windows script, you can schedule it with the Task Scheduler. Let us demonstrate. Read More . Type Task Scheduler into the Start menu to open it, then click Task Scheduler Library in the pane on the left. Browse the resulting menu for the task Microsoft Office 15 Sync Maintenance for USERNAME and right-click to Disable it.

More Methods

If none of the above ways worked to disable Upload Center for you, here are a few more to try.

Users of Office 2016 on Windows 10, which features deeper OneDrive integration How to Disable & Replace OneDrive in Windows 10 How to Disable & Replace OneDrive in Windows 10 OneDrive is deeply integrated in Windows 10 and Microsoft might tell you that removing it is not possible. Well, not unless you're willing to dig deep. We show you how to extract OneDrive from Windows... Read More , can right-click the OneDrive icon in their taskbar and choose Settings. The first tab has an option titled Use Office to work on files with other people at the same time — disabling this should shut off the Upload Center.

Note that if you actually use Office’s collaboration features 9 New Office Online Features to Manage Documents & Collaboration 9 New Office Online Features to Manage Documents & Collaboration Office Online is Microsoft's free web based Office suite. Recent upgrades introduced novel Office 2016 features and improved OneDrive, Dropbox, and Skype integration. Let's explore the new options. Read More , this action might be overkill and disable features you need.

The last possible way is the guerrilla solution — trick your computer into thinking that the executable file for Upload Center doesn’t exist. This could cause errors since Windows will be confused, but if nothing else has worked up to this point, you might consider those errors less annoying than the Upload Center. For Office 2013, browse to the file’s location at:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15

Here, rename the file msosync.exe so Windows won’t recognize it and therefore won’t load it. If you don’t want to do this, a slightly tedious, but effective solution is to open the Task Manager The Windows 8 Task Manager: A Gem Hidden In Plain Sight The Windows 8 Task Manager: A Gem Hidden In Plain Sight While many parts of Windows 8 are debatable (maybe Modern is the future; maybe it's not), one element of Windows 8 that has undergone a massive overhaul and made it unequivocally more awesome is the... Read More each time you start your computer and kill the msosync.exe process — this should disable Upload Center until you restart.

Again, none of these methods are guaranteed to work, so you might get lucky with the first or have to try all of them. Thankfully, Upload Center isn’t too invasive, so you shouldn’t have a hard time learning to live with it if you can’t remove it. Just hide the icon and pretend it isn’t there.

Upload Complete

The Upload Center is useful for some and an annoyance for others. Hopefully, you had good luck disabling it, but it’s not the end of the world if you can’t. Keeping your Office documents saved to the cloud An Introduction to Office 365 -- Should You Buy Into the New Office Business Model? An Introduction to Office 365 -- Should You Buy Into the New Office Business Model? Office 365 is a subscription based package that offers access to the latest desktop Office suite, Office Online, cloud storage, and premium mobile apps. Does Office 365 provide enough value to be worth the money? Read More  has its benefits, so consider trying it out if you never knew what the Upload Center actually did before!

Check out our Q&A on the biggest Office 2016 upgrading questions 11 Frequently Asked Office 2016 Questions Answered 11 Frequently Asked Office 2016 Questions Answered Office 2016 is looming and raises many questions. Do you have to buy a subscription, can you upgrade now, and can you go back to Office 2013? We compiled frequently asked questions and provide the... Read More if you’ve yet to upgrade to the latest version.

Why do you want to disable the Upload Center? Did one of the above methods work for you? I want to hear about what you tried, so tell me in the comments!

  1. Sergio
    September 3, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Thanks for this. My solution is

    1) Uninstall MS OFFICE

    2) Install Open Office for Free.

  2. Johannes
    August 15, 2016 at 10:25 am

    I had to find an other solution as none of your suggested methods worked for me. So I wrote a stub .exe, named it msosync.exe and put it into Office folder. No error messages, no viruses.

    You might use DoNothing.exe if you can't write your own msosync.exe :)

  3. Airhead
    July 22, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    With Microsoft 10 and Office 2010 I disabled the application in the Start and killed the task. This is not something that only Microsoft is doing, I just purchased the latest phone with Marshmallow and found Google, Verizon, Samsung ALL trying to "Save" my work product on their "Cloud" devices. They all lock the application and you really have to fight to prevent them absconding with your work product. Even with Updates disabled I'm still finding new 'apps' showing up and other apps that had been disabled (can't uninstall them only disable) 'updated' or replaced and made functional, no longer 'disabled'.
    And of course the 'Free' Microsoft Word App wants to use OneDrive to save your work product.

  4. Matt
    June 19, 2016 at 3:31 am

    I wanted to do this via GPO but couldnt find the setting, so did a bit of registry searching and found that you could set:
    Key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\FileIO
    Value:
    "DisableNotificationIcon"=dword:00000001
    (Which can be done via GPP)

    This will hide the icon.

    • Ben Stegner
      June 19, 2016 at 11:42 pm

      Thanks for the alternate workaround, great work!

  5. DreadPirateDoc
    March 17, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Upload center is a security risk and not a good thing to have if you work with Privacy act information, medical files, legal documents, etc which if compromised will cost you money.
    Disabling the upload center seems a pretty small thing to ask when you purchase a Microsoft product you do not give them license to upload your work to their servers by default and not being able to remove what is essentially a hackers shadow copy program is downright wrong.

    • Ben Stegner
      March 17, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      That's a good point - this is extra important for people dealing with sensitive information. I don't think many people really need the Upload Center, as I said, so it should be easy to remove it for people that don't want the functionality.

  6. Subbareddy
    February 1, 2016 at 9:36 am

    With default settings, whenever you click Save on a document, a local copy is saved to your system while Office also tries to upload it to your OneDrive. If all goes well, you never notice a thing, but there might be a problem if you have a slow connection or a weird syncing error occurs.

    The Upload Center isn’t useless, though. Microsoft’s help article explains a few situations where it’s useful: mainly when you’re working on a remote file in OneDrive and you lose the connection. You can save the document at any time and have a local copy, and the Upload Center will take care of updating the server copy when it re-connects. As mentioned, it also lets you know of syncing errors sooner rather than later.

  7. GodSponge (EB)
    January 30, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Is it not possible to just use the mandatory, built in (at least in Win 10) OneDrive app for this functionality? Why does this even exist on newer OSs?

    • Ben Stegner
      January 31, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      Well, I think OneDrive syncing is different from this (barely). Using OneDrive means what you save is sent to OneDrive instead of being saved only locally. The Upload Center is meant to "help you" when uploading a ton of documents at once, or when you're going between spotty Internet coverage. It provides a place to manage the uploads you're sending to OneDrive.

      t's not totally useless on a modern OS like Windows 10, but for most people it's pretty extraneous.

  8. Saroj Gilbert
    January 30, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    First off, I would never want my files arbitrarily landing on a corporate server... I don't use any cloud services for that reason... soon the government will coerce MS to sharing it all.

    Secondly, I wonder if one takes the drastic action to rename "msosync.exe", if the next upgrade or update process wouldn't reinstate it?

    • Ben Stegner
      January 30, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      Hmm, I didn't think about updating. I would imagine only a major update (IE, Office 2013 to 2016) would try to re-install the Upload Center, but I could be wrong.

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