Run OneDrive as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

How to Run OneDrive 24/7 as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

Start Microsoft's OneDrive for Business automatically when your PC boots. Keep it running in the background to automatically sync your library before you log in!

OneDrive for Business (formerly SkyDrive Pro) is Microsoft's cloud storage service integrated with Office 365.

To setup the OneDrive sync client as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp:

  1. Download and install AlwaysUp, if necessary.

  2. Download and install OneDrive if necessary. Start it up, enter the library you want to synchronize and ensure that everything works as you expect.

  3. Start AlwaysUp.

  4. Select Application > Add to open the Add Application window:

    Add Application

  5. On the General tab:

    • In the Application field, enter the full path to the OneDrive executable file, Groove.exe. You can find the executable in your Microsoft Office folder, which may be

      C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15\Groove.exe
      C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15\Groove.exe
      if you are on a 64-bit system with the 32-bit version of Office installed.

      Note 7/23/2015: Newer versions of OneDrive install to a different folder and feature a different executable file. Select OneDrive.exe here instead:

      where <YOUR-USER-NAME> is the name of the account in which you installed OneDrive (your Windows account name for this PC). You may have trouble seeing the hidden AppData folder when selecting the path, but Windows will accept it if you type it in.

    • In the Name field, enter the name that you will call the application in AlwaysUp. We have changed it to OneDrive from the default of "Groove", but feel free to specify almost anything you like.

    OneDrive Windows Service: General Tab

  6. Click on to the Logon tab and enter the user name and password of the Local Windows account where you installed and set up OneDrive. OneDrive must run in this account so that it can find the libraries/URLs you have configured.

    Note: Do not enter your OneDrive login and password here. A Microsoft account won't work here either. Please specify credentials used to login to a local account on this Windows PC.

    OneDrive Windows Service: Logon Tab

  7. Click over to the Startup tab and check the Ensure that the Windows Networking components have started box. OneDrive uses TCP/IP, the language of the Internet, and AlwaysUp must ensure that the underlying network components are running before OneDrive tries to sync your files.

    OneDrive Windows Service: Startup Tab

  8. Update, January 2015: OneDrive seems to create an entry in the Startup Folder each time it runs and that extra instance may prevent AlwaysUp from starting its own copy. If you are using AlwaysUp version 9 (released December 2014) or later, we suggest checking the two Stop all copies... boxes on the Startup tab:

    OneDrive Windows Service: Stop Copies

  9. Almost there! Click the Save >> button and in a couple of seconds, an application called OneDrive will show up in the AlwaysUp window. It is not yet running though (as you will notice from the State column).

    OneDrive Windows Service: Created

  10. Update, September 2017: Now that we have configured OneDrive to start as a windows service when your computer boots, you don't want a second copy to start when you log in. To disable that option in OneDrive:

    1. Start OneDrive, if necessary.

    2. Right-click on the OneDrive cloud tray icon and select Settings from the menu.

    3. On the Settings tab, un-check the Start OneDrive automatically when I sign in to Windows box:

      Don't start OneDrive when you sign in

    4. Click OK to save your changes.

    5. Right-click on the tray icon and select Exit to close OneDrive.

  11. To start OneDrive, choose Application > Start "OneDrive". The state should transition to Running after a few seconds, and you can see some details by clicking on the green circle:

    OneDrive Windows Service: Running

    On Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP and Server 2016/2012/2008, OneDrive will be running in the background on the isolated Session 0. This means that you will not will not see the regular icons that OneDrive shows beside each file and folder:

    OneDrive Windows Service: No desktop icons

    However, depite the lack of icons, your files will still be synchronized by OneDrive. Please validate by creating a file on your PC and checking that it shows up normally online after a minute or two.

    And if you want to start OneDrive on your regular desktop, you can either:

    • Stop OneDrive in AlwaysUp and start it on your desktop as you would normally, or
    • Select Application > Restart "OneDrive" in this session, to bring OneDrive onto your screen.

  12. That's it! Next time your computer boots, OneDrive will start up immediately, before anyone logs on. We encourage you to edit OneDrive in AlwaysUp and check out the many other settings that may be appropriate for your environment. Send an email when OneDrive stops unexpectedly (or someone accidentally shuts it down), completely hide the window from prying eyes, and much more!

OneDrive not working properly as a Windows Service?

  • If OneDrive complains when you start it in Session 0, please ensure that you have applied all the latest updates from Microsoft. Apparently there were a few problems with the initial releases.

    OneDrive Error in Session 0

  • Consult the AlwaysUp Troubleshooter - our online tool that can help you resolve the most common problems encountered when running an application as a windows service.
  • If you are on Windows 8.1 or later, Microsoft's OneDrive troubleshooter may help.
  • From AlwaysUp, select Application > Report Activity > Today... to bring up a HTML report detailing the interaction between AlwaysUp and OneDrive. The AlwaysUp Event Log Messages page explains the messages that may turn up.
  • Browse the AlwaysUp FAQ for answers to commonly asked questions and troubleshooting tips.
  • Contact us and we will be happy to help!

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