How to start the OneDrive application

Not seeing the OneDrive icon? Learn how to start and ensure OneDrive is running to gain access to new or un-opened documents hosted in the Microsoft 365 cloud

Sometimes things stop working or don't start-up as expected. If this happens to your OneDrive application you can find yourself in a sticky situation fast, especially when your boss is asking for updates to a file you can no longer open. Though a short and straight forward process, I have seen dozens upon dozens of users not sure what to look for and/or how start OneDrive; hence this article. In short, if you are having issues accessing a file or folder in OneDrive, the fix maybe as simple as starting the application. 

Additionally, I will link to another article that shows you how check and modify the OneDrive auto-start process in Windows . This will show you how to enable/disable as desired.


  • a working OneDrive installation (how to repair a broken OneDrive installation)
  • Windows Computer (this was created using Windows 10, but will work on 11 (though it may differ in appearance )
  • OPTIONAL: An active OneDrive account (though not really a technical requirement for OneDrive to start... I am not sure why you would want it running otherwise, but you do you)
  • OPTIONAL: Files in OneDrive to confirm working (again not a technical requirement, but to confirm working I always prefer to be able to test open a file that is not locally available . Files can be uploaded via web interface if needed)

How to check the status of and start OneDrive 

  1.  Confirm it is/is not running by looking for the icon by your time    (mine is not)
    1. Click the arrow to expand full System Tray
    2. Locate or confirm absence of the OneDrive icon (mouse over to display name of the icon)

      (I have removed Non-Microsoft/System Icons)
  2. Click Start button/Windows button  on your taskbar (typically located in the lower left of your screen)

    (or press the "Windows" key on your keyboard)
  3. Start typing the word “OneDrive”, you will see the OneDrive application displayed as you type

  4. Click the "Icon" or the word "Open" to open the application (if you just type OneDrive and its highlighted (as it is in the picture below), you can also press the "enter" key on your keyboard and do not need to use the mouse)

  5. Confirm that OneDrive is running in the system tray, by the clock (moving your mouse/cursor over an icon will display its name)


  • If you do not have an account configured already in OneDrive, when opening it you will be prompted to login and given a chance to sign-up as well
  • If OneDrive is suppose to Auto-Start with windows (or you want it to) check out this KB Article - How to Enable/Disable OneDrive Auto-Starting with Windows 10

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2021-12-28 11:23:01
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