Why does OneDrive give me an error every time I open a Word or Excel file without editing?

I am using Office 365 with OneDrive in Windows 8.1. If I open an Office file, edit it and save it, everything works. However, if I just want to look at the contents of a file, it creates a persistent error in OneDrive. It does show me the file I opened, and everything seems to be fine, but when I close that file, a yellow exclamation point icon appears on OneDrive in the system tray. When I click on it, it says there was a problem and prompts me to get more information. When I do that, it opens the modern OneDrive app, which tells me that there was a problem downloading the file. In fact, there wasn't a problem really, because I have opened the file and looked at it. This only happens when I then close the file without making changes. The other weird thing is that it is persistent. That error will remain indefinitely (for days) whether I open and close the file again, shut down and restart my computer, etc. The only way that I have found to end the error message is to move the file out of its folder, sync OneDrive so the file is gone, then move it back into its folder. This happens all the time to Word and Excel files and I often have two or three at a time giving me that error. Although I am on Windows 8.1, I do not use online files; all the files are also stored locally. It also happens on my Windows 7 computer at work, which is also synced with the same OneDrive account. This is really irritating and I would sure appreciate it if someone knows a solution.

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Hi,

Thank you for posting in Microsoft Community.

I can understand your concern and will be happy to assist you with the issue.

Is the issue specific to all the Office files?

I suggest you to follow the steps from the link below and check if it helps.

https://support.office.com/en-in/article/Fix-OneDrive-sync-problems-with-Windows-8-1-or-Windows-RT-8-1-da74fd8d-e792-4b47-992e-5225f30536cc

Hope this helps. Please reply for further queries on this.

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Thank you for the reply. The problem is specific to Office 365 files. It is not specific to Windows 8.1 or to a specific computer. It also occurs on a Windows 7 computer and used to occur on yet another Windows 7 computer. No other application's file do this, whether or not I change them. 

I read through the list of suggestions, but they are all things that either I have tried or that do not apply. (I searched through online help before posting and have gone through this list before.) OneDrive is otherwise working just fine. This is not a general sync problem, but only a problem with Office 365 files and it only happens when I open an Office file, view it, and close it without making changes. It never happens if I change an a Office file and re-save it.

The happens with such regularity that it's hard to believe I am the only person it happens to. If anyone has other ideas, or even has the same problem, I'd love to hear about it.

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Hi,

Thank you for your response.

I understand that the issue occurs only when you open Office files, I will help you with this issue.

I suggest you to repair Office and check if it helps to resolve the issue:

Refer to the below help article:

Repair an Office application

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Repair-an-Office-application-7821d4b6-7c1d-4205-aa0e-a6b40c5bb88b?CorrelationId=abf52830-e49a-482c-920d-aec829f4710a&ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

Hope this information helps and let us know the status of the issue we will be glad to help you.

Regards,
Yaseer.

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I appreciate the attempt, but this doesn't seem to be the the issue. I ran the repair on the Windows 8.1 computer, which had been set up longer, and it didn't make a difference. I didn't run it on the Windows 7 computer, which was just installed from scratch about three weeks ago. They both behave in the same way, as described, except for the differences arising from the different OS notifications. 

I just checked it again on the Win7 computer and here is what happened. I opened one existing Word document without changing anything in it. I then opened a second Word document. As soon as I opened the second Word document, OneDrive showed the red X icon with a message that a file needs my attention. When I click for more details, it opens a dialog saying 1 file cannot be synced with OneDrive. It names the second file and says the resolution is to open it in Office for more info. It is already open in Word. When I go to that file, it says it is an offline copy because it couldn't contact the server. I am on a major college campus, with a wired gigabit Ethernet connection and no other issues connecting to servers of any kind. The other computer is on a home network connecting via 802.11ac wireless. 

This current test is on the Windows 7 computer, so the exact expression of the error is slightly different from my original post (the regular dialog opening instead of the modern app), but the gist of it is the same. I cannot open Office files to look in them without making changes, without OneDrive giving me an error. 

When I close both files, the error remains until I play around with the file. Sometimes, I can open and close it again. Other times (more often), I have to move the file out of the folder, let OneDrive catch up that it's gone and remove it, then drag it back.

This happens with such regularity that I cannot believe I am the only person having this problem. 

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Hi,

I understand the issue you’re facing while accessing word files on OneDrive, error states that a file needs my attention. 1 file cannot be synced with OneDrive. I will help you with this issue.

I would suggest you to clear the Office cache and check if it helps:

Office Document Cache settings

https://support.office.com/en-sg/article/Office-Document-Cache-settings-4b497318-ae4f-4a99-be42-b242b2e8b692

If the issue persist. I suggest you turn on office use to sync files faster and see if it helps to resolve the issue:

1. Right-click the OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

(You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon.)

2. Click Settings, and check the box.

(In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, the check box says Use Office to sync files faster and work on files with other people at the same time.)

Hope this information helps.

Regards,
Yaseer.

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Okay, now I think we're getting somewhere. I cleared the cache on both computers and the problem did not manifest by the simple opening of two files (as it did before). So far, so good... a few days working will tell if it has really solved the problem.

On the second item (check box about syncing faster and working with other people), I only see an option similar to that on the Windows 7 computer. Where do I find that option in Windows 8.1?

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Hi,

Thank you for your response.

You will find this option "Use Office to sync files faster and work on files with other people at the same time" in Windows 8.1 when you right click on the OneDrive notification icon and then click on settings. under settings you will see the above option.

Hope this information helps. do get back to us if you have any further queries we will be glad to assist you.

Regards,
Yaseer.

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While I appreciate the attempt to help, that is simply not correct. The window below is the same dialog that does contain that option in Windows 7, but it does not exist in Windows 8.1. At least, it does not exist in the dialog that comes up when you right-click on the OneDrive notification icon and choose settings.

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I am having the same problem. The OneDrive icon tells me that 8 of my Office 365 cannot be synced. If I click the "view sync problems" link, it shows 8 files that I had previously opened and then closed without making any changes. Below each file name it says "problem downloading". If I tell OneDrive to sync, the error message goes away and it says "files are up to date". Later, the error is back, showing sync problems with the same 8 files.

I also get the same dialog that Sellador gets in Windows 8.1 when I try to find the option "Use Office to sync files faster and work on files with other people at the same time".


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I talked to a technician about this and his suggestion was a tune up which he could do for $80, but didn't guarantee it would work. It seemed a bit much.

For me this problem only began when I started using Windows 10. It wasn't an issue before then. 

Stephen

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Last updated April 30, 2018 Views 2,452 Applies to: