Stop Syncing a SharePoint library to your computer
If you have previously synced a SharePoint library to your computer, and you want to stop syncing it, then this article will help you. Syncing a library to your computer allows you to easily access the contents of the library through your computer’s file explorer (or Mac Finder). If you will no longer be accessing the library frequently, you will want to stop syncing it.
There are TWO important steps to removing a synced library from your computer. You must perform both steps and they must be performed in order. If you perform the second step first (delete the folder), then you will most likely delete the contents of the library from the cloud (not just your computer).
1) Stop syncing the library to your computer.
2) Manually delete the library from your computer.
When you perform the first step (stop syncing a SharePoint library to your computer) it does not remove the library’s files from your computer. You will no longer see the library on the left of your File Explorer, but the files which were downloaded will be left on your computer. However, they will no longer be updated when changes are made by others.
Stop syncing a SharePoint library to your computer
To use these steps you must have already synced a SharePoint library to your computer, perhaps by following the steps in the Sync Based on a Library Link article. The library may have been deleted from SharePoint, or you may just not need immediate access to it any longer. Either way, follow these steps to stop syncing it.
NOTES: These steps are shown to stop syncing a library on a Windows 10 computer, but you can follow the same steps on a Mac (though the screens will vary) and/or on Windows 11.
Does this remove the synced library from my computer?
The final step above will remove the library folder from your computer. if you do not perform the last step and delete the folder then the files that were synced to your computer will remain on your computer, but they will no longer be updated with changes made to the library.
Why were only some of the library files left behind on my computer?
SharePoint libraries do not copy all files to your computer when you sync the library. It gives you access to the entire library structure (file and folder headings), but only the files that you create or access are synced to your computer. This saves a lot of space as only the file you touch are downloaded. When you stop syncing the library, only the files that you had accessed (and were on your computer) will remain there.
Why should I stop syncing a library?
Usually, you stop syncing when you no longer need to access the library regularly. You may wish to free up the space on your computer and save your computer from the extra resources required to sync a library you don’t often use. You may also stop syncing with a library if your access to the library has been revoked.
One library is no longer syncing on my computer. What should I do?
There may be a problem with OneDrive on your computer, or you may no longer have access to that library. Please refer to this article.
I changed my mind and I want to sync the library again (after stopping to sync it). Can I?
Yes. However, since the library folder was left on your computer, if you sync the same library again, you will be prompted to choose the same folder, or a new one, as in this window:
If you are syncing a library that you just recently (a day or so) stopped syncing, then select “Use this folder”. If it has been a while since you stopped syncing the library, then we suggest you choose “Create new folder”.
If you have questions about this, please let us know and we will be happy to assist you.