How to Reset Faulting OneDrive Synchronization

Has your OneDrive synchronization ever gone bad? Here’s a tip for resetting it once it gets messed up.

I’ve been using Microsoft’s cloud storage since it first launched (known as SkyDrive previously). a few years ago. I was volunteering for the first previews of the service and for that I have 28 gigs of free cloud storage. 🙂 With Windows 8 you could download and install the client as a separate download and for Windows 8.1 it comes in the box. The service synchronizes the contents of your cloud storage for local use. The same goes with an Windows RT tablet and with a Windows Phone device. For my experiences it’s been working great and the benefits of a centralized storage becomes obvious once you set it up on multiple devices and get used to it. I’ve been using it with about 5-8 devices now and it has been working quite good even with that many synched devices.

Somehow, somewhere down the line your local copy can get messed up. Files aren’t synching, changes to local copies are not uploading etc. Here’s how you can fix it.

How to fix it?

The executable that handles the service is skydrive.exe (yes, the name hasn’t changed along with the rename) and it resides in the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 directory. There are a couple of not-so-well documented command line switches for you to try. Fire up a command prompt and try the reset switch:

skydrive.exe /reset

Wait a few minutes and see if it helps. If that doesn’t do it, stop it first, then reset it and shoot again:

skydrive.exe /stop
skydrive.exe /reset


That should tell the local copy and cache database to re-initialize and reset the synchronization with your OneDrive cloud storage. You can see it re-initializing in the task bar notification area, see screen shot below.


Pretty simple stuff and it works! This should also apply to SkyDrive Pro (OneDrive for Business). I haven’t verified this, so check that out yourself.

3 thoughts on “How to Reset Faulting OneDrive Synchronization

  1. many thanks, I looked this up for my records in case I need it again because I used the same advice from someone else with shutdown instead of stop. It works while the Microsoft troubleshooter does not;
    also the other blog site said SkyDrive instead of skydrive I used SkyDrive I don’t know if it makes any difference. Also it helps to reboot and install any pending Windows updates if the synch gets stuck. best wishes
    best wishes

  2. I’m using Windows 10 Tech Preview Build 14271 and instead of command prompt there is a “PowerShell”.

    When I try to run these commands, I get the following message:

    “SkyDrive.exe : The term ‘SkyDrive. exe’ is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or operable program…”

    Thoughts? Any help gratefully accepted.

    • Hi there!

      PowerShell is the new “default shell”. The error message implies that it cannot find the executable from the current directory or the locations within its’ path. You can get the good old Command Prompt up and running by typing “cmd” in the PowerShell shell and you can also find it in the Start Menu (I’m sure it’s there with the name Command Prompt”). From the command prompt the executable should run without any errors.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please, do the math and help fight spam * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.