I have previously asked how I can install, or upgrade to, Windows 8.1, without using a Microsoft account, because "I like to keep things separate, and just logon with a tradional local account. Any apps that require me to sign-in with my Live account, will have to prompt me to sign-in".

Until now, I never got around to connect my Windows 8.1 PCs to my OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive), which is now baked in to Windows 8.1. Unfortunately, it's apparently no longer possible to use OneDrive, when signing on to PC with a local account:


I can only download the application for Windows Vista, 7 or 8. Attempting to run the installed on Windows 8.1 just displays a windows with the text "Preparing OneDrive for first use" for a while, then exits without allowing me to sign-in.

Just to clarify: I'm of course aware that I would need to sign-in to OneDrive with my Microsoft account, I just much prefer signing in to the application, instead of my PC.

Considering how Microsoft went out of their way, to make it almost impossible to install Windows 8.1 without a Microsoft account, is there some (covoluted) way to make OneDrive sync, without forcing me to sign in with a bloody Microsoft account? How?

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    When you say you are ok about signing into OneDrive, do you mean some way other than opening a browser and navigating to onedrive.com (and then signing in on the top right)? I can log in that way to other microsoft accounts other than my PC account that way. File access thru the browser still allows upload/download.
    – jdh
    Mar 22, 2014 at 14:31
  • Clarified question. I'm talking about sync'ing, not just accessing (which could be through a browser)
    – abstrask
    Mar 22, 2014 at 15:08
  • I hear your cries! I just started using Windows 8.1 Update 1 on a lab computer to learn the system. I had previously only used Windows 8.x on a laptop at work for a few months and with a local account. OneDrive has no official win32 program. I learn now that there used to be one for the old Windows 8.0 when it was called SkyDrive. But that program is also probably removed from the Microsoft website, and with nowhere to download it, it is effectively forcing Windows 8.0 users to upgrade "freely" to 8.1 and Update 1, and start using "OneDrive" which is now integrated.
    – Samir
    Sep 13, 2014 at 12:18

5 Answers 5


Use the tool syncDriver to use OneDrive under Windows 8.1 when you use a local account:

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    Thanks for the suggestion, though I would much have preferred to be able to use the official, or built-in, OneDrive application. I'm generally not crazy about providing my credentials to random 3rd party apps, and I have no idea how good the sync and conflict algorithms are.
    – abstrask
    Apr 10, 2014 at 11:02
  • there is no other way. The tool uses the LiveSDK and the devs can't steal data. Apr 10, 2014 at 18:09
  • Is using LiveSDK an indication on how good the syncing will be?
    – Bertvan
    Apr 23, 2014 at 11:45
  • @Bertvan I have no idea what the SDK has to do with the sync. Apr 23, 2014 at 15:18
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    @Chloe You can download it from the wayback machine web.archive.org/web/20161125113322/http://syncdriver.com/…
    – DavidPostill
    Jul 14, 2017 at 7:26

I have had the same problem but use a very useful backup program (Goodsync) for all of my backups and will also sync any folder (or folders) with any Cloud storage, including onedrive, idrive, goodledrive etc. It has the unique option of syncing from either side to the other, as a backup, or both sides in the same way that that onedrive syncs. This way you keep your local sign-on to windows.


The official OneDrive app for Windows 7 and older works for 8.1 as well, even with a local account. It looks like it supports multiple accounts and folders.

The only issue I had was that the installer didn't create a shortcut or open it. I had to launch it myself from %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive

Download it here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/OneDrive-desktop-app-for-Windows-850703dd-ea56-4c7a-bff5-6c2e4da227cf


Here's a possible solution without using any third party and that works for any OS (including Linux/Mac).

  1. Open OneDrive on your browser
  2. Right-click on the File link at the left menu and copy the link
  3. The url contains a &cid=XXXXX part, the code XXXXX is your ID that you need later
  4. Open File Explorer (Windows Explorer), right-click My Computer and choose Map Network Drive
  5. Add https://d.docs.live.net/XXXXX as the Folder (changing XXXXX with your CID)
  6. Put your credentials and a Network folder is added to your computer

Obs.: If you have two-factor auth you need to create an app password at https://account.live.com/proofs/AppPassword

source: https://www.ghacks.net/2013/11/09/access-skydrive-windows-8-1-using-local-accounts/


Found a solution that worked for me here.

SO the solution was to do the following and it seems to be working properly now on 2016. No need to roll back to one drive for business 2013

1.Accessed Control Panel > Selected the Microsoft Office Subscription > right clicked > change > Selected Online Repair

2.Removed all the stored credentials in the credentials manager (control panel > credentials manager)

  1. Restarted the computer

  2. Deleted the folder's below:



  1. Sign in Word (opened blank document > file > account > signed out and signed in office 365 account)

  2. Started OneDrive for Business. ( from the search bar typed OneDrive for Business> clicked on the app > sync a different library instead pasted the url of the team site “Public documents” > sync now

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    What you describe does not answer the question the author asked OneDrive For Business is an entirely separate service from OneDrive...
    – Ramhound
    Jan 5, 2016 at 11:47

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