Ways to Fix OneDrive Files Cannot Be Deleted Windows 10/11

: Can’t delete specific files or folders from OneDrive despite wanting to purge it of clutter? Here’s a fast workaround for it. Because it can connect to numerous devices and transfer files between them, OneDrive is very well-liked by Windows 10 users. This blog is a great help in learning to fix OneDrive files cannot be deleted issues. It will, however, occasionally encounter problems and prevent you from deleting files or folders. Do not be concerned if this occurs to you. Let’s instead look at all the alternatives you have for keeping your cloud storage space free of unused or dated files and folders.

How to Fix OneDrive Files Cannot Be Deleted On Windows

What should you do if you wish to delete a file or folder from OneDrive but discover that such files or folders cannot be deleted? You can now read this post to get the best solutions to the “Fix OneDrive files cannot be deleted in Windows 10” problem.


OneDrive is a popular cloud file storage service. It offers services such as file security, backup, and synchronization. Because all Microsoft OneDrive files are kept in the online cloud storage service, you may access them from any device.

However, OneDrive’s storage space is restricted. You get 5 GB of free cloud storage space, therefore you must delete any superfluous or duplicate OneDrive documents as soon as possible. However, you may discover that some OneDrive files or folders cannot be erased through this process. You may see problems such as OneDrive can’t erase pending folder sync.

How can I delete OneDrive folders or files that are not accessible?

Please keep reading to learn the solution.

1. Ensure the File Is Closed Beforehand

It is conceivable that the file cannot be deleted because a program is using it. Ensure you’ve closed the file on your device and ask other network users to do the same. Check to see if you have shared the file with others, and if necessary, cease sharing the file.

2. Examine the File and Folder Permissions

If the folder was shared with you by someone else and someone altered the link permission in OneDrive, you may not have the necessary permissions to delete it. You may ask the administrator for permission or to delete the file on your behalf.

3. Attempt Deletion From Another Device

If you are the file’s administrator or have the required permissions but are still unable to delete the file, you can attempt deleting it on a different device. Since all files and folders in OneDrive are synchronized across all devices, you can delete a file from your phone or another computer.

4. Rename or relocate the file or directory

This is a peculiar technique, but sometimes changing the file’s name will allow you to delete an otherwise unremovable file. To rename a file, select it and press F2 or pick Rename on the toolbar. Next, attempt to delete it.

If this does not work, you can also attempt relocating the file, which has proven successful for some users. Try eliminating the file again after copying it outside the OneDrive folder and pasting it elsewhere.

Read more sections below to fix OneDrive files cannot be deleted.

5. Do Pause OneDrive Sync

If OneDrive is in the process of synchronizing the folder, it will prevent you from deleting it. You can temporarily pause the synchronization and delete the file.

Follow these steps to disable OneDrive’s synchronization and remove the folder:

  • Launch OneDrive from the system tray.
  • Click the Help & Settings icon in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  • Click Pause synchronization and select the desired pause duration.


Try to delete the file a few moments after halting OneDrive’s synchronization. If you wish to resume synchronization after deleting a file, launch OneDrive and select the Pause button. Or, navigate to Help & Settings > Resume syncing.

6. Disable Files on Demand

The Files on Demand feature of OneDrive enables you to store files and folders in the cloud and access them from your devices without first downloading them. This is an excellent option for freeing up space on your HDD or SSD; however, it may prevent you from deleting a file. Here is how to disable it:

  • Right-click the icon for OneDrive in the taskbar.
  • Click Help & Settings > Settings.
  • Select the Configuration tab.
  • Deactivate Save space and download files as needed. If the option is already disabled, toggle it on and off again.
  • Click OK to save the modifications.


Once the file has been successfully deleted, repeat the steps and re-enable Files on Demand.

7. Reset OneDrive

If you are still unable to eliminate files from OneDrive, you should reset the service. The reset of OneDrive will not delete any of your folders or files, thankfully. However, it will terminate all sync connections, so you will need to re-add the folders you wish to synchronize.

Here are the steps to reset OneDrive:

  • Launch the OneDrive client.
  • Click the menu’s three dots in the upper-right corner.
  • Choose Settings.
  • Click Reset now from the menu’s bottom.

If Windows displays the error message Windows cannot find, launch Command Prompt with administrative privileges and execute the

C:\Program Files > Microsoft OneDrive > onedrive.exe > /reset parameter.

Delete the File Forever

If you had trouble deleting a file from OneDrive, you’ll want to ensure that it’s gone permanently. If you want to permanently delete your OneDrive files and folders, there is one additional action to take after you have successfully deleted them. Launch the OneDrive application and select Recycle Bin from the menu on the left.

You should see your deleted files there. You can click Empty recycle receptacle to delete all files, or you can select them one by one before erasing them.

Delete OneDrive Files Once Again

Managing your OneDrive files may be difficult, particularly if you have a large number of shared files and folders.

If you have the necessary permissions but are still unable to delete the file, you can rename the file or copy and paste it outside of OneDrive. If this does not resolve the issue, you can reset the application or reconfigure its settings.

When If you use OneDrive frequently, it may be worthwhile to learn more about its features in order to get the most out of your account. This way one can fix OneDrive files cannot be deleted on Windows 10, 11, 8 and 7.

Read More Relevant info:

Tips on How to Recover Lost BitLocker Data

Tips to Fix USB Drive Keep Showing Deleted Files Windows 11/10

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