How to Remove OneDrive from File Explorer

Key Takeaways:

  • OneDrive can be easily unlinked, disabled, or uninstalled from Windows 10 and 11
  • Removing OneDrive from File Explorer does not delete your cloud files
  • Multiple methods exist to hide or remove the OneDrive folder, including Group Policy, Registry edits, and app uninstallation

As a Windows expert with over a decade of experience, I’ve helped many users customize their File Explorer experience by removing unwanted folders like OneDrive. Microsoft’s cloud storage service comes pre-installed on Windows 10 and 11, with its folder prominently displayed in File Explorer. However, if you don’t use OneDrive or prefer a different cloud provider, you may want to remove this folder for a cleaner look.

The good news is that removing the OneDrive folder from File Explorer is a straightforward process that doesn’t impact your actual cloud files. Whether you want to temporarily disable syncing or completely uninstall the OneDrive app, Windows provides several methods to achieve your goal.

Unlinking OneDrive

The quickest way to remove the OneDrive folder is to unlink your account. Here’s how:

  1. Right-click the OneDrive icon in the taskbar and select “Settings”
  2. Go to the “Account” tab
  3. Click “Unlink this PC” and confirm[1][2]

Unlinking OneDrive will sign you out of the app and stop the syncing process. Your OneDrive folder will no longer appear in File Explorer. However, no files are deleted from your cloud storage, and you can still access them via the web interface.

Disabling OneDrive via Group Policy

For a more permanent solution that prevents OneDrive from running, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor. Note this only works on Windows Pro and Enterprise editions:

  1. Press Win+R and type gpedit.msc
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > OneDrive
  3. Double-click “Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage”
  4. Select “Enabled” and click OK[4][11]

This policy disables the OneDrive app and removes its folder from File Explorer. To re-enable it, simply set the policy back to “Not Configured”.

Hiding OneDrive with Registry Edits

Another way to remove the OneDrive folder is to modify the Windows Registry:

  1. Press Win+R and type regedit
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6}
  3. Double-click System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree and set its value to 0
  4. Restart File Explorer[5][20]

This hides the OneDrive folder without disabling the app. You can still access it from the taskbar icon. To unhide the folder, change the registry value back to 1.

Uninstalling OneDrive

For a complete removal, you can uninstall the OneDrive app from your PC. This will remove the folder and prevent the app from syncing and starting up with Windows:

  1. Open Settings and go to Apps > Apps & Features
  2. Scroll down and select “Microsoft OneDrive”
  3. Click “Uninstall” and confirm[6][8]

After uninstalling, the OneDrive folder will be gone from File Explorer. No files are deleted from the cloud, and you can reinstall the app anytime from the Microsoft Store.

Pausing OneDrive Sync

If you just need a temporary break from OneDrive syncing, you can pause it:

  1. Click the OneDrive icon in the taskbar
  2. Select “Help & Settings” > “Pause syncing”
  3. Choose how long to pause sync: 2, 8 or 24 hours[19]

This stops OneDrive from uploading and downloading files for the selected duration. Your files remain in the OneDrive folder and will start syncing again after the pause period.


As you can see, removing the OneDrive folder from File Explorer is an easy process that can be done in several ways depending on your needs. Whether you want to simply unlink your account, disable the app through Group Policy, hide the folder with a registry tweak, or completely uninstall OneDrive, Windows 10 and 11 provide the tools to customize your cloud storage experience.

The key thing to remember is that removing OneDrive from File Explorer does not delete your actual cloud files. They remain safely stored in the Microsoft cloud and can be accessed anytime through the web interface or by relinking your account.

Hopefully this comprehensive guide based on my extensive Windows experience has helped you understand the different methods to remove OneDrive from your File Explorer. Feel free to experiment and find the approach that works best for your workflow and preferences.