The Microsoft 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 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.

For more help, read how to Fix OneDrive sync problems.

Gray OneDrive cloud 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.

On a PC, press  Press the Windows key , search for OneDrive and then open the OneDrive desktop app.

On a Mac, use Finder or Spotlight to start OneDrive.

Note: If you see the error message "You're already syncing a personal OneDrive on this computer. Unlink that account to add a new one", follow these steps to unlink and re-link your personal OneDrive account. You won't lose files or data by disabling, uninstalling or unlinking OneDrive on your computer. You can always access your files by signing in to your OneDrive account online.
1. Select the OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area.
2. Select More > Settings.
3. Click Unlink this PC.
4. Follow the steps in the Welcome to OneDrive wizard to set up OneDrive.

OneDrive paused icon

OneDrive paused icon

OneDrive for Business paused icon

The paused symbol over the OneDrive or OneDrive for work or school 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.

Learn more about How to Pause and Resume sync in OneDrive.

OneDrive icon with sync pending 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 work or school 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 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. To help resolve these problems, read OneDrive is stuck on “Processing changes".

If you're seeing the sync pending icon in File Explorer, read OneDrive is stuck on "Sync pending".

Red with white bar OneDrive icon

OneDrive account blocked

If you see a red "no entry" style icon over your OneDrive icon, it means your account is blocked.

Learn more about what to do when your OneDrive account is frozen.

Yellow exclamation mark OneDrive icon

OneDrive icon with warning

OneDrive icon with warning

If you see a yellow warning triangle over your OneDrive or or OneDrive for work or school icon, it means your account needs attention. Select the icon to see the warning message displayed in the activity center.

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.

Learn more about how to change sharing at Share OneDrive files and folders.

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. Learn more about OneDrive Files On-Demand

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.” 

Learn more about OneDrive Files On-Demand

Solid 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.

Learn more about OneDrive Files On-Demand

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.

Learn more about restrictions and limitations when you sync files and folders.

3 squares icon next to "Owner" or "Can edit"

OneDrive shared collection icon

The three squares icon next to an album indicates a shared collection of files. You will see this whether you are the owner of the files, or if they have been shared with you.

Learn more about adding and syncing shared folders to OneDrive.

Diamond icon

Microsoft Office Premium subscription icon

The blue diamond icon on the toolbar shows your current subscription with OneDrive or Microsoft 365, and how much storage you have used.

If you don't have a subscription, select the icon to see what plans are available.

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.

Learn more about how to Use OneDrive on Android.

Why do I have two OneDrive icons?

Blue and white OneDrive icons

If you have signed in to the OneDrive sync app with both work or school and a personal account, you will see two OneDrive sync icons.

The blue one is for your work or school account, the white one is for your personal account.

Learn how to add an account in OneDrive.

Gray X on desktop icons

Gray X icon overlay

This is not a OneDrive icon, but a corrupted Windows shortcut icon. If you see a gray X over your Windows Desktop shortcuts, try these tips:

  • Right-click on your Desktop and select Refresh.

  • Uninstall any backup applications that are not longer used. Restart your computer after each uninstallation.