What is OneDrive?

What is OneDrive
What is OneDrive

Before we dive into the specific solutions on how to remove files from OneDrive but not PC, let's first understand what OneDrive is. OneDrive is a cloud storage platform provided by Microsoft, allowing users to store, sync, and share OneDrive files and folders across different devices. It offers seamless integration with other Microsoft applications, making it a popular choice for individuals and businesses alike.

OneDrive provides several options for managing your files, including organizing them into folders, creating backups, and sharing them with others. These features make it a versatile tool for both personal and professional use.

File Syncing Overview

To comprehend how to remove files from OneDrive but keep on PC, we need to grasp the concept of file syncing.

OneDrive utilizes a syncing feature that automatically updates files across all connected devices. When you make changes to a file on one device, those changes are reflected on all other devices linked to your OneDrive account. This ensures that you have the most recent version of your files, regardless of the device you are using.

How to Remove Files from OneDrive but Not PC [2 Methods]

Now let's focus on the main topic of this article—how to delete files from OneDrive but not PC. We will explore 2 different methods to accomplish this in this section.

Method 1. Move Files Out of OneDrive Folder

Embarking on the task of deliberately deleting files while aiming to retain them can potentially lead to unexpected damages. It's crucial to acknowledge that numerous errors could occur, including the accidental deletion of files from both OneDrive and your PC. So, backing up OneDrive data before deleting them is a very efficient approach to safeguard yourself against such damages.

Besides, before the steps below, you need to make sure that you download OneDrive to your computer and turn on the syncing button.

Step 1: Open OneDrive in File Explorer and log in to your account.

Step 2: Select the files or folders that you want to remove from OneDrive.

Select Folders on OneDrive Desktop
Select Folders on OneDrive Desktop

Step 3: Drag these files and drop them into the folder which is on your PC but not on OneDrive.

Step 4: Enter the OneDrive website, open Recycle bin, and select the files you deleted before. Then click “Delete” in the upper bar and these files will thoroughly disappear on OneDrive but still keep on your PC.

Delete OneDrive Files in Recycle Bin
Delete OneDrive Files in Recycle Bin

Method 2: Unlink OneDrive from PC

If you have decided to discontinue using OneDrive entirely, there is an alternative method to follow. By unlinking your computer's OneDrive folder from the OneDrive online storage, you can achieve the desired outcome.

Step 1: Click the OneDrive icon on your taskbar and choose “Settings”.

Open OneDrive Settings
Open OneDrive Settings

Step 2: Choose the “Account” option, click “Unlink this PC”, and tap “Unlink account”. Then your OneDrive would stop syncing.

Unlink OneDrive Account on PC
Unlink OneDrive Account on PC

Step 3: Enter the OneDrive website, select the files or folders you’d like to remove, and click “Delete”. This action won’t affect the files on your PC but the selected files are definitely deleted on your OneDrive.

Delete OneDrive Folders
Delete OneDrive Folders

Bonus Tip: Transfer OneDrive Files to Another Cloud via MultCloud

If you try to delete files from OneDrive but not on PC because of the limited OneDrive storage, transferring files from OneDrive to another cloud or another OneDrive account is a great workaround.

MultCloud is a convenient cloud-management service, designed to facilitate seamless data migration between various cloud accounts. If you wish to migrate your OneDrive data to another account, you can follow these simple steps. And we take moving OneDrive data to Google Drive as an example.

Step 1: Visit the MultCloud website and sign up for a new account. Once registered, log in to your MultCloud account.

Step 2: Click on the "Add Clouds" button to connect your OneDrive and Google Drive accounts. Follow the instructions to authorize access to both cloud accounts.

Add OneDrive and Google Drive
Add OneDrive and Google Drive

Step 3: Click on the "Cloud Transfer" tab in MultCloud and select OneDrive as the source cloud and Google Drive as the destination cloud. Then choose the files and folders you want to transfer from OneDrive to Google Drive and click on the "Transfer Now" button to begin the process.

Transfer OneDrive to Google Drive
Transfer OneDrive to Google Drive


  • MultCloud provides various transfer options. You can choose to delete OneDrive files after they are transferred to Google Drive. Additionally, you can enable options like “Skip the file” for handling existing files with the same name in Google Drive.
  • If you don’t want the transfer process to begin right now, you can use the Schedule to set a preferred time. When the appointed time arrives, MultCloud will run automatically.
  • Although you have 5 GB of free traffic every month, you can purchase more if you have many files to transfer between clouds.
Cloud Transfer Schedule
Cloud Transfer Schedule


You can master the solutions on how to remove files from OneDrive but not PC easily after reading this article. Whether you move files out of the OneDrive folder or unlink OneDrive from your PC, you can maintain local copies of your files without affecting the cloud storage. Choose the method that suits your needs best and enjoy the flexibility offered by OneDrive.

Besides, you can also use MultCloud to solve more cloud problems. For example, you can try MultCloud to sync files without updating them manually. Using Cloud Sync to sync OneDrive with Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box is as simple as using Cloud Transfer.

Are files on OneDrive also on my computer?
When you sync OneDrive files to your PC, the files are stored both in your OneDrive cloud storage and in a designated folder on your computer. Any changes made to these files are automatically synchronized between the two locations.
What happens to my files if I cancel OneDrive?
Canceling OneDrive will result in a loss of access and syncing capabilities for your files. Your storage capacity will revert to the free storage tier, which is typically 5 GB for personal accounts. Also, your ability to access and sync them across devices will be restricted. You won't be able to upload new files or make changes to existing files. Besides, after 90 days’ cancellation, Microsoft reserves the right to delete your files permanently.
Does deleting files from OneDrive delete from computer?
No, deleting files from OneDrive does not delete them from your computer by default. When you delete files from OneDrive, they are moved to the "Recycle Bin" or "Trash" folder within OneDrive, depending on the platform you are using. This action only affects the files stored in your OneDrive cloud storage.
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