OneDrive for Windows is Finally Going 64-Bit

Posted on April 8, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in OneDrive, Windows 10 with 30 Comments

Microsoft is now offering a preview of the 64-bit version of OneDrive for Windows for anyone who wishes to test this long-overdue update.

“We know this has been a long-awaited and highly requested feature, and we’re thrilled to make it available for early access,” Microsoft’s Ankita Kirti writes. “You can now download the 64-bit version for use with OneDrive work, school, and home accounts.”

That download is available on the Microsoft website, of course.

So what does 64-bits get you over the current 32-bit version? According to Microsoft, it’s useful for anyone who needs to access large files since 64-bit versions of Windows—and now OneDrive—can access more system resources than 32-bit versions.

The 64-bit version of OneDrive does require a 64-bit version of Windows, of course, but it doesn’t work, at least for now, on Windows 10 on ARM. I assume that you will automatically get the right version, 32-bit or 64-bit, in the future.

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Comments (30)

30 responses to “OneDrive for Windows is Finally Going 64-Bit”

  1. madthinus

    That is a big assumption

  2. richfrantz

    I stopped using the app once it was integrated into Explorer. Ho hum.

  3. dnationsr

    thanks paul

  4. campbell

    Happy with 64-bit, but are they going to make the application more stable and improve sync processing? The layout and design of the application is also very clunky.

  5. bgoodbody

    How to know what you have already? Is it 64 bit or 32 bit?

  6. mattbg

    If Notepad is 64-bit, OneDrive should be as well.

    Lots of 32-bit apps can access files larger than 4GB, so that can't be a blocker, can it? It's not like OneDrive needs to load files into memory to process them.

    I'm just glad they are doing it for tech currency reasons.

  7. jumpingjackflash5

    Seems to work smoother with 64 bit Office :-)

  8. hbko

    Nice! Updates are always welcome!

    On a sidetone, I don't get why is it so hard to support 64-bit and even ARM? I am an app developer (iOS, macOS, Android) and opting into new processor architectures is usually fully transparent (as in, I don't have to do anything, it just happens when the SDK updates) or worst, toggling a new setting for the new architecture to be included in a build.

  9. jumpingjackflash5

    This is really good news! Thank you Microsoft for this. Hope this approach will continue with Windows software.

  10. mestiphal

    I stopped using OneDrive when Microsoft made me choose between my music and my photos. Took pretty much everything out, moved all the music to play music and the photos to google photos...

    Sadly, now my music is in YT music, and my photos eventually will have a cap after which I'll have to start paying a monthly free...

    Nothing good lasts forever

  11. fishnet37222

    Are people still running 32-bit x86 versions of Windows?

  12. winner

    Wow, next thing you know, they'll update their trove of archaic windows and icons buried under the new Windows 10 paint veneer.

    • hbko

      In reply to Winner:

      So true. And sometimes you download an app that needs to install itself (why are there still app installation wizards in 2021?) and then ✨ we are back to 1998 InstallShield scaled down to an impossible resolution.

      • dftf

        In reply to hbko:

        "Why are there still app installation wizards in 2021?"

        There aren't on macOS: you just drag the installer over the Apps folder, nor on most Linux distros: you use a package-manager or install from the command-line (e.g. sudo apt-get install microsoft-edge-insider). But surprise! If you download an app from the early 2000s then expect to get an installer that looks like it was from that era.

        Sure, I guess Microsoft could "hack into" the installer, extract the script and then try to recreate the installer inside a modern UI... but (1) there may be legal or licencing issues around that; (2) if anything went wrong with the install, they'd take the blame and (3) it's a lot of effort to go to just to please people who want to run software from 20 years ago.

        I mean, the same people who moan about stuff like this are also the same people who are all "oh no, Microsoft must never stop offering the 32-bit versions of Windows... we have [insert industry-specific piece of kit here] which only has a 32-bit driver, and it links to a [insert name of product here] database system, which is a 16-bit app".

        Like seriously people: you want Windows to modernise, but also still run your 16-bit apps, 32-bit drivers and still (for the 32-bit versions, at-least) run on computers from the XP era.

        Is it any-wonder macOS can modernise faster when they simply say "yeah, we're moving to this new CPU we've made called the M1... you'll need to recompile your apps as Rosetta 2 will only exists for the next 2, maybe 3, major macOS releases until it'll be gone and users can't run any of your apps anymore, like how we banned all 32-bit apps a few years ago from the App Store for iOS and iPadOS devices. Don't like it? Tough. Thanks, get on with it..."

