If you have a Microsoft ID, and there can be few people that don’t (Outlook.com, Xbox Live etc.), you have access to OneDrive online storage. You get 15GB free from Microsoft in which to store your files. It is even baked into Windows 8.1 and you can access OneDrive from Explorer. Files placed in the OneDrive folder on the disk drive should be synced to OneDrive online and vice versa, but occasionally something goes wrong and one or more files won’t sync. What can you do?
View sync problems
A file that appears online in OneDrive, but not on the PC’s disk drive in Explorer, or a file in Explorer that can’t be seen online, but is on the disk drive is obviously faulty. In Explorer, files that won’t sync have a double arrow icon to indicate a problem. Have you seen any icons with double arrows? You have sync problems if you have. Right click the OneDrive folder in Explorer and if View sync problems is available on the menu, you have a sync problem. Selecting the menu can provide clues about the fault.
Rename the file
The first thing to do if you have a OneDrive sync problem is to rename any file on the PC'd disk or online that will not sync. Right click them and select Rename. Delete the whole of the name and replace it with something simpler, like ‘test’. Sometimes special characters are in the name and that are supported online but not offline, or offline but not online. Right click the SkyDrive folder and select Sync. If it now syncs you will know it was the name.
An odd thing about OneDrive is that it will not work properly if the Windows Search service is disabled. Press Windows+R and enter services.msc. See if Widows Search is running. If it isn’t, double click it and set the Startup type to Automatic. Start the service using the Start button.
Check the engine
The OneDrive Sync Engine must be running in order for it to sync, which sounds obvious, but you do need to check. Right click the taskbar on the desktop and select Task Manager. On the Processes tab, look down the list of items for OneDrive Sync Engine. I’m not sure what can be done if it isn’t. It should start automatically with Windows, so restart the computer if it isn’t in Task Manager. Press Windows+R and enter skydrive.exe to start OneDrive if it isn’t running.
If there are still problems syncing files with OneDrive, try resetting it. Press Windows+R and enter skydrive.exe /reset. This will not delete any files, but it causes OneDrive to check them all and sync online and offline storage.
Use the troubleshooter
There is a OneDrive troubleshooter app at the Microsoft website. Download it and double click the file in the Downloads folder it if nothing has worked so far. Just click the Next button and follow the prompts to apply any repairs that are necessary.
Hopefully, OneDrive should now be working and syncing properly. Syncing is just one issue you might have with OneDrive and if you have ever overwritten a file with a new version and wished you could go back to the original, here is how to restore a previous version on OneDrive. The sharing facilities are useful, but are you sharing too much on OneDrive? It could be a problem. If your backup software has problems backing up the OneDrive folder on the disk, here is the solution.