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Almost all data now is stored online either in OneDrive or SharePoint. 
As the files and documents are online, we need to make sure that we can always access them.  
The OneDrive sync client is what allows this to work and keeps your data synchronised.  


The OneDrive sync client is an application that runs on your PC to ensure that your OneDrive/SharePoint data is always syncing between your device and online.  

This is represented by a Blue Cloud at the bottom right corner of your desktop next to your time and date.  

The icon can have a variant of different symbols that can relate to different issues or ongoings of the application, the below link covers these in detail: 

What do the OneDrive icons mean? – Office Support (microsoft.com) 

Why and how we end up with synchronisation errors? 


After updates OneDrive may not start automatically. This functionality runs when you logon and does not normally occur whilst you are using the device. Pending updates can also cause system instability that can lead to software crashes and other problems. In this case OneDrive could crash and not re-open.  

The Fix 

  • You can click your start menu and start OneDrive again. This will resume synchronisation of your data.  
  • If this has happened due to pending updates, then a restart is advisable. This is the best solution and will ensure your device updates and install patches.  

NOTE: Regular restarts throughout the week will ensure this problem does not occur.  

Power Saving mode 

Commonly with laptops that use the power saving feature, OneDrive will pause syncing to help your laptop save battery. This causing problems with your sync and eventually if you run out of battery, you may loose unsaved changes.  

The Fix 

  • Ensure when working that you keep your laptop plugged in and charging.  
  • If you right click your OneDrive sync client cloud icon, you can choose ‘settings’ and under the general tab you can disable this feature. Be warned that battery will run out faster.  

Restarts and Shutdowns. 

This is a common problem and occurs when we do not shutdown or restart our devices properly. What we mean is that a when we click ‘Restart’ or ‘Shutdown’ we do one of the following: 

  • After clicking shutdown or restart we close the lid (laptop only) 
  • After clicking shutdown or restart we walked away from the device. 

With the former, we put the laptop to sleep, preventing it from completing the process. What it does instead is: 

  • Keep you logged on. 
  • Close all your apps, including OneDrive sync client! 

With the latter, we walk away from the device. Unknown to us windows will ask “You still have applications open, are you sure you want to continue?”. If you ignore this prompt, what it does instead is: 

  • Keep you logged on. 
  • Close all your apps, including OneDrive sync client! 

The Fix 

  • Make sure you any shutdown and restart are monitoring and completes as expected.  
  • When using a laptop, only close the lid after all the lights turn off on the device.  
  • If prompted to confirm you want to shutdown or restart, confirm the choice. 

OneDrive sync Client has a red circle and White X 

If you find your OneDrive Sync Client has a red circle with a white X on it, then you may have some files that are not syncing properly. This can happen for a variety of reasons that we will not go into here.  

Do not panic. These errors are usually simple and resolvable by yourself.  

If you click on the sync client, OneDrive will show you what files are not syncing. If you follow what the client tells you, it will tell you how to resolve the problem and the reason why it has not synced.  

In most case simply opening the file again will resolve the problem.