OneDrive not syncing? 5 ways to force OneDrive to sync in Windows

Although we tend to like the OneDrive service, and we use it on our Windows 10 computers, there are a few quirks that we have trouble with. One of them is that, sometimes, we’re facing issues with OneDrive not syncing. Another one is knowing when it performed the last synchronization to get an idea whether it has synchronized the latest files you have added. Here is how to do an OneDrive force sync and how to check when your files were last synced by it in Windows 10 and Windows 7:

Quick Steps:

How to force OneDrive to sync using its “Pause syncing” feature:
  1. Click or tap on OneDrive’s icon from the right side of the taskbar and press “Help & Settings.”
  2. Click or tap on “Pause syncing” and select “2 hours” or any of the other options available.
  3. Open OneDrive’s window again, and click or tap on the Pause button, to resume syncing.

NOTE: Because things are the same in Windows 10 and Windows 7, we are using mostly screenshots from Windows 10 to illustrate the instructions for these two operating systems.

How to see when OneDrive files were last synced

If it looks like OneDrive’s not syncing on your Windows 10 or Windows 7 computer, and you want to check when your files were last synchronized, click or tap once on the OneDrive icon from the taskbar notification area.

OneDrive icon from Windows 10’s taskbar

This action opens a window where OneDrive shows which were the last actions that it performed. For each of the synced files, you can see how far back in time that happened.

Last sync times shown by OneDrive in Windows 10

In Windows 7, the OneDrive app looks similar to the one in Windows 10, as you can see in the screenshot below.

Last sync times shown by OneDrive in Windows 7

Note that this is the only way we know for finding out when OneDrive last synchronized your files in either Windows 10 or Windows 7.

In Windows 10, there is also an OneDrive app in the Microsoft Store, which is different from the desktop application. However, the app from the Microsoft Store doesn’t offer any information regarding the last sync time.

Microsoft Store OneDrive app for Windows 10

How often does OneDrive sync?

In normal circumstances, the OneDrive application syncs your files continuously, as soon as it detects a change, which it should do automatically. You don’t get any controls to force OneDrive to sync, and you don’t get any options related to the syncing process’s frequency.

As we said, it’s all automatic, so there’s not much you can actually do if your OneDrive is not syncing in Windows 10 or Windows 7. However, you can do an OneDrive force sync by pausing and resuming sync or by restarting the app. Here are a few ways to do that:

1. How to force OneDrive to sync using its “Pause syncing” feature

In either Windows 10 or Windows 7, forcing OneDrive to sync your files can be rather easy, although not exactly intuitive. All you have to do is “Pause syncing” and then “Resume syncing.” Here’s how to do it:

Click or tap on OneDrive’s icon from the right side of the taskbar and, in the popup window that shows up, press “Help & Settings.”

Help & Settings in OneDrive’s menu

The previous action opens OneDrive’s menu. On it, click or tap on “Pause syncing” and select “2 hours” or any of the other options available.

Pause syncing for OneDrive

OneDrive immediately stops syncing your files for the time you selected. In its popup window, it tells you about the syncing pause, just like in the screenshot below.

OneDrive: Your files are not currently syncing

To force OneDrive to sync, there’s only one thing left to do. Open OneDrive’s window again, and click or tap on the Pause button from the top.

Resume syncing in OneDrive

Alternatively, you can also press the “Resume syncing” option from its menu.

Resume syncing for OneDrive from its menu

This action makes OneDrive sync the latest data, right now.

2. How to do an OneDrive force sync using its menu

An alternative way to do an OneDrive force sync is to stop the OneDrive app and then start it again. To stop it, right-click (or tap and hold) on its icon from the taskbar notification area, and then press Close OneDrive.

OneDrive force sync: Close OneDrive

Then, start OneDrive again. Both in Windows 10 and Windows 7, a quick way to do it is to look for the OneDrive shortcut in the Start Menu and click or tap on it.

Force OneDrive to sync: Restart the OneDrive app

3. How to force OneDrive to sync using Task Manager

Another way to force OneDrive to sync, both in Windows 10 and Windows 7, is to restart the OneDrive application using Task Manager.

Open the Task Manager and select the Processes tab. Then, find the Microsoft OneDrive process, right-click (press-and-hold) on it and select “End Task” to stop its process.

Ending the OneDrive task

In the same Task Manager window, open the File menu and click or tap on “Run new task.”

Using Task Manager to Run new task

Task Manager now launches a new window, called “Create new task.” In the Open field, type %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\OneDrive.exe, and click or tap on OK.

Start OneDrive by running %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\OneDrive.exe

OneDrive’s process should now start again. Once it’s launched, it automatically triggers a file check and, if any change is detected, it also starts syncing your files.

4. How to do an OneDrive force sync using Command Prompt

Command Prompt also offers an alternative solution to the OneDrive not syncing problem. Open cmd and run the following commands, one after the other:

cd /d %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\OneDrive

OneDrive.exe /shutdown

OneDrive.exe

OneDrive force sync using commands in Command Prompt

The first command sets the working directory to the one where OneDrive is installed. The second command shuts down OneDrive, and the last one relaunches the app. The result is that the OneDrive app is restarted, which should force OneDrive to sync.

5. How to do an OneDrive force sync using PowerShell

Finally, our final solution to the OneDrive not syncing issues is to restart OneDrive using PowerShell. Open PowerShell and run the following command to close the OneDrive app:

Kill -Name OneDrive -Force

Kill OneDrive process from PowerShell

Then, run the next command to relaunch OneDrive:

Start $env:LOCALAPPDATA\Microsoft\OneDrive\OneDrive.exe

OneDrive force sync by launching OneDrive from PowerShell

Now the app is restarted, which should force OneDrive to sync.

Did you manage to do an OneDrive force sync?

We hope this guide was useful and that you managed to repair the “OneDrive not syncing” problems you’ve met. If you know other ways to force OneDrive to sync or check when OneDrive synced your files, let us know in the comments section below. We will update this guide as soon as possible.