Top 4 Ways to Make OneDrive Stop Syncing Documents Folder

OneDrive can help you auto sync your local folders, but if you don’t want it to sync the Documents folder, you can refer to the methods here to simply stop OneDrive from syncing. And there’s a more flexible way to sync files to OneDrive.


By Clytze Updated on October 20, 2022

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I want to stop OneDrive from syncing a folder

I recently bought a new PC. I set up OneDrive as I always do, except this time it is syncing the Desktop, Documents, and Pictures. I don't want the Documents or the Desktop to be synced as I work with very big files as well as Outlook. PST's not syncing whilst Outlook is open. Does anyone know how to turn off syncing from these folders?

- Question from ElevenForum

OneDrive Stop Syncing Documents Folder

Need to stop OneDrive from syncing

OneDrive is a popular cloud storage offered by Microsoft that allows you to save documents, videos, and photos to OneDrive and then access them from multiple devices anywhere. By default, it automatically syncs the files stored in the OneDrive folder. However, for some reason, you may want some folders not to be automatically synced.

You find that the Documents folder is no longer need for your company-based activities. The purpose of this is to prevent any unnecessary file syncs from confusing your sync tasks, taking up your cloud storage space, or if you simply feel that the files in the Documents folder are too critical for fear of a data breach.

If you don't know how to stop OneDrive from syncing Documents, or you're having problems with OneDrive can't stop syncing Documents folder. You can simply use the methods provided below to stop syncing the folder and just keep it on your local computer to prevent unnecessary data loss or leakage.

How to stop OneDrive syncing Documents in 4 simple ways

To find out how to set OneDrive stop syncing folder without deleting files that are in the Documents folder, you can read on for the following section to catch the top 4 methods with detailed steps to accomplish this task without effort. Now, let’s get started.

Way 1. Manage OneDrive Backup Folders

By default, OneDrive backs up folders - Photos, Desktop, and Documents. You can manage OneDrive backup folders to uncheck the Documents folder and making it not to sync.

1. Select the white or blue OneDrive cloud icon in the Windows taskbar. Select SettingsBackup tab, and then select Manage Backup.

2. Uncheck the Documents folder you don't want to sync to OneDrive.

Manage Backup Folders

Way 2. Remove source path of Documents folder

As we know, all files and folders in the local OneDrive folder will be synced to the online cloud. If you don't want the Documents folder to be synced, you can simply remove it from the local OneDrive folder.

Here’s how to do it: You can click OneDrive icon and click “Open folder” to OneDrive local folder. Locate the Documents folder and remove it manually.

Remove Source Path

Way 3. Pause OneDrive syncing (temporarily)

If you just want to temporarily stop OneDrive from syncing your Documents folder, you can use the “Pause syncing” feature of the OneDrive app. It offers three intervals where you can pause OneDrive for 2, 8 or 24 hours.

1. Click on the OneDrive icon from Taskbar. If the OneDrive icon is not visible, click the upward arrow “Show hidden icons” button in the notification area.

2. Click the gear icon “Help & Settings” and click Pause syncing. Then, choose 2 hours, 8 hours or 24 hours according to your needs to stop OneDrive from syncing the Documents folder. 

Pause Syncing


Way 4. Unlink OneDrive account on your PC

You can also turn off OneDrive syncing Documents folder by disconnecting your computer from your OneDrive account. Here are the steps on how to do it.

1. Open OneDrive window, click Settings, go to the Account tab, and click the Unlink this PC option.

2. Click Unlink account to confirm the operation.

Unlink Account


A more flexible way to sync specified folders to OneDrive

To sync specified folders from your Windows computer to OneDrive, it is wise to use a professional software like AOMEI Backupper Standard. It is the best free file sync tool for Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP versions. If you don't want to sync your Documents folder to OneDrive, just don't add it to the sync task. You can benefit a lot from its practical features:

★ It allows you to sync local computer folders to cloud drives like OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, SugarSync, hubiC, and Cloudme. Other paths such as external hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, NAS devices, etc. are also supported.
★ To automatically sync all the changes you made, you can sync the folders regularly with fixed intervals, such as daily/weekly/monthly.
★ AOMEI Backupper also offers you Backup function, you can use it to set OneDrive daily backup your operating system, disks, partitions, or specific files.  
★ If you are server users, AOMEI Backupper Server is suitable for you.

To backup computer folders excluding the Documents folder to OneDrive with AOMEI Backupper Standard, just download and install this freeware on your computer and follow the instructions below to complete this task.

Step 1. Download and install AOMEI Backupper by clicking the below button. Run this tool and click Basic Sync under Sync tab.

Download FreewareWin11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

File Sync

Step 2. Click Add Folder to select the folder(s) you want to sync to your OneDrive account. It won't sync to the OneDrive cloud unless you manually select the Documents folder.

Add Folder

Step 3. Expand the drop-down menu of the second bar and choose Select a cloud drive.

Select Network Location

Step 4. Then, in the Select Cloud window, choose OneDrive as the destination path, and then click OK.

Select OneDrive

Options: You can write comments for your sync task to distinguish it from others or set up email notifications to tell you when the sync task has been completed.
✧ Schedule Sync: It allows you to automatically sync your folders, and you can set the fixed frequencies such as Daily/Weekly/Monthly/Event trigger/USB plug in. The last two are available in the Professional version.

Step 5. Confirm your settings and click on Start Sync to complete this process.

✍ Things you need to be aware of:

◉ Besides Basic Sync, this software also provides other 3 sync features as Mirror Sync, Two-Way Sync, Real-Time Sync to meet your different needs. You can upgrade to the Pro version or higher versions to enjoy them if you need.

◉ Don't modify the source folder name, otherwise, this software will fail to continue the sync process.

◉ As you know, OneDrive has extremely limited free trial space and subscriptions are not affordable. If you are running low on OneDrive cloud storage, you can consider backing up files to AOMEI Cloud. It offers you free 1TB storage 15 days after you sign up for an AOMEI account.


To sum up

If you have no idea how to make OneDrive stop syncing Documents folder, then you can refer to this article for ways to sync only the folders you specify. You can try AOMEI Backupper for a more flexible way to finish this task.

Moreover, if you have problems with system crashes or computer just cannot boot up correctly, AOMEI Backupper can help you enable Windows 11 boot from USB. There are numerous excellent features waiting for you to explore, so try it immediately!

Clytze · Editor
Clytze, an editor at AOMEI Technology, is passionate about safeguarding your digital world. She dedicates her expertise to empower users like you in data security and recovery. She firmly believes that everyone should have the tools and knowledge to protect their digital assets through computer backup, seamless disk cloning, and efficient file synchronization. Clytze is your trusted guide on the journey to data safety.