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One Microsoft product I’m not a fan of is OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive Facebook WhatsApp, SkyDrive OneDrive, Yahoo Siri, Apple Tesla [Tech News Digest] Facebook WhatsApp, SkyDrive OneDrive, Yahoo Siri, Apple Tesla [Tech News Digest] Facebook buys WhatsApp, FCC responds to the loss of 'net neutrality', SkyDrive becomes OneDrive, Yahoo wants its own Siri, Apple is interested in Tesla, and Samsung mocks Apple in its latest set of television commercials. Read More ). It’s not a particularly bad product, it’s just that I feel Dropbox does better work of the same job. Another thing that I’m not a fan of is having things forced upon me, or installed without my permission. I’m sure many of our readers feel the same way, and this is OneDrive’s situation after an upgrade to Windows 8.1 How To Safely Upgrade To Windows 8.1 How To Safely Upgrade To Windows 8.1 Are horror stories of how Windows 8.1 upgrades went horribly wrong keeping you from upgrading yourself? If you are longing to try Windows 8.1, you can now learn from other people's lessons and upgrade safely! Read More .

We previously demonstrated how you can disable SkyDrive 8 Super Windows 8.1 Tweaks For Power Users 8 Super Windows 8.1 Tweaks For Power Users With Windows 8.1 came many changes. Some options are completely new, others were changed or moved. Whether you're using Windows 8.1 on a desktop, tablet, or something in between, these tweaks will come in handy! Read More by downloading a registry file from a third-party forum. That may not be everyone’s cup of tea, so I’m here to explain how to achieve the same result, without any downloads, in just a matter of seconds.

Be advised that to have access to the Group Policy Editor, you must be running Windows 8.1 Pro.

Access The Group Policy Editor

To launch Windows’ Group Policy Editor, bring up a Run prompt (Windows key + R) and type in “gpedit.msc” before pressing Enter.

Group Policy Editor

The Group Policy Editor will launch, and from here you’ll need to navigate through the left-hand folder tree to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components.


Group Policy Editor

Double-clicking on the SkyDrive folder will replace the right-hand pane with the menu shown below.

Group Policy Editor

Disable SkyDrive

Double-click on the highlighted option in the screenshot above, “Prevent the usage of SkyDrive for file storage“.

Group Policy Editor

The window shown above should then pop up. Here, you want to change the selection from “Not Configured” to “Enabled“. The language is a bit tricky, so be sure that you’re enabling it and not disabling it. You’re enabling the prevention of SkyDrive, not disabling SkyDrive.

Apply your changes and SkyDrive will no longer be active on your system. You can check that the process (SkyDrive.exe) is not running. You can also check your system tray to see that the icon has been removed. Finally, you can see in Windows Explorer that there is no longer a tree of SkyDrive folders on the left-hand side. You are now free of SkyDrive!

Concluding Advice

To close this article out, I feel it’s worth mentioning that you should strongly consider not running two file synchronization utilities, like OneDrive and Dropbox, alongside each other. It can really put a hurting on your system’s resources, and overall it’s just really unnecessary. Weigh your options and choose one cloud storage utility The Cloud Storage Showdown - Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive & More The Cloud Storage Showdown - Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive & More The cloud storage scene has heated up recently, with a long-awaited entry by Google and a revamped SkyDrive from Microsoft. Dropbox has gone unchallenged by the major players for a long time, but that’s changed... Read More .

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  1. Scott Carlile
    April 23, 2016 at 12:10 am

    A thousand thanks for your advise. OneDrive (SkyDrive) has been an itch I've not been able to scratch until now. Awesome informative post.

  2. Holly
    February 15, 2015 at 2:39 am

    I want to disable OneDrive because its using too much bandwidth. Should I delete my files in OneDrive first?

  3. Pari
    February 1, 2015 at 6:28 am

    Hi. Is possible to make it enable and disable again and again? thank you

  4. Brian
    December 30, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    I just wanted my computer to NOT automatically put OneDrive as my default storage option when I go to save something. I want to save to my pc as my first option.

  5. Chuck
    October 30, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    I used the Disable_SkyDrive_Integration.reg file to fix this because I don't have Windows 8.1 Pro. Before I ran the reg file I renamed it to be Disable_SkyDrive_Integration.reg.txt file to see what is inside the file before downloading and executing :

    ; This is how to DISABLE SkyDrive

    ; This is how to ENABLE SkyDrive

  6. me
    October 8, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    I just decided to switch to Linux a year ago. Ubuntu 14.04 -- things ACTUALLY WORK! I still have a Windows 7 virtual machine for those programs that don't know how to or care to make for Linux... like GoToMeeting/Assist -- which is odd since it's all Java anyway.

