OneDrive is a great cloud data service that you definitely should be using rather than disabling, especially on Windows 8.1 and 10 where the service is deeply integrated with the system. However, in some cases especially in a corporate environment, you do need to shut it down for various reasons. And here is how you can do it on Windows 10.
First of all, when the OneDrive client pops up the first time asking you to sign in, click the X mark to cancel the operation.
Then open the Settings menu from the system tray, and uncheck the option “Start OneDrive automatically when I sign in to Windows” so it doesn’t run automatically.
By finishing up these two things, you stopped OneDrive client from running in your system. However, it does still leave the icon in the navigation pane of File Explorer. If this bothers you, there is a Group Policy setting to make it disappear.
If you are on Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, open Group Policy Editor and go to the following location. And then enable the option “Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage.”
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > OneDrive
After you restart your PC, you’ll find that the OneDrive icon is no longer in the navigation pane and the sync client no longer runs.
If you are on Windows 10 Home edition which doesn’t have Group Policy feature enabled, you will need to make a small registry tweak manually. Open Registry Editor, navigate to the following key, and create a new DWORD32 value called DisableFileSyncNGSC and set it to 1.
Restart the computer to have the change kicked in.
Note that this change applies to all users on the computer. If you previously synced file to OneDrive, you will still have the file remaining in the local OneDrive folder but they are no longer linked to the OneDrive cloud.
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Last updated: 09/26/2016