    • dftf

      In reply to Winner:

      You never miss a chance do you to moan about the old icons in Windows.

      Can you actually outline where in the UI you are seeing them on such a regular basis it causes you such irritation?

      • winner

        In reply to dftf:

        Can you actually outline where in the UI you are seeing them on such a regular basis it causes you such irritation?


        You go to Settings and it is all fresh paint and lipstick. But then you go to Device Manager and it's Windows 98 all over again.

        Or how about Settings>Mouse. All Fresh Modern Paint. But then go to the right side of the window options and choose "Additional Mouse Options". The circa-Windows 98 window opens up and is still called "Mouse Properties". The name hasn't even changed. The same old tabs are visible. From there on down it is good old times, baby!

        Or let's go to File Explorer, with it's pretty new Ribbon on top and pretty side panel. Choose "This PC" and then choose your C: drive. Now right click and choose "Properties". Voilà! We are transported back twenty years in time!

        Similar all over the place. It's not like they missed a spot or two - they didn't even TRY. It was only important enough to put that paint layer on the top, more visible sections of Windows. The facade.

        This screams that Microsoft, one of the largest companies in the world, found it important enough to update their already fine UI in say Windows XP to a newer sparkly coat of paint in Windows 10 -- yet didn't have the time to even complete the job! Yet they had time to add an advertising ID, send new telemetry, add inking for web pages even -- but the completeness of their UI was NOT a priority! And that says something about their quality, their thoroughness, their commitment to a quality job, and completing things. Somehow when Apple updated THEIR OS, it was changed and updated throughout! A much smaller company at that time!

        Microsoft is the same company that was informed in January of a serious Exchange security flaw (per the Security Now podcast), yet couldn't get it patched for at least two months, until it was exploited in the wild, likely by a nation-state actor, in March - and over 100,000 servers with this flaw are now infected - likely including most of the US Fortune 500 corporations.

        So yeah, I feel it's important to ding Microsoft every chance I get for their misplaced priorities. You are certainly entitled to a different opinion.

        • dftf

          In reply to Winner:

          I don't know about you but I don't spend most of my life on Windows inside Device Manager, the old Keyboard or Mouse Control-Panel applets, or viewing the Properties of a drive. But if people want Windows to continue to provide backwards-compatibility then that means a lot of old stuff has to exist. There are loads of old laptop touchpad drivers that add extra tabs into the Mouse applet; they'd break if this were gone, or the user would have no-way to adjust those extra settings. Some old accessibility apps hook into Keyboard and Mouse too.

          As for things like Device Manager, the MMC consoles are an advanced area -- ideally Microsoft would like users to never have to ever use it, as all drivers should get auto-installed by Windows Update. And indeed, for many devices, the vast-majority now do. But it would also be difficult to see how they could integrate such things into the new Settings app -- how would you suggest adding a complex MMC like "Active Directory Users & Groups" for example, bearing-in-mind settings is a single-instance app: you can't have two windows of it open. That would get annoying fast for power-users.

          Also, on the telemetry point: it still confuses me totally how people maintain two polar-opposite opinions at once: (1) Microsoft should get-rid of all the telemetry from Windows; and at the same time (2) Microsoft should remove all the legacy crap that no-one is using. So... without the telemetry, how do you expect them to know what is and isn't used?

          Anyway, as for icons specifically: it depends what you class as "old". If you think every UI icon should be the new UWP style (as seen in Settings and the settings for the new Microsoft Edge) then, sure, there are hundreds of old icons. For me, personally, I'm fine with Vista and 7 era icons in 10; XP or older is what I'd call "old". And there isn't many areas you'll still find them: the "Speech Properties" applet still has a few 16-colour icons, as does Internet Explorer's settings if you do the "Custom level" for a zone; but even then, only for one group. Within the main UI -- you know, the bits the vast-majority of everyday users actually use -- I never see any icon older than Vista/7 era.

          And users complaining about icons isn't unique to Windows. It took me seconds to do a Google search to find articles titled "MacOS Big Sur is here – but users aren't loving its icons", "Consistent But Controversial: All The New Icons In macOS Big", "Are Apple's MacOS Big Sur icons really that bad?" and "MacOS 11 Big Sur Icons Good or Bad?". And if you also consider forum posts, such as Reddit, there are many, many more complaining and asking if there are third-party tools you can use to change them to different ones.

