OneDrive on Windows 8.x

Let’s see if this topic gets anyone’s attention. I expect not. But I’ll just document the problem and see what happens.

First, I am using Windows 8.1 on a HP Pavillion x2 Detachable PC 10. In other words, it’s a tablet with a keyboard, but I have always used it as a mini-laptop which has worked out well. I never really understood why people had such an issue with Windows 8.1 when installed on a tablet. If I were to use device as a tablet detached from a keyboard, I think I would prefer using the tablet interface. But since I use it as a laptop, I always just go right into the desktop, and it acts like any other Windows desktop 7.X or 10 (as far as the interface) with only a few minor differences.

Anyway, I have stayed with Windows 8.1 on this device given that it has only 2GB of memory, so I think Windows 10 is not going to do well with limited memory. And Windows 8 is still supported at this time, so no need to upgrade now.

I have been satisfied with this machine as far as performance and what I use it for which is just a step up from a phone with a keyboard with a much larger display. I use it when I doing other things like watching TV or reading so I can maybe look something up or work on a to-do list or pay bills, etc. It is just a way to multi-task a bit while I may be doing something else, and it’s perfect for that.

So the problem is that I have OneDrive installed on the Pavillion, and that has caused a major issue now since the files on my OneDrive cloud have been syncing to this device, and now I have no more space on my little 24 GB drive. My OneDrive setting is to store files Online Only, but OneDrive has already downloaded nearly 22 GB of files from OneDrive leaving me with an inadequate amount of space on my drive to run Windows. The performance now on my device sucks since it lacks space to manage virtual memory, etc.

The question is how do a resolve this issue. I would like to keep OneDrive on the Pavillion using the file on demand feature. But I already have 22 GB of data sync’d from OneDrive to this machine. I know I cannot just delete the OneDrive files since that will remove the files from the OneDrive cloud.

I have clicked on “Make all files online only…” to free up the space, but that does not appear to be working. Is there a way to get that option to work in Windows 8? That would be the preferable route to go if I can get that to work. The other option is to make sure that OneDrive is disabled completely and then delete the local files. But I am not sure what happens if and when I enable OneDrive again. Will it try to sync and start removing all the files in the cloud that I have removed locally? That is a scary scenario. The last option is to just remove OneDrive completely from this machine and never use it again, but that makes this machine much less useful since my OneDrive files will not be accessible which is a bummer.

Any ideas? I have been checking for Windows 8 updates on a regular basis since this issue appears to be a bug with OneDrive on Windows 8. My other machines running Windows 10 (and I think even on Windows 7) do not have this issue, and the OneDrive settings interface is a bit different as well giving more options, at least on Windows 10.

Thanks for your attention, if you made it this far.

I don’t use One Drive, so I won’t be able to offer any help, I’m afraid. I did want you to be aware than Windows 8.1 has about two years of support left.

The end of Mainstream Support may well mean that they have stopped testing One Drive against it, and thus you may be locked with an older buggy version. (I don’t know that to be the case, I am just guessing.)

Yes. Eventually, Windows 8.1 will not be supported. At that point, this tablet will probably be thrown on the very large pile of hardware that is no longer useful or working.

As a side note, I do have a very, very, very large pile of hardware that is considered obsolete. Some of the hardware is definitely well beyond its lifespan, but much of the hardware is perfectly fine and has only been obsoleted by companies that just decide to not support their products well before the hardware becomes obsolete or fails. I do think that the tech industry is the only industry that gets away with cutting off support on a product that that consumer paid for assuming that it would be a useful device for at least a reasonable amount of time. Instead, I have learned that for the most part, tech is inexpensive due to the limited lifespan of a product which is not necessarily dictated by the usefulness of the hardware. But sometimes, tech is not inexpensive when a company makes promises to support a product and then decides to cut off that support. Not sure how they get away with this, but it is very common in the tech industry.

Back to the issue with OneDrive. I still have a couple of years maybe of useful life with the HP Pavillion. It is one of many computers that I use. I am using it right now to reply to your post, and it works great as I watch a little Columbo on my old TV in my office on my stand-up desk with very limited space while I go through my mail. I did not realize that support for Windows 8 was still two years off That is actually great news If I can only get OneDrive to work with Windows 8.1, I’m probably good for another two years. The other thing I have realized is that the keyboard that came with this table is really quite good. Very compact and has a good touch which allows me to be productive on a very small keyboard.

Thanks for your reply and the info regarding Windows 8 and the end of mainstream support. I assumed that the issue I am having with OneDrive is due to the end of the mainstream support I am hoping to find a work-around, or at least, find a way to configure OneDrive on Windows 8 without losing my data.

It looks like I may need to just make sure I have a backup of my OneDrive files before removing OneDrive from this tablet running 8.1. deleting all the OneDrive files, and then installing OneDrive on this device again making sure that I choose to only access files online.

But I will wait a few more days to see if anyone may have some ideas. Frankly, OneDrive is a very important product that MS offers, so it is quite pathetic that MS has not fixed issues with it on a supported OS.

End of mainstream support means no more bug fixes and no more feature updates, only security fixes.

So, if it is a bug in OneDrive, it won’t get fixed.

@JoeB have you unchecked every files and every folder in the OneDrive control panel? If it is working properly, it will (slowly) remove the synced files. I did it, when I switched from OneDrive to HiDrive, I copied all the files in one folder to HiDrive, then told OneDrive to only store them online and waited until it had cleared the space, before moving to the next directory (I had over 400GB of files on a 500GB SSD, so I couldn’t just copy everything over).

The other option is do disconnect OneDrive (log out of the OneDrive app), then delete all of the files on the local PC and then log back into OneDrive and tell it to only do cloud storage, no local. I had syncing issues a couple of times and have used this method successfully.

Is it possible you have an application that is scanning or attempting to categorize the OneDrive directory? Something like a photo organizer that would ask OneDrive for a local copy of whatever is in the directory?


Thanks for your suggestion(s). When you say “OneDrive control panel”, I think Windows 8.1 is missing many of the option that may be available in Windows 10. But if you are referencing an option available in Window 8.1, then maybe you can provide more details. The only thing I have been able to find in Windows 8.1 is under OneDrive setting which does not give me any granularity to select specific folders to sync, etc. It does give me options to sync specific things like computer settings, docs, etc. The issue I am having is that it is attempting to make all files on the OneDrive cloud accessible offline. I cannot seem to change the setting to online only.

But I will take your advice and make sure OneDrive is disconnected from my cloud storage completely and just manually delete the files locally under my OneDrive directory. My understanding from what you have experienced is that if I reconnect to my OneDrive after deleting files locally (and after making sure the setting is to have files available online only) that the files should not be downloaded. My concern is that maybe some bug in OneDrive may just end up deleting all my files in the cloud when I reconnect it on the Windows 8.1 computer with no locally files under OneDrive. Call me paranoid, but obviously MS is not concerned about bugs in their older products and may have left a data destructive bug around in Windows 8.

But I will do my due diligence which means I will need to set up a Windows 10 machine to make all files available offline or simply download my entire OneDrive to make sure I have a backup before attempting to delete these files from my Windows 8.1 machine. Sounds like you have successfully deleted files and reconnected to OneDrive successfully without having any data loss or getting all files downloaded locally again. I think I will have the same success as you did, but having a backup is always a good idea.

No other applications running that should be making requests to OneDrive. I am using a under-powered tablet running Windows 8.1 as a laptop on my stand-up desk, so I do not install anything on other than things I really need. This issue seems to be a bug with OneDrive given that I have selected the option to make free up space and make files available online only. But the files are never removed (no process even starts up to remove the files), so there is an issue with OneDrive. Thanks Microsoft.

If you right click on the OneDrive icon in the system tray and select Settings or Preferences (mine is in German, so it is “Eigenschaften”). One my W10 machine, the OneDrive right click dialog has Folders, “show online” and “More” at the bottom, I had to click on More.

Then, under account tab is the option “remove link to this PC”, or words to that effect (Verknüpfung dieses PCs aufheben - in my case).

After you have removed the account, you can delete local OneDrive content and then, using the same dialog again, add your account back in.

Here is the official documentation from Microsoft’s site:

Thanks for the details, @big_D. I think there is a serious issue with Windows 8 in that I am unable to find anyway to disconnect (logout) of OneDrive via any settings or preferences. I keep looking around and do not find a sign-out option or logoff. Maybe I am still missing it since it would be a major problem not to be able to sign out which is keeping me from being able to clear up space on my hard drive without deleting files in the OneDrive cloud. The interface you describe is different than the one I am seeing under my version of Windows 8. I will take another look again the next time I use my tablet and will report back if I find a way to disconnect it from OneDrive. Very frustrating, to say the least.

I’m at a loss. I have attempted one lasts time to disconnect OneDrive from my account. My Windows 8 HP Pavilion tablet which has served me well up until running out of disk space due to OneDrive files syncing to my local hard drive and taking up all the remaining space is becoming unusable. There is not enough space on my local drive for the OS to run and become bogged down. But I am unable to disconnect OneDrive from my MS account, and the option to make file available online only does not clear up space. It appears to be broken.