How to Disable the Microsoft Office Upload Center
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Microsoft Office packs a lot of features, but some of these are more confusing than helpful. One feature that might have thrown you for a loop is the Microsoft Office Upload Center.

The Office Upload Center was introduced in Office 2010 and lives on today. Let’s examine what this feature actually does, and see if it’s possible to disable the Microsoft Office Upload Center.

What Does the Office Upload Center Do?

Microsoft Office Upload Center

Older versions of Office were designed to save documents, spreadsheets, and other Office files only to your local storage drive. However, the integration of OneDrive and an emphasis on cloud storage in modern versions led to the inclusion of the Upload Center.

Its purpose is to help ensure smooth file transfers when uploading to (or working with documents on) “web servers,” as the info page puts it. In effect, this means when you save files to OneDrive or remote servers, such as SharePoint.

By default, when you click Save on a document, Office saves a local copy of the file to your system. It then tries to upload a copy of this file to OneDrive or whatever other online location you’ve selected. If all goes well, you never notice a problem. However, issues can arise if you’re on an unstable connection or run into a sync error.

Is the Office Upload Center Useful?

Despite what you might think, the Upload Center isn’t useless. Microsoft’s Upload Center help article explains a few situations where it’s useful: mainly when you’re working on a remote file and lose the connection. This can occur if the server you loaded the file from goes offline. The Upload Center can also come in handy by letting you know when a file upload has finished.

On a spotty connection, you can save the document at any time to have a local copy, and the Upload Center will take care of updating the server copy when it reconnects. As mentioned, it also lets you know of syncing errors sooner rather than later.

If you upload dozens of documents at once to a company server, or frequently deal with poor wireless connections, the Microsoft Upload Center is useful and you probably shouldn’t disable it. For those who only work on the occasional file in Office or don’t ever use OneDrive, it’s unnecessary and you can hide it if you wish.

How to Disable the Office Upload Center Icon

Maybe you don’t mind the Upload Center doing its work behind the scenes, but want to keep its icon out of your system tray. In that case, you can remove the icon without completely stopping the program.

You’ll need to launch the Upload Center app to do this. The easiest way to do so is by searching for Office Upload Center in the Start Menu. Once there, you’ll see a box containing any pending uploads. Click Settings above this box to open the options menu.

Office Upload Center Settings

This is a simple settings menu that doesn’t offer you many options. Uncheck the Display icon in notification area option to remove the Office Upload Center from your System Tray.

Note that even after you’ve done this, the program is still running when needed. You can open it anytime using the same method as above.

How to Turn Off the Microsoft Upload Center

Office Upload Center Icon

You might have noticed that there’s no easy way to disable the Office Upload Center. When you right-click the icon in your System Tray, there’s no option to close it. So what do you do if you want to totally disable the Microsoft Upload Center?

There are a few workarounds available for this, but they vary based on what version of Windows and Office you have. Because of this, it’s difficult to show one specific method for removing the Office Upload Center.

We’ll point out a few methods that some have claimed worked for them, though your mileage may vary. But first…

Do You Really Need to Disable the Office Upload Center?

For most people, trying to remove the Office Upload Center isn’t worth the hassle. It’s a part of Microsoft Office, and it’s not terribly invasive. In most cases, only business users will save documents to SharePoint or remote servers. Thus, for an average user it only comes into effect when saving to OneDrive.

You should only see the Upload Center when an error occurs. If this happens often, it’s probably not an issue with the Upload Center, but rather your network connection. You should diagnose your internet connection issues Network Problems? 7 Diagnostic Tricks and Simple Fixes Network Problems? 7 Diagnostic Tricks and Simple Fixes Network problems must be diagnosed before they can be resolved. This article covers seven simple tricks for fixing your network. Read More instead. Once that’s fixed, you can hide the Upload Center and carry on like it’s not even there.

There’s no official method for turning it off, so take the below workarounds with a grain of salt.

Disable OneDrive’s Office Integration in Windows 10

OneDrive Use Office Option

OneDrive is included as part of Windows 10, and by default works inside Microsoft Office. Some users report that disabling this integration stops the Upload Center from running. It’s easy to do, so it’s worth a try.

Open OneDrive’s options by right-clicking its icon in your System Tray and choosing Settings. On the Office tab, uncheck the box labeled Use Office applications to sync Office files that I open.

Reboot, and the Office Upload Center should no longer load. Note that turning this off will disable some of Office’s collaboration features, however.

