How to Remove Duplicate Files from OneDrive

Duplicate files are notorious for making their way on every storage device, including OneDrive, the cloud storage. If you struggle with duplicate files stored on OneDrive, taking unwanted space and making you run out of 5G free storage, making organizing files difficult, you are at the right place. This article will explain how you can automatically remove duplicates from OneDrive.

How are Duplicates Created on One Drive?

Usually, when there is a sync issue, duplicates are created on OneDrive. This happens when multiple people simultaneously edit the same file. When the changes made by another person are not correctly synced, OneDrive, to prevent data loss, creates different versions of the file, which results in duplicate files. To deal with this issue, check the file version and delete the one you don’t require. In addition, to avoid sync issues, we suggest refreshing your login details, resetting the OneDrive app, and uninstalling and reinstalling the OneDrive app.

Can duplicates be uploaded on OneDrive?

The answer to this question is both yes and no.

OneDrive has a very basic feature to detect duplicates. The feature identifies duplicates by file name and extension. This means if the content is the same but the file name differs, the file will be uploaded without any notification.

In addition, the Camera upload feature is responsible for creating duplicate images and videos.

Note – OneDrive cannot detect existing duplicates. If the drive is filled with duplicates, you must sift through each file manually or use a duplicate finder tool like Duplicate Files Fixer.

How to Manually Find Duplicate Files in OneDrive

OneDrive generally has two types of duplicate files. They are:

File copies with computer name.

Usual duplicates.

  • Usual duplicates.

Unlink OneDrive to Delete Duplicates

Before we learn the steps to delete duplicate photos and remove duplicate files from OneDrive, it is best to unlink OneDrive temporarily. This will stop the data sync; you can find duplicates and remove them without accumulating more. This unlinking also helps troubleshoot the issue of OneDrive mistakenly creating duplicates.

Steps to Unlink OneDrive:

  1. Go to the Taskbar and right-click the OneDrive icon
  2. Click OneDrive Help and Settings icon > click Settings.
  3. Select the Account tab > select ‘Unlink this PC.’

This will unlink your PC, allowing you to delete duplicates and manage data.

Once that is done, reboot the PC and relink OneDrive. You should no longer see duplicates.

Why are duplicates created with computer names?

This happens when the same OneDrive account is used on two or more devices. For example, when you are running OneDrive on a PC that goes offline, the file is saved, but OneDrive fails to sync it. Therefore, when that PC goes online, OneDrive adds a computer name for identification.

Steps to delete duplicate files with computer names

To manually find such duplicate files follow these steps:

Step 1: Go to Taskbar. Step 2: Click the OneDrive icon and select the Open folder.

Step 3: Right-click on the space > select Sort by tab > select Name or Size.

Duplicate Files

Step 4: You will now be able to see the duplicate files.

Step 5: Select them, right-click, and select Delete to remove them from OneDrive. To select multiple files, press the Shift key and use the mouse cursor to select files.

Step 6: Right-click and select Delete.

If this is too much work can take the help of a duplicate file finder tool like Duplicate Files Fixer.

How to Prevent Duplicate Files From Being Created in OneDrive

Method 1: Make Changes to OneDrive Settings

If you don’t want duplicates to accumulate, enable the settings to merge duplicate files. Here’s how you can do that:

Step 1:  Go to Task Manager and click the OneDrive icon.

Step 2: Click the gear icon to open the OneDrive settings.

Duplicate Files

Step 3: Click the Office tab and select the radio button next to Let me choose to merge changes or keep both copies > click OK.

Duplicate Files

This way, you can decide whether to merge or keep both copies. This will allow you to review the file and decide the action.

Method 2: Refresh login details

If you find that duplicates are being created on OneDrive with computer names in file names, there can be a sync issue. To fix it, refresh the credential by following the steps below:

Step 1: Press Windows + S and type Credential Manager. Select the best search result and access it.

Step 2: Go to Windows Credentials tab.

Step 3: Look for the Generic Credentials section > find all content containing OneDrive Cached Credentials > click the small triangle on the right to select Remove.

Step 4: Restart your OneDrive.

Method 3 – Reset the OneDrive desktop sync app

  1. Press the Windows + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type wsreset.exe, click OK.
  3. Wait for about ten seconds. You will get a blank Command Prompt window. Exit the Microsoft Store window.
  4. Press the Windows + R keys again to bring up the Run window.
  5. Copy and paste the following command and press OK.
    %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset
    If you see a “Windows cannot find…” message, copy and paste the alternate command and press OK.
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset
    If you again get the same message, copy and paste the following command:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset and click Ok.
  6. Manually restart OneDrive.

Note: Resetting OneDrive will reset your existing sync connections. This means you will have to sync connections again.

Resetting the OneDrive store app on Windows

  1. Press Start   and enter apps:onedrive
  2. Select App settings
  3. Scroll down the list and select Reset.

Wrap Up

The above steps will help find and remove duplicate files and photos from OneDrive. You can do it manually or can use a duplicate finder tool. Choose the method that suits you and avoid being a victim of duplicate files. If you have any concerns, please leave us a comment.

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