SkyDrive (soon to be rebranded as OneDrive) is deeply integrated into Windows 8.1 and is the default location to save photos, documents, and more. But not every Windows user might not want to use SkyDrive to save their files, especially if they’ve been happy with other cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive. Or maybe you don’t like to save your data in the cloud at all and prefer an external drive, NAS, or Home Server. If you find SkyDrive to be too annoying while using Windows 8.1 here’s how to disable it.
Ditch SkyDrive in Windows 8.1
To get rid of it completely across the entire system, you can use Group Policy to disable it.
Note: Local Group Policy is only available in the Pro version of Windows 8.1
On your keyboard hit Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog and type: gpedit.msc and hit Enter to open Local Group Policy Editor.
Next navigate to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\SkyDrive. In the right panel, double click Prevent the usage of SkyDrive for File Storage.
In the next screen select Enabled and click OK to save the setting and close out of Group Policy.
After that you should see SkyDrive is gone from Explorer. If it’s still there, reboot you machine and it should be gone.
And that it’s disabled in the modern interface. The tile is still there – but it’s easy to unpin it – but there won’t be any access to the drive.
You won’t be able to access any of the options either.
If you still want to see what’s in the SkyDrive folder, you can right click an empty area in the left pane of Explorer and check Show All Folders.
This process doesn’t completely uninstall SkyDrive from the operating system, but it does make it less accessible and disabled for use in the modern side of things.
Maybe you don’t want to completely remove SkyDrive from the equation, so here’s a few articles that explain tweaking different aspects of SkyDrive in Windows:
- Remove synced data from SkyDrive
- Stop Syncing Office 2013 Documents
- Make Office Documents Save to Your Computer by Default (not SkyDrive)
Personally, I love SkyDrive and am happy with the way Microsoft has been integrating it in with Office 2013 and 365 and other mobile platforms like Android and iOS. But if you aren’t, you can tone it down and use Dropbox or other solution.