How to Reinstall OneDrive After Being an Idiot

Little angry girl with text 10 minutes at work and I start using Fuck like a comma - FunnycoI’ve spent the past two days living the life of whining and complaining as the official Tech Nag only to find out that I screwed myself in my zealousness.

With the Windows 10 update, my world suddenly revolved around OneDrive. I have Google Drive and Dropbox, which the majority of my clients and students use, so why do I need another cloud-based service? With Microsoft changing and rechanging their free and paid storage plans, last thing I need is something else to confuse me.

After a couple months of confusion and inability to find my backup files and running into files being saved to OneDrive without my wishes, I’d had it. It was time to uninstall OneDrive and be done with it.

It took some work, too. It can be done and here are some resources on how to remove OneDrive.

Skip forward and I’m heading to a huge multi-day conference with my new Surface Pro 4, and I’m ready to take notes. Usually I use Evernote, but the integration and ease of OneNote caught my attention, so I thought I’d give it a try. Works lovely for what I’m doing, but pain in the ass when it wouldn’t sync between my desktop and Surface Pro 4.

Ah, that’s right, I uninstalled OneDrive and it is highly dependent upon OneDrive. That’s okay, I thought, I’ll just sync everything to Google Drive.

Three days later, it’s a mess as my ridiculously slow Internet is dragging ass as Google Drive is now hooked up to the Surface and 60 gigs of crap is filling it up. That’s fine, it can take it, but it is day three and I’ve got over 4,000 files not yet synced, and some of these are huge. Add to that there is a plane with my name on it and my ass and this computer need to be on it shortly.

Without a way to tell Google Drive to only sync with this machine and not that, and not dump everything onto a computer where I don’t want it (Hey, Google Drive folks, you listening?), all I freaking want to do is sync my OneNote notebooks without all this pain and suffering.

I make the decision to use OneDrive for my OneNote notebooks, if I don’t ever use it for anything else.

Except that it isn’t on my computer.

So I download it and double clickeroo to reinstall OneDrive and nothing happens. Silence. Dead Zone. Nothing here to look at folks.

I try every configuration and possibility, rebooting too many times, reinstalling Office 2013, and all but stripping things down to the bone and redoing the entire MFing computer setup of Windows 10 because OneDrive is integrated into the operating system.

Ah, that was my first clue.

Through days of searching, I finally found the answer here in Microsoft Support – Turn Off or Uninstall OneDrive.

In my zealous determination to rid this desktop computer of OneDrive, I turned off the computer privileges that allow it to activate and be used. This is why the programs didn’t work when I tried to run the installation software.

To keep this nag short:

  1. Click Start > Run > type gpedit.msc
  2. Navigate to Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > OneDrive
  3. Change it to NOT enable (if it says “enable” it won’t install or activate OneDrive)
  4. Apply, Save, or whatever the hell you have to do to make it take
  5. Download OneDrive (not the business version)
  6. Install it and pay close attention to where it sets the default OneDrive folder(s) through the installation process

Lesson learned, be careful with your zealous nature, and take freakin’ notes so you can remember how to undo what you did – and store them in a place where you can find them again.

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