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The Complete Guide to OneDrive Icons: Everything You Need to Know

Windows OS icons

When you encounter a red circle adorned with a white cross, it signifies that a file or folder is unable to synchronize. This notification is visible both in File Explorer and on the OneDrive notification area icons.

To gain insights into the issue, simply click on the OneDrive icon, which appears in either blue or white, located in the notification area

If you come across a OneDrive icon that is grayed out with a line through it, it indicates that either you're not signed in or the OneDrive setup hasn't been completed.

When you see the paused symbol on One Drive, it signifies that your files are currently not in the process of syncing

To resume the syncing process, click on the corresponding One Drive icon in the notification or menu bar area, choose "More", and then select "Resume syncing"

The presence of the circular white and blue sync arrows for OneDrive icon indicates that synchronization is currently underway. This encompasses scenarios such as uploading files or OneDrive syncs new files from the cloud to your PC. You can also see the sync icon online at - When unsure, go here first.

OneDrive regularly checks for updates in your files and folders, and it might display a message saying "Processing changes." If you see this message for a long time, it could be because you have a file open online, you're syncing a very large file, or many files waiting to be processed.

If you notice a red "no entry" style icon on your OneDrive icon, it indicates that your account is currently blocked.

If you spot a yellow warning triangle on your OneDrive icon, it's a signal that your account requires attention. Click on the icon to view the warning message displayed in the activity center.


To address the issue, carefully review the warning message in the activity center. It will provide details on what needs attention, allowing you to take the necessary steps to resolve the issue and ensure smooth operation of your OneDrive.

When you come across a 'people' icon alongside your OneDrive files or folders, it signals that the file or folder has been shared with others

If you notice a blue cloud icon without the 'people' icon next to your OneDrive files or folders, it means that the file is exclusively available online. Online-only files don’t occupy space on your computer, let me say this again. Only-only files don't occupy space on your computer. We highly recommend utilizing this in your daily workflow.

When you open a file that's initially available only online, it downloads to your device, transforming it into a locally available file. This enables you to access the file anytime, even without an internet connection.

If you find yourself needing more space, you can convert the file back to online-only. Simply right-click on the file and choose "Free up space".

If you mark files as 'Always keep on this device,' you'll see a green circle with a white checkmark. These files download to your device, taking up space, but they're always there for you, even when you're offline.

If you come across a gray X on your Windows Desktop shortcuts, it's not a OneDrive icon but rather a corrupted Windows shortcut icon. To address this issue, consider these steps:

1) Right-click on your Desktop and choose Refresh

2) Uninstall any backup applications that are no longer in use, and make sure to restart your computer after each uninstallation.

If you have signed in to the OneDrive sync app, you will see two OneDrive sync icons. The blue one is for your work or school account, the white one is for your personal account.

If you see a chain or link icon on a folder, it indicates that it's a shortcut to another folder that has been shared.

If you have any questions, please email us at

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