Remove the Office Upload Center Processes

Inside your Microsoft Office installation folder are many files that Office needs to run properly. A few of them are related to the Upload Center, so you can potentially disable it by messing with these.

Follow the path below to locate the main Office folder on your PC. This example uses Office 2016; depending on what version you have installed, the Office16 folder may have a different number:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16

Inside this folder, you’ll find an MSOSYNC.EXE program, which handles files syncing. There’s also a file called MSOUC.EXE, which is the actual Upload Center app. You can delete these, or change their name, to prevent them from running.

But this could introduce errors, and Office will likely recreate them before long anyway. So this is most likely a short-term solution.

Other Potential Office Upload Center Workarounds

Many of the past methods for removing the Microsoft Office Upload Center only work on older versions. There’s no longer an MSOSYNC.EXE entry in the Startup tab of the Task Manager How to Use the Windows 10 Startup Folder: Everything You Need to Know How to Use the Windows 10 Startup Folder: Everything You Need to Know The Windows 10 startup folder lets you manage which programs run at startup. Here's how to find the startup folder and manage its programs. Read More , but it’s worth checking for that if you’re using an older edition of Office.

Some Office 2013 users claim that disabling a task from the Task Scheduler can stop the Upload Center as well. In the Task Scheduler Library panel on the left, you should see an entry titled Microsoft Office 15 Sync Maintenance for [username]. Right-click this and choose Disable to stop it from running.

You can also find the MSOSYNC.EXE entry in the Task Manager and kill it. But you’ll need to do so each time you reboot your PC, and it could pop up again when you save a document in Office.

Otherwise, the main method of disabling the Office Upload Center seems to be editing a Registry entry. When we checked this, the value that once appeared for the Upload Center was no longer present.

We don’t recommend editing the Registry for something so minor anyway, as doing so incorrectly could damage the Registry and the small benefit is really not worth it. The Upload Center could easily come back with a future update even after doing this.

Goodbye, Office Upload Center

The Upload Center is useful for some people, but not much more than an afterthought for others. For most people, hiding it should be enough, but hopefully one of the workarounds proved successful if you really hate the utility.

For more PC pruning, check out unnecessary Windows programs you should uninstall 12 Unnecessary Windows Programs and Apps You Should Uninstall 12 Unnecessary Windows Programs and Apps You Should Uninstall Wondering which Windows 10 apps to uninstall? Here are several unnecessary Windows 10 apps and programs you should remove. Read More .

Explore more about: Collaboration Tools, Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft Office 2013, Microsoft Office 2016, Microsoft Office 2019, Microsoft Office Tips, Microsoft OneDrive.

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  1. Office_hater
    August 28, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    I don't think that hiding that icon will prevent it from starting anyway. Also, the setting in OneDrive is gone. What remains is a Windows task called "Background synchronization". Deactivating the task should finally stop the Upload Center from starting

  2. dragonmouth
    July 22, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    MS Office Upload Center may not be intrusive but it is invasive. It is just another way that MS hijacks your data. What is the difference between Microsoft, through its Upload Center, hoovering up your documents and the bogus Microsoft HelpDesk scammers gaining access to your computer and stealing your data???

    The arrogant assumption by MS is that everyone wants to use OneDrive. What if you are already using another cloud storage provider? Or you DO NOT want to use cloud storage at all?

    How many companies/employers would want documents created by their employees (and possibly containing proprietary data) stored on third party servers the company cannot secure? What about HIPAA and other laws regulating access to privileged data?

    Windows and MS products are the standard for various governments foreign and domestic. How do they feel about having the documents forcibly stored on Microsoft servers? Or do they get special versions of MS Office with the Upload Center disabled? US Government has banned products from Chinese companies because they were gathering data. Is the government going to ban the use of MS Office?

    Even if one uninstalls MS Office, with the way Windows Update currently works, isn't it possible that MS will re-install it in the next update? Or just re-install the Upload Center?

  3. HvO
    August 26, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Hate upload centre Office How tot remove this shit

  4. Simplewriter
    October 31, 2016 at 3:16 am

    This is so useful for me, and completely explains every way needed for do this, very thanx Ben Stegner.

    • Ben Stegner
      October 31, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      You're so welcome; I'm glad I could help! Hopefully you won't be bothered by the Upload Center any more.

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

    Thanks for this. My solution is

    1) Uninstall MS OFFICE

    2) Install Open Office for Free.

  6. 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 :)

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Anonymous
    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.

  12. 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.