What do the OneDrive icons mean?

The OneDrive icons in the notification area and File Explorer tell you the sync state of the file or folder.

Three little blue lines

Three little blue lines on a OneDrive icon

The glimmer marks (three little blue lines) seen next to a file or folder indicate that the file is new. You'll see this only when using OneDrive.com online.

Red circle with white cross

OneDrive sync error icon

OneDrive sync error icon

OneDrive for Business sync error icon

A red circle with a white cross means that a file or folder cannot be synced. You'll see this in File Explorer or on the OneDrive notification area icons.

Click the blue or white OneDrive icon in the notification area to learn more about the problem.

Gray OneDrive icon

OneDrive not running icon

A grayed-out OneDrive icon in the taskbar means you're not signed in, or OneDrive setup hasn't completed.

Press  Press the Windows key , search for OneDrive and then open the OneDrive desktop app.

OneDrive paused icon

OneDrive paused icon

OneDrive for Business paused icon

The paused symbol over the OneDrive or OneDrive for Business icon means your files are not currently syncing.

To resume syncing, select the blue or white OneDrive icon in the notification area, select More and then Resume syncing.

OneDrive icon with sync arrows 

OneDrive sync in progress icon

OneDrive for Business sync in progress icon

OneDrive sync in progress icon

The circular arrows over the OneDrive or OneDrive for Business notification icons signify that sync is in progress. This includes when you are uploading files, or OneDrive is syncing new files from the cloud to your PC.

Sync icons may also be seen online in OneDrive.com.

OneDrive will also check for other file or folder changes and may show "Processing changes". If OneDrive shows “Processing changes" for a long time, it could be because you have an online file open, a very large file syncing, a lot of files stuck in a queue.

People icon next to a file or folder

OneDrive file shared icon

If you see a "people" icon next to your OneDrive files or folders, this indicates the file or folder has been shared with other people.

Blue cloud icon

OneDrive online file icon

A blue cloud icon next to your OneDrive files or folders indicates that the file is only available online. Online-only files don’t take up space on your computer.

You can’t open online-only files when your device isn’t connected to the Internet.

Green tick icons

OneDrive locally available file


When you open an online-only file, it downloads to your device and becomes a locally available file. You can open a locally available file anytime, even without Internet access. 

If you need more space, you can change the file back to online only. Just right-click the file and select “Free up space.” 

Green circle with the white check mark

OneDrive always available file icon

Files that you mark as "Always keep on this device" have the green circle with the white check mark.

These always available files download to your device and take up space, but they’re always there for you even when you’re offline.

Padlock icon

OneDrive file locked icon

OneDrive will show a padlock icon next to the sync status if the file or folder has settings which prevent it from syncing.

Flashing OneDrive icon in Android

OneDrive mobile UI sync icon

The OneDrive cloud icon may briefly appear in your Android notifications as part of the normal upload process.

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Article ID: 75711
Tue 4/9/19 11:01 AM
Thu 3/16/23 6:08 PM