How to remove synced data from the cloud in Windows 8

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 23, 2013
Windows, Windows tips

When it comes to cloud storage -- that is data hosted on your behalf on remote servers -- you are more or less at the mercy of the company that is making the service available.

One of the bigger changes in Windows 8 was the switch from local accounts to Microsoft accounts. While the operating system still provides users with options to create and use local accounts, it is not only restricting some features if users select that option, it is also not as easy to setup.

One of the benefits of using a Microsoft Account to sign in to Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 is that some of the account data gets synchronized automatically with Microsoft servers.

This is done using SkyDrive, the company's cloud synchronization service. The data that gets synchronized is however not accessible directly on SkyDrive.

Windows 8.1 SkyDrive synchronization

In Windows 8.1, the following data may be synchronized:

  • Personalization settings such as the start screen tiles and layout, the desktop theme, taskbar, background, account and lock screen pictures and color scheme.
  • App settings including the list of apps installed on the computer, the settings in regards to apps, and purchases within apps.
  • Internet Explorer data such as passwords, favorites, open tabs, the home page, browsing history as well as settings.
  • Language preferences such as keyboard layouts, display language or personal dictionaries.
  • Accessibility aids.
  • Mouse, printer and File Explorer configurations.

While you can flip the synchronization switch here to stop the synchronization of settings on the PC you are working on, it won't affect the data that is already synchronized in any way.

If you do not want to sync data on any of your computer's anymore, you may want to delete the data that is hosted by Microsoft on company servers as well due to privacy concerns or other reasons.

Note: If you scroll all the way down on the page you find back up settings listed there:

If you back up your settings to SkyDrive, you can restore them to your PC in the future. Any PC settings you choose not to sync can still be backed up.

The feature will back up the data to the cloud even if you have turned synchronization off. While data won't get synced whenever you sign in to your account on a Windows 8.1 PC, it provides you with the option to restore the data manually. If you do not want that to happen as well, set the "Back up your settings for this PC" option to off as well.

Delete Microsoft cloud data

Microsoft has created an Internet page that enables you to delete your personal settings from the cloud. Just visit this page on the official website to get started.

Before you visit the page, turn off syncing on all PCs where the feature is enabled. Once that is out of the way, visit the page and click on the remove button there.

delete settings from skydrive
Delete remote data

That's however not the end of it, as you need to delete backed up device settings as well if the option was enabled on one or multiple of your PCs.

Visit this page on the SkyDrive website and click on Delete next to each device listed here to do that as well.

delete backed up settings

Once you have done both, you have successfully deleted all Microsoft account cloud data.

Note that this works similar in Windows 8, with the difference that you can access the sync settings directly on the system.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.