OneDrive Screwed Up Your Desktop? The Solution
By Richard Beaty
I have 1TB of cloud storage in OneDrive, thanks to my Office 365 subscription. So, I consider this a valuable resource. Were it not for that, I would dump OneDrive altogether, as it functions mysteriously and frequently does things you do not want it to do.
In Windows 11, Microsoft has seen fit to incorporate OneDrive into just about any file operation you might wish to perform. If you make the mistake of electing to sync OneDrive when you install Windows 11 (as I did), you are in for some surprises.
One of these surprises is that you are vulnerable to having your desktop suddenly loaded up with loads of files and folders, including many duplicates or even triplicates. I don’t have any idea where these came from, and I certainly didn’t ask for it.
I discovered that I’m not the only one to experience having my Desktop display what Microsoft thinks it should be rather than what I want it to be. Google has lots of listings for “onedrive screwed up my desktop.”
Fortunately, I have found the solution. Here’s a step-wise procedure for un-syncing OneDrive to restore your original desktop, or some semblance of what it used to be. It will put you back in control of your own desktop.
1. Right-click the OneDrive icon in the Notification Area & select Settings
2. Select "Sync and backup" ; then "Manage Backup."
3. Deselect the folders below:
You may still have to do some work to fully restore your desktop to what it was before, but at least, it will put YOU back in control, not MICROSOFT.