We are syncing (parts) of a 140 GB SharePoint library to several different clients with OneDrive. The files need to be physically available on the local hard drives.

When somebody is deleting a file and another client has this file opened, then the deleted file re-appears after a while again. This leads to many abandoned or duplicate files in our library. Is there a way to "force" the deletion of a file or directory? Deleting the files via SharePoint Online (the web browser) is not accepted by the clients, because it is too laborious.

1 Answer 1


1.You could try to log into OneDrive or SharePoint online (i.e. www.OneDrive.com or .SharePoint.com and delete the files directly

2.Give all users CONTRIBUTE or MEMBER permissions, then wait a few hours for all the changes to sync to all the users, then delete the files / folders from your desktop or documents.

For more details, you could refer to: https://www.urtech.ca/2021/01/solved-files-synced-to-onedrive-keep-reappearing-after-deletion/

If the answer is helpful, please click "√" on the left panel of the answer and kindly upvote it.

  • As I said, deleting it from SharePoint/OneDrive Online is too laborious and the staff already has MEMBER permissions. :( Commented Jul 14, 2022 at 6:45
  • Further on, via SharePoint Online we can only delete single files and not entire directories. SharePoint complains that the directory needs to be empty before deleting it. Commented Jul 14, 2022 at 12:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.