Recently I was forced to reinstall my OneDrive client and currently I'm using OneDrive 2016 (17.3.6798.0207) and Office 2013 Home (15.0.4903.1002) on Windows 7 Pro SP1 EN.

The problem

After re-installation I noticed some kind of strange integration between OneDrive and Office. And weird things (never observed before) started to happen:

  • I see messages in Office 2013 that Word, Excel etc. is currently sending file to OneDrive,
  • I see a bar in Office 2013 claiming that my local file is not the newest one, that server contains newer version of opened file and I see a button that allows me to update local file,
  • often I see error message from OneDrive that it can't sync file right now and I should try later (while it actually is syncing files normally),
  • in OneDrive, in addition to regular list of files recently updated I can also see entries with "Office is uploading file" / "Office is downloading file".

Some examples

(never seen before re-installing OneDrive, while I've been using it for about 2-3 years)

  1. OneDrive claims that Office itself is downloading or uploading something:

enter image description here

  1. Excel (Polish version) claims that I have outdated local file and offers me to perform an update:

enter image description here

The second one is specially annoying, because in the very same time OneDrive claims that I'm all set and that all my files are up-to-date.

Additional assumptions

I'm 100% positive that:

  1. I'm not logged into Microsoft Account in my Office and my Office is not connected with my OneDrive. Because:

    • I can clearly see Login button in File > Account,
    • when I create a new file and hit Save, I see Computer in Save as as default selection; when I change it to OneDrive see Create an account / Login links instead of contents of my OneDrive folder.
  2. My OneDrive for sure was updated / changed toward what I've been seeing before; I no longer see Pause sync item in context menu, but I do see never seen before View sync problems item (could missed it previously though).

  3. I have never seen these messages / features ever (before reinstalling OneDrive) and I'm using it on daily basis, quite intensively.

Since first point (and partially -- third one) clearly proves that my Office is not logged into my Microsoft account or my OneDrive then I completely don't understand how Office is able to perform anything on my account / in my OneDrive?

The question

What is this functionality? Why / when it was enabled? Can I somehow disable it?

I'd like to have OneDrive working as usually -- i.e. in a complete separation from either Office or any other program. That it would pick a file modified by any file on any computer and either upload it to cloud or download a local copy from there. Without any integration with anything. Is this possible?

  • I have completely rewritten my question, providing more details and examples. I have included all the information from my comments into question itself and thus I have removed all my comments. See, if it is now enough clear to judge anything? Thanks. – trejder Mar 8 '17 at 6:04
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    These are disturbing indeed, as I myself have a OneDrive account and have logged into it with Office apps, but I see no such things. But please tell me: Are these documents that are shown in your screenshots stored in your OneDrive folder? – user477799 Mar 8 '17 at 7:11
  • @FleetCommand Yes, they are. In an answer below you will find complete explanation of the behavior, I'm asking about in this question. It should explain all your doubts. Good that this can be disabled. It seems that a single reinstallation of OneDrive either enabled functionality that was disabled previously or added it, while it was gone previously. – trejder Mar 8 '17 at 11:25
  • @trejder Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I will activate this feature on my computer immediately. Sounds like a nice one. – user477799 Mar 8 '17 at 11:31
  • @FleetCommand You're welcome. As you can see, from mine above and below comments, I -- on contrary to you -- find this feature as a really painful and very not welcomed / needed. – trejder Mar 8 '17 at 11:37

The OneDrive Office Options

The OneDrive saving behavior is controlled on the Office tab of OneDrive settings. From the OneDrive system tray icon, right click and select Settings, then choose the Office tab:

enter image description here

Microsoft changes this regularly, and the options you see will depend on which version of Office and OneDrive you have installed. I have the Office 2016 option on a PC which has Office 2010 installed.

Other side-effects

Following dual screenshot shows changes in File menu content in Word 2013 with above mentioned functionality turned off (above) and on (below).

enter image description here

In addition -- yes, you're correct -- the Pause syncing option is removed from OneDrive's context menu, if integration with Office is enabled:

enter image description here

More information can be found in these:

and probably many more articles across the Internet.

Office 2016 Has OneDrive Integration Built-In

Also, you should be aware that even with these unticked, in Office 2016 the first suggested Save location is OneDrive on the web:

enter image description here

If you select to save into "OneDrive - Personal" Office will upload the file itself, which will then be downloaded to your PC by OneDrive. If you just want to save to the OneDrive folder on your PC and let the OneDrive app handle uploading it, you have to click Browse and select the OneDrive folder.

  • That's exactly what is (was) causing all my problems. I have just figured this out myself (by a complete accident) and came here to write my own answer only to find out that you did this first. Thanks! Great! It seems that either these options were not available at all in my previous version of OneDrive or they were disabled. With reinstallation of OneDrive these seems to be enabled automatically. Disabling them, as you suggest, solved all my problems. – trejder Mar 8 '17 at 11:21
  • Second part of your answer suggests that upgrade from Office 2013 to Office 2016 is actually a bad idea! :> – trejder Mar 8 '17 at 11:22
  • I allowed myself to enhance your answer with an additional information and screenshots. – trejder Mar 8 '17 at 11:36
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    That's great - thanks! I hadn't noticed the effect on the Pause Syncing option. – Randy Orrison Mar 8 '17 at 13:03

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