  7. Locksmith
    May 9, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I can't really think of anything I would need to hide from the NSA anyway. Maybe they are fascinated by family photos and ebooks. I doubt they care about pirated content even. And it's not like they can't build a profile 1000 other ways based on any kind of web presence, shopping habits, lifestyle, etc.

    There's no such thing as secure... there are only things that haven't been hacked yet or vulnerabilities we haven't detected. If you use the internet or ANY cloud service, you are accepting that, eventually, personal information will be exposed, even if you are careful. Being an active member of any socially networked entity means you make trade offs. One of the main one's being convenience vs security.

    Here in the US, we have an unhealthy obsession with throwing away liberties for a false sense of security. Why not just take a healthier approach and just live your life? Yes, stand up for yourself and make an effort to improve the state of things where it adds value, but not so much that you make your life into an obstacle course. Even if you do have something you want to hide, I bet the NSA is a whole lot less capable than you think. The gov't has only recruited 1/4 of the 6000 security experts they wanted by 2016, and many of them have left for better offers at private companies. So if I'm the only mechanic in a 12 car garage, I can still only work on one car at a time. If I hire a few more guys that can only do oil changes, well that doesn't help much either at a full service shop.

  8. Stephen
    May 8, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    (Apologies author, the commenters have me riled up.)

    I, for one, really like Microsoft's OneDrive. To be frank, you can't say it's filled with bloatware because it simply isn't. It's a simple file syncing service that puts your data into the cloud just like Dropbox does. However, Dropbox has more features. What happens when you plug in a thumb drive? This 'dropbox import' box appears. Annoying! OneDrive doesn't have anything like that.

    Another thing, saying that OneDrive is bloated because Microsoft has online document editing tools is absurd. It's akin to saying Dropbox is too bloated because their website has a Privacy statement. It's something on the webite that you can access, but which doesn't necessarily have to do with file syncing. It's not on your computer, and it's not in the way of anything.

    I think you guys are just hotheads who want something to complain about.

    Just to be clear, I use all three of the services -- Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and more, even. Each of them has their own benefits, and I really want to mention that Bing Rewards members can access an easy 100GB for Onedrive by doing searches. Though I do wish that each of them would include the simple sharing tools that Dropbox has.

    • Henry
      May 23, 2015 at 7:39 am

      OneDrive would not allow sharing without giving them phone number (or send e-mail from account for that matter), how about that for a reason? (I can't share my files, but no problem with Dropbox or Google)My Microsoft email account is receive only and OneDrive is back-up only! For all the complaints that Google is creepy, at least they don't force you to give up your phone number!

  9. fred
    May 8, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    There maybe good reasons to use Dropbox over Onedrive but this article didn't convince me. Onedrive with the ability to use online Word, Excel maybe all most people need. Same could be said for Google Drive and the online Docs or iCloud and those online Apps. If you like using OpenOffice (I used for years) and Dropbox, fine. Tell us how you use to save time, effort, work from anywhere. Tell us how you organize DB for your needs, work and home. Tell us how to disable Odrive if we don't want to use and it's messing the power of a Win 8 machine because it's always on, but don't just say it's bad and Dropbox good. That's not a good article.

    • Craig S
      May 8, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      The point of the article is to teach Windows 8.1 Pro users how they can disable OneDrive, not to make any argument that you should be using Dropbox over it. I mention Dropbox a single time, and in that same breath I even state that I don't think OneDrive is bad: "It’s not a particularly bad product, it’s just that I feel Dropbox does better work of the same job."

      This is the article you want to look at for that discussion:

  10. Anonymous
    May 8, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    "I am not sure of how to comment on NSA access. I am not aware of it."

    Well of course you're not aware of it, wouldn't be the world's best intelligence agency if you were, would they.

    And all cloud services that have US servers, US associations (thus susceptible to the Patriot Act) are vulnerable. That is why many non US IT companies are seeking alternative cloud providers, building their own - or quite simply, not using the cloud, since the cloud industry is dominated by US providers.

  11. Sam
    May 7, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Craig S. So what's the deal if it is a MS run service? how does that make it different to any other service? they are all run by some company. OD is available across devices too, I have it on my PC at work, Mac at home, Android phone and iPad.. what's your point? "As for the extras of word processing, etc., for me that’s bloat. If I want word processing, I go to OpenOffice. If I want a calendar, I’m using Google Calendar." So you don't call extra software to install on your device boat? that's illogical. "I think the numbers of users between the two services would speak to which is more popular, and I’m confident that Dropbox is ahead in that regard." Just because something is more popular doesn't mean it's better, I think anyone would agree with that.

