OneDrive mysteriously vanishes on Windows 10 machines

Starting in May 2018, around the time of Windows version 1803 rolling out, I noticed that more than half the computers I work with had lost the OneDrive client.  In other words, OneDrive stopped syncing in Windows!  Changes I was making weren’t showing up on other computers, and I had to get to the bottom of it.

I quickly found that one can reinstall OneDrive in Windows 10 anytime by:

  1. Press the WINDOWS key
  2. Type COMMAND
  3. When Command Prompt appears as an option, right click it and select RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR
    1. If presented with a security prompt, press OK
  4. In the box that appears, type this: %SystemRoot%\SysWOW64\OneDriveSetup.exe
    1. If you are not running 64 bit Windows 10, then type %SystemRoot%\System32\OneDriveSetup.exe instead
  5. If that doesn’t work (especially if you are warned that a newer version is installed), open a program called REGEDIT (if you’re not sure what this is, get help)
    1. Go to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\OneDrive and find version number.  Change it to 17.
  6. Now go to onedrive.com, download the latest desktop app and install from there.

These are not intended to be do it yourself instructions – if you’re not clear, get help on this task.  But most importantly, if your OneDrive client is missing, make sure it gets fixed right away before your files are at risk of being lost/confused.

Please note I can take no responsibility for your machine or data should you follow the above instructions and fail.

 

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