8 Ways to Fix Onedrive Cannot Connect to Windows

How to fix OneDrive cannot connect to Windows error message? Try the step-by-step guide of the 8 solutions to solve cannot connect to OneDrive in Windows 10/8/7.


by Ailsa Lasted Updated February 1, 2023

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OneDrive Cannot Connect to Windows Error

"Hi, I've been facing this issue for months, and occurred quite frequently (at least once a week), the error message shows like below:

OneDrive cannot connect to Windows. Files On-Demand requires a connection to Windows in order to show your files without taking up space on this device. OneDrive can keep trying to connect to Windows or you can choose to download all your files. You won’t be able to use online-only files until this is fixed.

Onedrive Cannot Connect to Windows

Try again only brings the same error message box after a few minutes. Please help, Thanks."

Question from support.microsoft.com

Why You Get OneDrive Cannot Connect to Windows Error?

As a matter of fact, there are some situations you might get the OneDrive cannot connect to Windows error when to access files in your OneDrive folder:

  • Installed Windows updates, like Windows 10 May 2020 Update (version 2004);

  • Enabling Files on Demand in OneDrive;

  • Installed some programs like FSLogix, Macrium Reflect, etc.

Don’t worry, all your files and folders are still there, and you can view them in OneDrive website or OneDrive mobile app.

8 Quick Fixes to OneDrive Cannot Connect to Windows

Then, how to fix OneDrive cannot connect to Windows files on demand requires a connection to Windows error? There are several proven solutions to fix.

Way 1. Uninstalling the Windows Update

To uninstall the installed Windows 10 May 2020 update or other Windows updates, please go to Windows Recovery settings: Settings > Update & SecurityRecovery > Go back to the previous version of Windows 10, then click Get Started.

Windows 10 Update Rollback

Note: if the Windows update installed more than 10 days, you cannot go back to Windows 10 previous version.

Way 2. Edit Register Key

1. Press the Windows + R key to open a Run window.

2. Type regedit and click OK.

3. Paste this path into the navigation bar at the top of the Registry Editor: 

Edit Windows Register Key

4. Double-click the DefaultInstance name.

5. Change the value data to CldFlt and select OK.

Regedit Edit String

6. Restart your computer.

Way 3. Reboot Your Computer

Sometimes, a reboot can fix most of the OneDrive errors, just take it a try.

Way 4. Uninstall, Reboot and Reinstall (Temporary fix)

There is another way to temporarily fix the OneDrive cannot connect to Windows, follow the steps:

  • Uninstall OneDrive.

  • Then reboot the computer. 

  • Reinstall OneDrive.

You can avoid the error for a while. But the OneDrive cannot connect to Windows error message might come back. It’s quite annoying.

Way 5. Install the Latest Windows Update

Sometimes, the latest Windows update will fix the OneDrive cannot connect to Windows error while accessing files on-demand in OneDrive folder. You can check for Windows Updates, and install them.

Way 6. Download Files and Relink OneDrive

Once you get the OneDrive cannot connect to Windows error, some users find that Try Again and Download Files are both not working. But you could relink OneDrive while restarting after clicking the Download Files button.

1. Click Download Files in OneDrive cannot connect to Windows error window.

2. Once the OneDrive app is restarted, right-click the OneDrive icon in the Windows system tray.

Onedrive Settings

3. And choose Settings > Account > Unlink this PC.

OneDrive Unlink This PC

4. Then reconnect your OneDrive account to your computer again, and all should be fine.

If not, try moving all OneDrive files to a different location before connecting again.

Way 7. Reset the OneDrive Desktop app

Reset Microsoft OneDrive may solve OneDrive cannot connect to Windows error and reset all OneDrive settings, and it will do a full sync after OneDrive reset. To reset OneDrive to fix unable to connect to OneDrive, just follow the below steps:

1. Press Windows + R key combination to open the Run dialog.

2. Copy and paste one of the commands and run:

%localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset 

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset

Onedrive Reset

3. Then start your OneDrive desktop app manually to check if the OneDrive cannot connect to the server solved.

Way 8. Reset Your Network Connection

Input cmd in the Windows search box and right click Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.

Run the following commands one by one:

  • netsh int ip reset

  • netsh winsock reset

  • ipconfig /release

  • ipconfig /renew

  • ipconfig /flushdns

Reset Network Windows

Then restart the computer to take effect.

The above ways to fix OneDrive cannot connect to Windows files on demand requires a connection to Windows also applied to the following errors:

  • There was a problem connecting to OneDrive, Check your Internet connection, and then try again. Error code: 0x8004de40

  • There was a problem signing you in. There's a problem with your account. To learn how to fix this problem, go to OneDrive .com and sign in. After you fix the problem, try again.

  • OneDrive couldn't start files on demand. Please restart your computer and try again, error code: 0xffffffea.

Better Way to Avoid OneDrive Cannot Connect to Windows

If you cannot fix the OneDrive cannot connect to Windows error message, it’s quite annoying. It’s better to try the free cloud backup service, CBackup, which allows you to sync or backup files to OneDrive automatically. Besides, you could enjoy more cloud storage, and automatically backup files to CBackup Cloud (10GB free), and restore them anytime you want.

Please download the best free cloud backup software - CBackup to have a try:

Download CBackup Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Below we will show you how to perform PC to cloud backup via CBackup.

1. Please create a free CBackup account and sign in to CBackup desktop app.

2. Hit Storage > select OneDrive > Authorize Now.

Select OneDrive

3. Click Backup tab, and press Backup PC to Public Cloud button to create a new task.

Backup PC to Public Cloud

Step 3. Rename the Task Name to differ from other tasks, and select files to backup, and tick the OneDrive as the destination.

Start Backup Files to OneDrive

Step 4. Press SettingsScheduler > Set a backup schedule for automated backup > choose One time only, etc., and click OK to perform OneDrive schedule backup.

Select Scheduled Backup Tab

Step 5. Hit Start Backup to backup files to OneDrive automatically.

Besides, you could choose the CBackup Cloud to backup files and provides you more cloud storage space (up to 5TB), and here are the steps to backup files to CBackup Cloud:

1. Please click Backup > Backup PC to CBackup Cloud.

Backup PC to CBackup Cloud

2. Then select the files to backup, and the CBackup Cloud will be chosen by default, and press the Start Backup button to backup files to CBackup Cloud easily.

Start Backup

Besides, you could enjoy the following features of CBackup to protect your data:

You could backup or sync files to Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, and more with powerful settings.
Generally speaking, the public cloud offers limited cloud storage, if your cloud storage is full, you could transfer one cloud to another larger cloud directly within minutes, or merge multiple clouds to get unlimited free cloud storage.

In the End

There are 8 solutions for you to resolve OneDrive cannot connect to Windows error message, just follow the steps to fix it quickly and easily.

If you still have problems using OneDrive, and cannot fix it, please try OneDrive alternative - CBackup to sync or backup files to OneDrive, or just enjoy the CBackup Cloud (10GB free cloud storage) and automatically backup files to the cloud. Besides, if your OneDrive is full, you could merge multiple OneDrive account to get more big backup space for free via CBackup.

Ailsa · Editor
Ailsa is an editor of CBackup, she has a good insight into cloud backup and cloud drive management, data backup and restore, and other data protection measures. She is pleasure in helping readers to solve computer problems. She loves shopping, traveling, and other beautiful things.