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How to Prevent Windows From Saving Files to OneDrive

Originally posted on makeuseof.

Fancy keeping all your files locally? Here’s how to stop Windows from saving files to OneDrive.

OneDrive is a powerful cloud storage client that comes pre-installed on both Windows 10 and Windows 11 computers. With it, you can easily store your data in the cloud and share files across multiple devices.

However, if OneDrive isn’t your preferred cloud storage app or if you want to store your files locally, you can stop Windows from saving files to OneDrive. We’ll show you how.

1. Temporarily Stop Windows From Saving Files to OneDrive

You can temporarily prevent Windows from saving files to OneDrive by pausing the sync process. This can be useful if you’re using a metered connection in a bid to control your battery usage on Windows 10, or if you want to preserve your laptop’s battery.

Start by clicking the OneDrive icon on the taskbar. Click the gear icon and select Pause syncing. Then, specify how long you wish to pause OneDrive sync.

Pause OneDrive Syncing

2. Prevent OneDrive From Backing Up Folders

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, you can stop OneDrive from backing up your folders and saving media files from external devices. Here are the steps for the same.

  1. Click the OneDrive icon on the taskbar.
  2. Click the gear icon and select Settings from the resulting menu.
  3. In the Sync and backup tab, disable toggles for Save photos and videos from devices and Save screenshots I capture to OneDrive.
  4. Next, click the Manage backup button.
    OneDrive Sync Settings Windows
  5. Disable toggles for folders you don’t want to be backed up to OneDrive.
  6. Click the Save changes button.
    Manage Backup Folders in OneDrive

3. Prevent Office Apps From Saving Files to OneDrive

Although syncing your Office files to OneDrive lets you access them across multiple devices, you may want to avoid doing so for various reasons. Thankfully, it’s fairly simple to accomplish that.

  1. Open any Office app, such as Word or Excel.
  2. Click the File menu in the top left corner.
  3. Select Options from the left pane.
  4. In the Save tab, tick the Save to Computer by default option.
  5. In the Default local file location box, specify where you want to save your Office files.
  6. Click OK to save the changes.
    Stop Windows From Saving Files to OneDrive

The above changes will be applied to all Office apps. Don’t worry, you can still manually save files to OneDrive if you want.

4. Use Group Policy Editor to Stop Windows From Saving Files to OneDrive

Another method to stop Windows from saving files to OneDrive is to use the Group Policy Editor. You can access the Group Policy Editor on Professional, Education, or Enterprise editions of Windows. If you’re using Windows Home, learn how to access the Group Policy Editor on Windows Home before you try these steps.

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type gpedit.msc in the box and press Enter.
  3. In the Local Group Policy Editor window, use the left pane to navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > OneDrive.
  4. Double-click the Save documents to OneDrive by default policy on your right.
  5. Select the Disabled option.
  6. Hit Apply followed by OK.
  7. Save Documents to OneDrive

    You can also choose to disable OneDrive completely from here. For that, double-click the Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage policy.

  8. Click the Disabled radio button.
  9. Click Apply and then OK to save the changes.
    Disable OneDrive on Windows

5. Uninstall OneDrive From Windows

If you do not intend to use OneDrive to access files from other devices or save new files from your computer, you can also uninstall OneDrive from your Windows computer. Here’s how:

  1. Press Win + I to launch the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Apps > Installed apps.
  3. Scroll down to locate Microsoft OneDrive on the app list. Click the three-dot menu icon next to it and select the Uninstall option from the context menu.
  4. Select Uninstall again to confirm.
    Uninstall OneDrive on Windows

Note that uninstalling OneDrive will not remove OneDrive from File Explorer’s sidebar. To do so, check our guide on how to remove the OneDrive icon from File Explorer on Windows and follow the steps outlined there.

Stop Windows From Saving Files to OneDrive

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily stop Windows from saving files to OneDrive. Once you’ve done that, it might be a good idea to delete files that are already saved to OneDrive without deleting them from your computer.

Source: makeuseof

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