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How to Remove the OneDrive Icon from Your Windows 10 Desktop

Deleting is not an option for whatever reason
By Bogdan Popa

OneDrive is an essential part of Windows 10 now, and truth be told, there are many people out there who find it quite a useful feature.

And it’s for a good reason. OneDrive allows users to easily back up their data in the cloud straight from Windows 10, and then with the power of Files On-Demand to access it without having to download them back to their computers. This is a neat implementation that works seamlessly and which many people wanted to get back after Microsoft surprisingly removed it in the first versions of Windows 10.

But those who don’t want to use OneDrive might find it quite difficult to get rid of the app considering its deep integration in Windows 10.

A few days ago after installing the latest Windows 10 updates, the OneDrive icon showed up on my desktop for no clear reason. And the worst of all isn’t that the icon was there all out of the blue, but that I wasn’t able to remove it no matter what. A delete option wasn’t available in the context menu, and pressing the delete button on the keyboard obviously had to result.
Deleting the OneDrive icon isn't possible

Simply removing the OneDrive icon is a process that’s a lot more complicated than it should be. First of all, you must be logged in with an administrator account because you need to change or create some registry keys and standard accounts do not have such rights.

Once you’re signed in with an administrator account, launch the Registry Editor by hitting Win key + R and typing regedit. Navigate to the following path (in Windows 10 April 2018 Update you can simply copy and paste it from the box below right in the address bar of the Registry Editor):
HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerHideDesktopIconsNewStartPanel

If some of the items in this path don’t exist, you can simply create them by just clicking on the previous root folder and going to New > Key. Make sure you type the name correctly.

Once you’re there in the said path, you need to create a new DWORD 32-bit value with the following name (again, you should copy and paste it to the Registry Editor to make sure you don’t mistype a character):
{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6}

This particular registry item will control the OneDrive icon on your desktop and depending on your preferences, it lets you configure the icon to show up or not.
This is the value that needs to be changed to hide the icon

If you want to disable the icon and hide it from the desktop, double-click the newly-created registry item and input value 1. If you want to see the icon on the desktop, just double-click it and then enter value 0. You can change it as many times you want, and a reboot isn’t necessary to see the updated settings. All you have to do is go to the desktop and refresh it to see the icon going away or showing up.

Microsoft blocking the icon removal option of OneDrive is an odd thing, especially because users can actually get rid of the icon using this particular hack. It’s not the most convenient method to do it, but at least it’s possible, though it goes without saying that Microsoft should reconsider offering users the option to just delete the icon like it’s the case of any other shortcut on the desktop.

The next Windows 10 update to see daylight is Redstone 5 due in the fall, so if you think this behavior should be changed, you can make yourself heard by posting feedback in the Feedback Hub. The more votes your suggestion receives, the bigger the chances for Microsoft to implement the change, so it’s all up to the community to decide how Windows 10 should be improved.

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