    • Craig S
      May 7, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      As a service that caters first to Windows users, I'm not a fan of it. I don't have complete confidence in the availability of OneDrive far into the future when it comes to competing devices or operating systems. A service like Dropbox won't have the potential for any confliction like that. They do one thing, and have one interest, and that's cloud storage.

      If I install OpenOffice, it's because I want a word processor. In that case, it's clearly not bloat. If OpenOffice started offering me cloud storage, I'd be uninterested. Word processing is what OpenOffice is advertised as and does best. I wouldn't want it giving me anything extra that isn't something that I see as a top-of-the-class type of service. I don't think anyone gets into OneDrive for the "extras" like their word processing is all I'm saying.

  12. Kent
    May 7, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Windows 8 and OneDrive together offer what's called roaming profile, meaning if you are logging in the same Microsoft Account on a different computer you get almost the same desktop setup as before.

  13. DR
    May 7, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Don't log into Windows 8.1 with a microsoft account. Use an ordinary user account. And then use ( Syncdriver for One drive to access your Onedrive

  14. Sheeva
    May 7, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Is there a similar process if one does not have the Pro version? I so totally dislike using Sky/One Drive when I already use Dropbox. I don't use EVER MS cloud but I seem to be stuck with all those files/dlls on my system. This is the only PC that actually uses Windows anythiing as all my other equipment is on Linux distro and Android. Not happy at all that Sky/One Drive was "forced" onto my system.

  15. Suresh V
    May 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    I do not understand why someone would want to disable OneDrive from Windows 8.1. Would you also start new topics like disabling Google Drive on a Droid phone or Safari from Mac?

    • Anonymous
      May 7, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      I do not understand why someone would want to give the NSA free easy access to their hard drive???

    • Craig S
      May 7, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      What if you're a Dropbox user?

    • Suresh V
      May 7, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      Hmm... I am not sure of how to comment on NSA access. I am not aware of it. How about other services? Are they more secured?

      Craig, can't we install Dropbox app on Windows 8.1? I thought we can install the app for any cloud service on Windows 8.1 (including iCloud and Google Drive). Am I wrong?

  16. Deen.desperado
    May 7, 2014 at 7:29 am

    I have both OneDrive and Dropbox on my Windows 7, 8.1 and Nexus 4. Been using them (the apps) for years and no problem, or at least major ones, so far. I really don't know what not to love about OneDrive. To me it is as good as Dropbox...if not better! Just like about everything else in this world, both have their respective strengths and weaknesses but like I said, no major issues. After all isn't it good to have more cloud storage for free?

  17. Tony
    May 7, 2014 at 2:40 am

    I got a system message that said Windows could not find gpedit.msc. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  18. Sam
    May 7, 2014 at 12:46 am

    Dropbox does not do a 'better work of the same job' unlike OneDrive or Google Drive, Dropbox is just a cloud storage service with no additional services such as word processing, spreadsheet, calendar etc. Not to mention the difference in what is offered... Free space, DB 2GB, OD 7GB, GD 15GB. For an extra $9.99/month you get an extra 100GB in DB and OD but a massive 1TB in GD. I think just about any alternative is better than what Dropbox offers unless of course they're paying you to advertise on their behalf.

    • Craig S
      May 7, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      It's a matter of opinion, but one thing I do suggest you take into account is that OneDrive is a Microsoft-run service. The availability of Dropbox trumps it across the board. Dropbox also offers services like Packrat, to guarantee shadow copies of the data you're backing up. Dropbox offers free space, too. As for the extras of word processing, etc., for me that's bloat. If I want word processing, I go to OpenOffice. If I want a calendar, I'm using Google Calendar. I think the numbers of users between the two services would speak to which is more popular, and I'm confident that Dropbox is ahead in that regard.

    • Howard B
      May 8, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      OneDrive doesn't provide document editing or viewing, either; it's just Microsoft's cloud storage.
      I prefer Dropbox because it's well-known, it's secure, and Dropbox, unlike Google, doesn't use your documents for advertising.

  19. Richard B
    May 6, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    Instead of SkyDrive, mine was called Onedrive. I followed the same directions listed here to disable the drive from loading. Thanks for the tip!


    • One Drive
      May 7, 2014 at 1:45 am

      The skydrive has been renamed to onedrive a couple of weeks ago :D

    • Craig S
      May 7, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      I believe the name of the utility is completely determined by what Windows Update package you're running. Mine was SkyDrive a week ago, but OneDrive now.

    • Pari
      February 1, 2015 at 6:29 am

      Hi. Is possible to make it enable and disable again and again? thank you