5 Ways to Fix OneDrive When You Cannot Open Your Files

OneDrive is great for keeping your data safe in the cloud and sharing files across multiple devices. However, there are times when it doesn’t work properly and stops you from accessing your stored files. If OneDrive malfunctioning slows down your work, we are here to help.

1. Check OneDrive’s File Permissions

Before you move on to other OneDrive fixes, make sure you still have access to the file. Maybe the file creator revoked permission for your account, but the file or folder still shows in OneDrive. This is a common issue. The original file owner has locked you out without informing you.

Open the OneDrive app and select the file. Click the Open the details pane button from the top-right corner and check the Has access panel. If your name is no longer on the list, you cannot access the file.

Reach out to the file owner and ask them to reinstate your OneDrive file access.

2. Reset OneDrive

Keep in mind that when you reset OneDrive, it disconnects all your sync connections.

This includes OneDrive for personal use and OneDrive for school or work if you have set it up. Resetting OneDrive does not remove the shared files, so there’s no need to worry. Here is how you can reset the OneDrive desktop sync app:

  1. Press Win + R to open a Run dialog.
  2. Copy %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset and paste it into the dialog window, then press Enter.
  3. If Windows displays a Windows cannot find… message, copy and paste C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset into the Run dialog and press Enter.
  4. Reopen the OneDrive desktop app.


Now you have to reset the OneDrive store app. In the Start menu search bar, search for apps:onedrive and select App settings. In the app’s settings window, scroll down and click the Reset button.

3. Check if the File Is “On-Demand”

The OneDrive Files On-Demand feature allows you to save storage space on your device, both for desktop and mobile.

OneDrive shows the files you have access to on your computer or mobile but doesn’t download the files until you open them. The Files On-Demand issue is that you need an active internet connection to open the file.

These are the icons that Microsoft uses to identify the file’s status:

To make a file or folder available offline, right-click it and select Always keep on this device. The download time depends on your internet connection and the size of your files, but with a little bit of planning, you will always have available your most important files or folders.

Note: If you need to free up some storage space on your device, right-click one of the unimportant files or folders and select Free up space.

4. Check Storage Sense Settings

Storage Sense is a Windows 10 feature, but its purpose is the same. Saving storage space on your device. If you turn on Storage Sense, OneDrive will set an online-only view for any files you haven’t accessed in the past 30 days. This will stop you from accessing certain files if you don’t have an internet connection.

If you have files that you don’t open for a long period but still want to access at any time, it might be better to turn off Storage Sense. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Right-click Start, then head to Settings > System.
  2. From the left-hand menu, select Storage.
  3. Toggle the switch to turn Storage Sense off (or on).

If you don’t want to turn it off but want to configure its settings, click Configure Storage Sense or run it now. You can select how often to run Storage Sense, for how long your files should be kept in Recycle bin, or for how long your system should keep files in the Downloads folder if you don’t open them.

5. Check OneDrive Settings

When your laptop is in battery saver mode, OneDrive’s sync might be paused. To unpause OneDrive’s sync function, you need to change Windows 10 power settings or fix OneDrive sync pausing in battery saver mode. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Open OneDrive, then head to Help & Settings > Settings.
  2. Select the Settings tab.
  3. Uncheck Automatically pause sync when this device is in battery save mode.

Fix OneDrive to Regain Easy Access to Your Files

Being locked out of OneDrive is frustrating, without a doubt. The solutions we have put together in this article will walk you through fixing OneDrive so that you can access your important files within minutes.

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