One Microsoft product I’m not a fan of is OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive). 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.
We previously demonstrated how you can disable SkyDrive 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.
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.
Double-clicking on the SkyDrive folder will replace the right-hand pane with the menu shown below.
Double-click on the highlighted option in the screenshot above, “Prevent the usage of SkyDrive for file storage“.
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!
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.