OneDrive is very popular with Windows 10 users because of its ability to connect many devices and sync files between them. However, it will occasionally run into problems and prevent you from deleting files or folders.

If this happens to you, don't worry. Instead, let's take a look at all of the solutions you can use to avoid filling up your cloud storage with outdated or unnecessary files and folders.

1. Make sure the file is closed first

It is possible that you cannot delete the file because a program is in use. Make sure you've closed the file on your device and ask other users on your network to close it. Also, check to see if you've shared the file with anyone and stop sharing the file if necessary.

2. Check the permissions of your file and folder

If someone else shared the folder with you, you may not have permission to delete it from OneDrive. You can ask the administrator to give you permission or delete the file for you.

Related: How to sync Google Drive and OneDrive files with your computer

3. Try deleting the file from another device

If you are the administrator of the file or if you have the required permissions but still cannot delete the file, you can try deleting it on another device. Since all OneDrive files and folders are synced everywhere, you can delete a file from your phone or another laptop.

4. Name or move the file or folder

This is a strange trick, but changing the file name can sometimes delete an otherwise undeletable file. All you have to do is change the name of the file and try to delete it.

If that doesn't work, you can also try moving the file, which works for some people. Cut out the file that you can't delete, paste it outside of the OneDrive folder, and then try to delete it again.

5. Stop OneDrive syncing

If OneDrive is in the process of syncing the folder, it will prevent you from deleting it while it is working. However, you can temporarily stop synchronization and delete the file.

To stop OneDrive from syncing and delete the folder, follow these steps:

  1. Right click on the A ride Icon from the system tray.

  2. Choose Help & Settings.

  3. click Pause synchronization and choose how long you want to pause it.

OneDrive menu in Windows 10

Wait a few moments after pausing OneDrive syncing and try deleting the file. If you want to resume syncing after deleting the file, go to Help & Settings> Un sync.

Related: Useful OneDrive Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Account

6. Deactivate files if necessary

OneDrive's Files on Demand feature lets you keep your files or folders in the cloud and access them from your devices without downloading them first. This is a great option if you want to save space on your hard drive or SSD: however, you may be able to prevent a file from being deleted. How to turn it off:

  1. Right click on the A ride Icon from the system tray.

  2. click Help & Settings> Settings.

  3. Choose settings Tab.

  4. Deactivate Save space and download files while you use them. If the option is already disabled, enable and disable it again.

  5. click OK to save the changes.

OneDrive menu in Windows 10

After successfully deleting the file, go through the steps again and enable it again. Files on demand.

7. Reset OneDrive

If you still can't delete files from your OneDrive, you should reset it. Fortunately, resetting OneDrive won't remove any of your folders or files. However, it will cut all current sync connections, so you'll have to add the folders you want to sync again.

To reset OneDrive:

  1. Open that A ride App.

  2. Press the three– Dot menu in the upper right corner.

  3. Choose settings.

  4. click Reset now from the bottom of the menu.

OneDrive on Windows 10

Delete OneDrive files again

If you have permission and still can't delete the file, you can try one of the unusual fixes and rename the file or cut and paste the file outside of OneDrive. If that doesn't fix the problem, you can reset the app or reconfigure its settings.


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About the author

Matthew Wallaker
(55 published articles)

Matthew's passions lead him to become a technical writer and blogger. As a graduate engineer, he likes to use his technical knowledge to write informative and useful content.

By Matthew Wallaker

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