How to disable SkyDrive integration on Windows 8.1 (step-by-step)

Policy setting to Disable SkyDrive on Windows 8.1

In Windows 8.1, Microsoft brings a deep SkyDrive integration with the operating system, which allows users not only to keep files always accessible from virtually any device, but also roams personal settings and modern apps between PCs.

Although SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 offer many advantages, there still a lot of work to be done. For example, there aren’t many configuration options that users can set, currently there is no way to relocate the root folder to another drive (this update is coming), and because SkyDrive now is almost part of the operating system there isn’t a way to uninstall.

On a new entry at the Microsoft’s community, the company explained that while users cannot uninstall SkyDrive from Windows 8.1, there is a workaround to disable the integration, just follow the instructions below:


1. Use the Windows 8 Key +R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command, type gpedit.msc, and press Enter.

Important: GPEDIT.msc is only available on Windows 8.1 Pro and Enterprise, not in the core version of the operating system.

2. From the Local Group Policy Editor navigate through the following path: Local Computer Policy\Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\SkyDrive

Finally, open and enable the Prevent the usage of SkyDrive for file storage policy setting (don’t forget to click Apply and OK).

Keep in mind that by enabling this policy setting will completely disable the SkyDrive integration on Windows 8.1. This setting will prevent apps and features from interacting with the Microsoft’s cloud storage service including:

  • Users can’t access SkyDrive from the SkyDrive app and file picker.
  • Windows Store apps can’t access SkyDrive using the WinRT API.
  • SkyDrive folder will be removed from the navigation pane in File Explorer.
  • SkyDrive files aren’t kept in sync with the cloud.
  • Users can’t automatically upload photos and videos from the camera roll folder.

To reverse the process simply disable or do not configure this policy setting, apps and features will start working again and the SkyDrive folder will appear once again in File Explorer.

Quick Tip: If you only want to stop SkyDrive from saving files to the cloud by default, go to the Start screen type SkyDrive File Settings and press Enter; from the File settings, turn off Save documents to SkyDrive by default. Also note that you can change Camera roll and Metered connections settings.

Source Microsoft Answers

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 14 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 20 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].