The Challenges of Using OneDrive for PC Gaming

Learn about the conflicts that can arise when using OneDrive for PC gaming and how to opt out of it.


Creating conflict

One of the main problems with using OneDrive for PC gaming is the automatic syncing of your documents folder. When signing into your Microsoft account on a new PC, OneDrive automatically syncs this folder, which can cause conflicts when moving between devices.

For example, games like Red Dead Redemption 2 store their settings files in the documents folder. If you've launched the game on another PC and the settings file is already synced with OneDrive, it can prevent you from playing the game.

Solving this problem requires deleting the launcher, deleting the settings folder in both OneDrive and locally, quitting OneDrive, and reinstalling the launcher.

Opt in by default

The issue with OneDrive is that it syncs files automatically on Windows, which can lead to conflicts. While this is not unique to OneDrive, it becomes a problem for PC gaming because it's a default setting.

Microsoft often pushes its apps on Windows users, including OneDrive, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Store, and the Xbox app. However, the problem with OneDrive is that it can cause real problems that aren't always easy to troubleshoot.

Instead of being an opt-out service, OneDrive should be something that users need to actively opt into.

How to opt out of OneDrive

To opt out of OneDrive syncing your files across multiple devices, you can prevent it from starting when you boot your PC. Open OneDrive and go to the settings by right-clicking on the cloud icon in the taskbar and selecting Settings.

Under the Account section, choose the option to Unlink this PC. Additionally, you can search for startup apps in the Windows search bar and uncheck the box for Microsoft OneDrive.

These steps provide two layers of protection to keep OneDrive from syncing with your device. You can also exclude specific files and folders from syncing through the OneDrive settings menu.