How to disable OneDrive automatic folder backup on Windows 11

Windows 11 setup now turns on folder backup in OneDrive automatically without user consent, but here's how to disable the feature.

OneDrive disable folder backup
OneDrive disable folder backup / Image: Mauro Huculak
  • To disable OneDrive folder backup, open OneDrive Settings > Sync and backup, click on “Manage backup,” turn off the folders, and click on “Stop backup.”
  • You can also remove the OneDrive app from Settings > Apps > Installed apps.

On Windows 11, during the initial setup, the system now automatically turns on the file backup feature for OneDrive without the user’s consent. However, you can still turn this off if you prefer another backup solution or are not comfortable uploading your files to the cloud.

While it’s always a good practice to have a backup of your files, the choice of which application or service to use should be entirely up to the user. However, it seems that Microsoft is now making this decision for users, which might not align with everyone’s preferences.

I noticed this when recording the clean installation process for Windows 11 24H2, and the out-of-the-box experience (OOBE) seemed more simplified without a prompt to choose the backup settings with OneDrive, and then I found that the app was already syncing my Desktop, Pictures, Documents, Music, and Videos folders to the cloud. However, I wasn’t the only one, as many users took to Reddit to complain about the same problem.

If you prefer not to use OneDrive to back up your files, you can turn off the backup feature or remove the app altogether.

In this guide, I will explain the steps to disable disable folder backup and even remove OneDrive from Windows 11.

Disable OneDrive folder backup on Windows 11

To disable OneDrive Folder backup, use these steps:

  1. Right-click the OneDrive icon in the Taskbar and click on Settings.

    Open OneDrive settings

  2. Click on Sync and backup.

  3. Click the Manage backup button.

    OneDrive manage backup

  4. Turn off each of the active folders uploading to the cloud.

    OneDrive disable folder backup

  5. Click the Stop backup button.

    OneDrive stop backup

  6. Click the Close button.

Once you complete the steps, you will have access to the OneDrive folder from File Explorer to download and upload files manually, but the operating system won’t upload files from known folders such as Desktop, Pictures, Documents, Music, and Videos.

Uninstall OneDrive from Windows 11

To uninstall OneDrive from Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Apps.

  3. Click the Installed apps page.

  4. Click the three-dot button next to the “Microsoft OneDrive” app.

  5. Choose the Uninstall option.

    Settings app uninstall OneDrive

  6. Click the Uninstall option again.

After you complete the steps, your Microsoft account will be unlinked from your computer, and the app will be completely removed from the system.

It’s important to note that neither of these methods will delete the files and folders that were already uploaded to the cloud. As a result, the step would be manually removing the uploaded files from your OneDrive account

Alternatively, you can also set up Windows 11 with a local account since, using the account type, the system won’t connect the computer to any cloud service.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].