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tl;dr: No matter, what I do, I can't access OneDrive folder on my Windows 8.1-based PC. I have tried a number of different approaches (explained in details below) and still ended up with nothing. Is there anything else, I can do, except for reinstalling whole Windows 8.1 or trying any 3rd-party software?


I have installed Windows 8.1 on my wife's computer in June 2014 and I did something (after 1,5 year I simply don't remember what) to completely rip OneDrive off the Windows. She was using her PC and Windows 8.1 for one year and a half without any problems, but now I'd like to start using OneDrive. The problem is, that there is no sign of it on that PC.

Virtually any guide, that I have been reading for past three hours stars with clicking "OneDrive" icon in taskbar or on file browser. But, the problem is, that I don't have that icons there.

Symptoms or steps already undertaken by me:

  1. Download and installation of OneDrive client is not an option, because OneDrive is (should be in my case) integrated into Windows 8.1. Installer starts and ends without any message or error.

  2. For sure, I haven't disabled OneDrive using registry editor (copy of this article), because I can't find any occurence of DisableFileSync flag, anywhere within my registry.

  3. Running SkyDrive from command-line with or without parameters brings absolutely no effect.

  4. I have Windows 8.1 Home Edition, Polish, up to date (with all Windows Update updates installed). My wife has been using local account for 1,5 year. I have switched it to Microsoft account today, but this also brought no effect.

  5. Any regular OneDrive troubleshooting guides or FAQs (like this one, this, this one or maybe this) is not an option for me, because it starts with "Right-click the OneDrive icon..." and I don't have a OneDrive icon anywhere within my Windows 8.1 (not in task bar and not in file explorer).

  6. Running OneDrive Troubleshooter ends with error, that OneDrive folder is not accessible.

  7. Searching for OneDrive icon in classic shell and executing it ends up with empty, white screen (named "OneDrive") and never-ending loader bar moving in the top. I can access OneDrive settings from Control Panel, but can't access OneDrive files / folder itself.

  8. As above, searching for OneDrive icon in classic shell, right-clicking it, pinning it to task bar and then trying to execute it from there ends up c:\Windows\FileManager\FileManager.exe's runtime error "The application has requested Runtime to terminate in an unusual way".

Because of point (6) above, I've tried to use guides like this one, this or this one to recreate (or check) OneDrive default folder on my PC or to force-rune OneDrive client from it. It brought no effect, again.

In details:

  • I have folders C:\Users\[username]\SkyDrive and C:\Users\[username]\OneDrive as well as %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\ folder,

  • running OneDrive.exe directly from %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\, by any mean (Start > Run, Pin to Task bar, command-line, Send to Desktop) brings no effect (no window, no error, no icon in task bar or in file explorer).

Folders C:\Users\[username]\SkyDrive and C:\Users\[username]\OneDrive are empty. Folder %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\ has a number of files and sub-folders, all with date set to today, about three hours ago, thus they all should be up-to-date (newest version of OneDrive?).

It seems for me, that I have checked everything, I can think of, and still ended up with nothing.

Is there anything else, I can do or consider or that I missed, except for reinstalling whole Windows 8.1 or using 3rd party tools like syncDriver?


Edit: I have upgraded my computer to Windows 10 and problem was solved for me -- I have now full access to OneDrive. However, for the sake of community (i.e. others having the same problem), I strive to receive any answer to this question.

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    Please note that in windows 8, onedrive completely works in the background. There's no visual gui you can enter to. You only have the OneDrive folder in your profile and it syncs whatever is inside in the background. In windows 10 this was reverted back to a visible one. – LPChip Dec 27 '15 at 16:05
  • Thanks for your notice. However, the key problem is, that I don't have OneDrive folder icon / link visible, whenever I open up file explorer / My Computer. Also, I'm unable to access OneDrive account settings, where I could provide login and password. – trejder Dec 28 '15 at 7:31
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    Good to hear you got it resolved. This seems to be such a specific problem. I doubt there will come any answer, and therefor I would suggest accepting the given answer as it basically says what you did. Upgrading to windows 10 refreshes the entire core which comes close to reinstalling windows. – LPChip Dec 28 '15 at 8:28
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I used to solve those kind of issues with restoring my laptop.

If you don't want to re-install, try restoring the PC to an earlier restore-point, before the whole started. Sometimes it's the result of clashing updates from Microsoft's servers.

For Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, just follow this link: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/restore-refresh-reset-pc

  • Thanks for the idea and link. However, due to fact, that OneDrive rip on my computer possibly occurred somewhere between a month and a year ago, it would be hard to find an exact point to restore or restore entire Windows to a point year or more back in time, right? – trejder Dec 27 '15 at 13:40
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    Well, generally speaking - Windows creates restore points at critical times, meaning - when certain updates, say with a nature of changing some critical parts of the system for example, are installed. If the next step is a complete reinstall - then you've got nothing to lose. If you're not familiar with restoring your pc, maybe this would be of use: blogs.msdn.com/b/zxue/archive/2012/03/09/… – somethingorange Dec 28 '15 at 13:29

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