Windows 8 displayed overlay icons on my SkyDrive files, so I could see which files are current and which are in sync.

After I upgraded to Windows 8.1 the files still sync, but I can't see if the files are current or not. The only way is to load a file, check for myself if the latest changes are there (if I remember them) and refresh until the file is synced. Which is a pain!
The sync overlay does only show for files which modified locally and are waiting to upload, it does not show up for files which had been changed on the server (other computer) and are waiting to download!!

So how do I get the file sync Status on Windows 8.1?

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    I find myself just checking the bandwidth usage in task manager to see if SkyDrive is still syncing. – Zong Oct 31 '13 at 17:21
  • That actually sounds like the best idea I read so far, thanks! – Sam Oct 31 '13 at 20:56

Unlike Windows 8, where synchronized files have an icon overlay. In Win8.1, no icon means it's synchronized.

So if the file that's linked to SkyDrive has no overlay icon, this means the content is synchronized. If the icon has a gray synchronization overlay, it means it's not yet completed synchronizing.

To get the details of synchronization, launch the SkyDrive app (from the Windows 8.1 Start Screen).

This will show you a summary of synchronization is shown which, if clicked, then shows details of files waiting to be uploaded and downloaded.


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  • It should be added that both the overlays and the status given by the metro app are somewhat unreliable. – Zong Oct 31 '13 at 17:20
  • @ZongLi Unreliable in what way? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Oct 31 '13 at 17:50
  • I have a few files that are synced but still have the icon. The metro app can get stuck on "pending" or "complete" for files, and will even show "complete" for unsynced files. – Zong Oct 31 '13 at 17:55
  • The Icon overlay is only visible if I have local changes which will be synced later. In my case I am waiting for changes which had been made on a 2nd Computer. The old SkyDrive showd the sync overlay for that, too, the new one does not so I might edit an old file without knowing it (generating a conflict). This was better in the old SkyDrive sync. – Sam Oct 31 '13 at 20:56

I also found it annoying that I couldn't see which files in my local skydrive folder were syncing with the cloud in Win 8.1

Accidently I ran into a workaround that works for me.

  1. Open your webbrowser ( I used Firefox), go to skydrive.com and login.
  2. Go to your mail.
  3. Make a new mail.
  4. Go to 'Insert' → 'Files as attachments' (or something like that, I'm doing this in Dutch).
  5. Go to the local Skydrive folder and open it.
  6. The files and folders that are synced have two blue arrows in their icons. (At least, with me they have...)
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In windows explorer look to the left pane where the list of libraries is displayed beneath the Onedrive. At the bottom of the pane you will see a download/upload status- eg Downloaidng 5 GB of 10 GB (50% done)

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I could not find any Modern app that shows the upload/download status.

The only way I found is to click on the file in File Explorer and check the status bar: it will say "Available Offline" if the file is synced, or "Available Online" if it is on the cloud (and the local file is only a shortcut).

From File Explorer you can right click the file or folder and choose "Make available Offline", which will download the file. Or "Make available online only", this will create the shortcut and free-up some disk space.

It's not the way I like the most, because I have non-constant internet connection. But for always-on devices and ultrabooks/tablets with limited disk-space it actually makes sense. I just wish MS would have explained this change more clearly BEFORE, because if I knew this I would never have updated to 8.1...

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  • As I wrote before, my use case is where I have made changes on some other computer to a file which is locally available on this one, too. So the file is available offline, but SkyDrive has pending downloads with changes made on some other computer. If I change this file locally I'll have a sync conflict (and I can make changes since it is available offline). – Sam Dec 9 '13 at 6:50

One stupid simple solution I just found out myself: Check out


(for Windows, similar user folders in other OSes)

There is a SyncDiagnostics.log file.

It gets updated when OneDrive is syncing, checking the status and mapping of online files and when it's done synchronizing. (One little caveat, though: OneDrive won't update the log, when the only file to sync is blocked by a file handle.)

For example, you could check for file modification and then check the variable


In my experience it shows 0 for done and 255 for syncing.

There are also other interesting variables you can utilize, like FilesToDownload and FilesToUpload and so on.

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