Unable to open content synced in a OneDrive folder on an external drive

If you have installed the Fall 2017 Creators Update for Windows 10 and you sync OneDrive files to an external drive, you may be unable to open your OneDrive files if you move the external drive to a computer running an operating system older than Fall 2017 Creators Update for Windows 10.

You may receive an error: “The file cannot be accessed by the system." 


The following workarounds are available: 

  • Sign in to onedrive.com with the account that you're having trouble with and download your files.

    Tip: To get to your OneDrive online from your desktop, you can also right-click the OneDrive icon in the Notification area, and select View online.

  • Create a new sync connection on the computer running the older version of Windows. Read how to sync files with OneDrive in Windows.

  • Use a computer running the Fall 2017 Creators Update for Windows 10 (or newer) to open the content.

Learn more

To sync your OneDrive to an external drive, you need to select a location that is formatted as NTFS. View how to Convert a FAT or FAT32 drive to NTFS.  

Need more help?


Get online help
See more support pages for OneDrive and OneDrive for work or school.
For the OneDrive mobile app, see Troubleshoot OneDrive mobile app problems.

OneDrive Admins can also view the OneDrive Tech Community, Help for OneDrive for Admins.

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Contact Support
If you still need help, contact support through your browser or shake your mobile device while you're in the OneDrive app.

OneDrive Admins can contact Microsoft 365 for business support.

Office 365 community forums

Letting us know your location may help us resolve your issue more quickly.

All fixed? If you contacted us and OneDrive starts working again, please let us know by replying to the email we sent you.

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