How to Uninstall OneDrive

With Ransomware-as-a-Services still running rampant in 2021, all PC users ought to have some plan for backing up their work, and for many of them, OneDrive is the easiest option. Upon finding a better way of saving their data to the so-called cloud, users might wonder if removing OneDrive – which Microsoft assumes is on modern Windows PCs – even is possible. Fortunately, it is, even though its dependencies require a few more steps for dealing with than the average program demands.

Users should start by signing out of OneDrive on any associated applications, such as Word. They also should Quit out of OneDrive if it's open. Further steps depend on the user's operating system.

In a macOS environment, open Finder and go to its Applications area. OneDrive should be visible – use the search function if you can't find it. Right-click and send it to the Trash, or left-click and use the 'dragging' feature for moving it to the Trash. Empty the Trash (this step is, for all practical purposes, permanent). If OneDrive still appears as a menu option under your name, click-drag it to the Trash, too.

Although these steps remove almost all OneDrive files, there are a few left behind. Navigate to the '/Users//Library/Containers' location and delete the following two items:

Doing so should remove all OneDrive software and files from the device.

Windows users have the extra challenge of dealing with Microsoft's not wanting users uninstalling an application that they're bundling with Windows 10. While deleting OneDrive in Windows is more complicated than in macOS, it's far from impossible. Users also should note that they can disable OneDrive's startup routine without removing it, which is preferable in most situations. Right-click the OneDrive cloud icon on the taskbar, choose Settings and go to the Account tab. Go to the Settings tab and click the 'Start OneDrive Automatically' checkbox until there's no check.

Users who want OneDrive wholly gone from their Windows PC should start by opening either PowerShell or Command Prompt (both serve the same functions for this purpose). Ensure that the program is launching with admin privileges (right-click the program's icon and 'Run as administrator' if it's necessary).

64-bit Windows users should enter the following command:

%SystemRoot%\SysWOW64\OneDriveSetup.exe /uninstall

The 32-bit Windows equivalent is similar, but with a slightly different location:

%SystemRoot%\System32\OneDriveSetup.exe /uninstall

The command may take some time to finish the uninstall routine. This step also may fail if OneDrive is active as a background memory process. Users can locate it in the Task Manager and choose 'End task,' or run this command in CMD or PowerShell:

taskkill /f /im OneDrive.exe

These steps don't make OneDrive irretrievable permanently. Users can navigate to the 'SysWOW64' folder in their Windows directory at any time and find the program's executable or EXE ('OneDriveSetup.exe'). Run this file, and OneDrive will re-install – just like it never left.