OneDrive sync problems

So if you use services such as OneDrive for Business to sync to SharePoint, and you’re on Windows 10, you may have noticed a bug that has started recently popping up. When you attempt to sync, or when you disconnect from a network and reconnect to another (such as if you’re on a laptop and you travel, so you need to connect to a WiFi that’s not in your office after being connected within your office), you may get a prompt to log into your SharePoint with your login id:









Some will get a straightforward password request, like this:







Others first get a box asking them if they want to use their Microsoft account (meaning their personal account) or their work or school account. In fact, they may get this box twice, looking slightly different each time. I suspect that this happens to customers whose Office365 email is the same as their Microsoft personal account. In my case, they’re two different logins, so I can’t replicate the “two requests for Microsoft vs. work/school account” issue in order to display screenshots.

In either case, the result is the same. You click “Sign in.” The button changes color like it’s supposed to on click. But it doesn’t do anything else. It doesn’t sign you in. Click, click, click, click. No sign in. How are you supposed to sync if you can’t sign in?

The answer – at least, for me, sometimes, and several others who’ve reported this bug – is breathtakingly simple to the point where it makes me feel stupid for not thinking of it myself. Hit enter.

Sometimes this works perfectly. Other times you get a blood-chilling message:

“The server you are trying to access is using an authentication protocol not supported by this version of Office.”

What does this mean? How can SharePoint Online not be supported by the latest version of Office?

It’s a ridiculous bug, that’s what, and Microsoft needs to fix it. Until they do, here are some steps that may fix it:

Method 1:

  1. Click on your system tray at the bottom right of your screen.

See OneDrive for Business with a little exclamation mark covering it?




  1. Click on it, and it will prompt you to enter your credentials:




  1. Follow the same steps to enter your credentials that you did before.

For me, this just magically worked, even though it had failed the first time.

Method 2: If that didn’t work, try this.

  1. Exit OneDrive for Business by right-clicking on it in the system tray and choosing Exit.
  2. Close all desktop Office apps. This includes Outlook, Word, Excel, and any other Office application you may have open.
  3. Because the closing of OneDrive might not be a clean exit, or there may be background Window apps, check Task Manager (ctrl-alt-del and choose Task Manager) for the presence of background processes named GROOVE, MSOSYNC, or OneDrive anything. End these processes. End anything labeled Microsoft Office.
  4. Go to the Users directory on C: (it’s usually on C:), find the user you’re trying to fix this problem for, and delete the following folders if they exist:


It’s possible that there will still be a locked Access database in the OfficeFileCache. I had one. I also have Access, so I opened it in Access and then closed it, and that unlocked it and allowed me to delete it. Hopefully it won’t be there if you don’t have Access.

 Don’t worry about deleting “important system files.” You’re going to run a repair, which will recreate the folders and files.

  1. Open Control Panel, find Credential Manager and open it. There are two sections, Web Credentials and Windows Credentials. You want the Windows one. Remove any credentials that look like : MicrosoftOffice16_data:(anything), or something like that.
  2. In Control Panel / Programs and Features, go to Microsoft Office 365 Business or ProPlus. Right Click and select Change (not Uninstall).
  3. You’ll be given the option to do a Quick Repair or an Online Repair. Choose the Online Repair, but first make sure your internet connection is stable. This will essentially re-install all of your Office apps, but because you didn’t uninstall first it will keep all of your customizations.
  4. When the Online Repair is complete, find the OneDrive for Business desktop client, and open it. (It’s usually on your Start Menu someplace.)
  5. Now you ought to get the same prompts to login that you did before, but this time once you do the procedure above, it should work.