How To Delete From Onedrive Without Deleting From Phone

How To Articles

Have you ever faced the irritating problem of wanting to remove files from your OneDrive account without deleting them from your phone? I definitely have, and I am here to discuss my own personal encounters and advice on how to effectively handle this issue.

The Challenge: Deleting From OneDrive Without Deleting From Phone

OneDrive is a fantastic cloud storage service that allows you to access your files from anywhere and on any device. However, when it comes to deleting files, it can sometimes be a bit tricky. By default, when you delete a file from your OneDrive, it will also be deleted from all devices connected to your account, including your phone. This can be a major inconvenience if you want to free up space on your OneDrive without losing those precious photos or important documents on your phone.

Understanding the Sync Settings

To overcome this challenge, you need to understand the sync settings between your OneDrive and your phone. By default, OneDrive will automatically sync your files across all devices. This means that any changes you make on one device will be reflected on all other devices. However, you have the power to change these settings to suit your needs.

Selective Sync: The Solution

The key to deleting files from your OneDrive without deleting them from your phone lies in the selective sync feature. By selectively syncing folders or files, you can choose which content is stored locally on your phone and which content is only stored in the cloud.

To enable selective sync, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the OneDrive app on your phone.
  2. Navigate to the settings menu.
  3. Find the option for selective sync.
  4. Select the folders or files you want to keep on your phone.

Once you have set up selective sync, you can confidently delete files from your OneDrive without worrying about them being deleted from your phone.

My Personal Experience

As someone who uses both OneDrive and my phone extensively, I found myself in this predicament more than once. I had numerous files and photos on my OneDrive that I wanted to remove to free up space, but I didn’t want them to disappear from my phone. After some trial and error, I discovered the power of selective sync.

By selectively syncing only the folders and files that I wanted to keep on my phone, I was able to confidently remove unnecessary content from my OneDrive without worrying about losing anything on my phone. This gave me the freedom to clean up my cloud storage and keep my phone clutter-free.


Deleting files from your OneDrive without deleting them from your phone is indeed possible, thanks to the selective sync feature. By understanding the sync settings and utilizing selective sync, you can confidently manage your OneDrive content and maintain control over what is stored on your phone. So go ahead, declutter your cloud storage without fear!