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    4 ways to stop Windows 10 from saving files to OneDrive

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    Aina Prat Blasi
    @ainapratblasi

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    Microsoft OneDrive is a cloud storage service that is integrated into Windows. Also, this is why you see Microsoft OneDrive in many places on your Windows 10 computer, especially when saving files. If you're bothered by Windows storing your files in OneDrive instead of saving them locally on your computer, we've got some solutions ready for you.


    Cloud storage apps are great to use until they are forcefully pushed down your throat. What if a person doesn't want to use them? Or what if they are happy to use a different app like Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.? Fortunately, you can stop OneDrive from taking control of your computer. Here are four ways to store files on your computer instead of OneDrive.



    1. Using onedrive settings

    On most Windows 10 computers, OneDrive is pre-installed. And it is the default saving location for files in the Desktop, Documents and Pictures folder. This is the reason for your question: because my files are automatically saved to OneDrive. You need to change this behavior in OneDrive settings and prevent it from creating a backup of your folders.

    Cloud storage apps are great and great to use until they are forcefully pushed down your throat. What if a person doesn't want to use them? Or what if they are happy to use a different app like Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.? Fortunately, you can stop OneDrive from taking control of your computer. Here are four ways to store files on your computer instead of OneDrive.


    1. Using onedrive settings

    On most Windows 10 computers, OneDrive is pre-installed. And it is the default saving location for files in the Desktop, Documents and Pictures folder. This is the reason for your question: because my files are automatically saved to OneDrive. You need to change this behavior in OneDrive settings and prevent it from creating a backup of your folders.



    For that, follow these steps:

    1. Right-click the OneDrive icon in the system tray and select Settings.


    If you don't see the OneDrive icon in your system tray, open Windows Search and search for OneDrive. Click on it. The OneDrive icon will appear in the system tray.

    Suggestion: use Windows key + S keyboard shortcut to quickly open search.

    2. In OneDrive settings, go to the Backup tab. Click Manage Backups and uncheck the folders you don't want to add to OneDrive. In case your screenshots also go to OneDrive, uncheck the box next to Screenshots. Click Ok to save the changes.


    2. Change the save location in Microsoft Office apps

    If your Office files like Word documents, Excel sheets, etc. are saved to OneDrive, you need to choose This PC when saving the files. Alternatively, you can also enable a setting to always save documents on your computer.

    Here are the steps:

    1. Open the Microsoft Office app whose files you want to save on your computer instead of OneDrive.
    2. Click File followed by Save As.
    3. Choose This PC and select the folder on your PC where you want to save the files.

    To always save files on your computer, go to File> Options. A pop-up window will appear. Click on the Save option. Check the box next to Save to computer by default.


    3. Unlink your OneDrive account

    You can also take the hard way and unlink your OneDrive account from your PC. This will not affect your Microsoft account settings or data in OneDrive. These things will remain unchanged by unlinking OneDrive.


    To disconnect OneDrive, right-click the OneDrive icon in the system tray and select Settings.

    Go to the Account tab and click Unlink this PC. Confirm on the next screen. Restart your PC. You should now be able to save your files directly to your computer.

    After OneDrive has been unlinked, you can remove the OneDrive folder from view in File Explorer. You can also stop OneDrive from running on startup. For this, go to OneDrive Settings from the taskbar. Click on the Settings tab. Uncheck the box next to Start OneDrive automatically when I log into Windows. Click Ok. Restart your computer.


    4. Uninstall OneDrive

    In case you don't like OneDrive at all, you can completely uninstall it from your computer. For this, go to Settings> Apps on your computer. Search for Microsoft OneDrive. Press the Uninstall button.

    Suggestion: 2 methods to uninstall OneDrive from Windows

    After you disconnect or uninstall OneDrive from your computer, you can access your existing data by logging into OneDrive.com from any browser. If you regret your decision, you can reinstall OneDrive on your computer.

    Suggestion: What is OneDrive and how does it work?

    Unable to save files to computer folders

    After following the above methods, if you encounter any problems while saving files on your computer, you need to restore the location of folders like Desktop, Documents and Pictures on your computer.

    For this, open Windows Explorer. Use the Windows key + E keyboard shortcut to open it. Right-click on the Desktop folder. Select properties.


    Further Reading:

    • Can't delete OneDrive folder, 9 solutions
    • A guide to setting up and using OneDrive on Mac
    • 2 methods to uninstall OneDrive from Windows
    • 8 solutions for when it's impossible to empty the recycle bin in Windows 10
    • How to recover deleted files in OneDrive
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