          As for having a different opinion, yes, I will do thanks... I'd rather see Microsoft add new features, such as a screen-recorder, improve the built-in apps and work on making Edge as good as possible before worrying about some old icons most users will never see. I mean, it's ironic you bring-up the Exchange security-issue, and chastise them for not acting faster when at the same time you're like "guys, drop everything, we have icons and old UIs that need updating"! And you do realise that not every person who works for Microsoft is a coder and so when they release new features for Edge and stuff it's not like that person has been taken-away from working on security issues to do that?

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to Winner:

          Device Manager uses the Management Console, same as Component Services, Computer Management and a few others of what used to be labeled Administrative Tools. Device Manager may be the exception, but the others are things fewer than 1% of users would ever try to use.

          Tangent: fascinating that Device Manager doesn't appear with the other Windows Tools (as they're now labeled). For that matter, it's the only item which appears in Control Panel > All Control Panel Items which uses the Management Console. Since Devices and Printers also appears there along with Keyboard, Mouse and Sound, and since Device Manager is view-only launching it from a standard user account, it's a mystery why it should be considered a normal Contol Panel item rather than one of the Windows Tools. I suppose we could call that tradition rather than all too common MSFT inconsistency.

          Back from the tangent, Device Manager appears to use the new drive icons, just at 16x16 size.

          As for additional mouse options from Settings, that should launch your mouse hardware maker's configuration applet. If you have a 3rd party mouse, that applet wasn't developed by MSFT. Is it fair to complain that it's MSFT's fault how it looks?

          As for File Explorer's Drive Properties dialog, should it look radically different? How, precisely, would you change it to make it more modern while preserving as much usability as possible?

          Are there things which Control Panel could and should shed? Absolutely. On my Insider build system, the System and Taskbar and Navigation items in Control Panel > All Control Panel Items already launch Settings, so why bother with the Control Panel items? OK, maybe System needs to remain until Control Panel is fully removed, but no need for the other given all the other stuff which has been removed from Control Panel. Then there's all the remaining items which launch separate windows/dialogs, e.g., Indexing Options, which could just as easily be launched from right side of the window links from Settings. There's also Fonts in both Control Panel and Settings. Difficult to see why both are needed. To be honest, both SUCK compared to several 3rd party font managers I've used. However, the Control Panel one does allow for uninstalling multiple fonts in a single operation; with Settings it's one at a time, so Settings seems positively user-hostile.

          However, that leaves the items still in Control Panel which run in the same window, e.g., Credential Manager. I'm not holding my breath waiting for MSFT to migrate them to Settings.

          • dftf

            In reply to hrlngrv:

            "As for File Explorer's Drive Properties dialog, should it look radically different?"

            Agreed. Even if you download the new "Files" app from the Microsoft Store and do the Properties of a drive it brings up a modern dialog... but they've re-created the old style exactly!

            "On my Insider build system, the "System" and "Taskbar and Navigation" items in Control Panel [...] launch Settings"

            This is true right-now of 20H2 stable: both of them just take you into Settings. Why Microsoft doesn't remove the launch-points from them from Control Panel I've no-idea.

            "[Fonts in] Control Panel [...] allows for uninstalling multiple fonts in a single operation; with Settings it's one at a time ..."

            Do you have a frequent need to remove fonts? If so, and you know the filenames of each font you want removing, you could use a simple batch-file to delete them from %windir%fonts. (Though bear-in-mind if it is a system-font, SFC /SCANNOW might restore them if you ever run it).

            Credential Manager migration

            Yeah, it does confuse me why Control Panels that were new in either Vista or 7 haven't been migrated already. There can't be any legacy hook-ins, like with the old Keyboard and Mouse as I don't think the new-style ones ever allowed that. So makes no-sense to me why these haven't all been done by now.

            • hrlngrv

              In reply to dftf:

              Do you have a frequent need to remove fonts?

              Are Insider builds frequent?

              Joking aside, not frequently, but on the rare occasions when I want to remove fonts, I tend to want to remove several, e.g., all the ones specific to Asian languages since I can't read any. As for batch files, it'd take longer to edit a dir /b listing of C:\Windows\Fonts than to use Settings to remove them one by one, so your proposal would be even less efficient. As for sfc, I figure one would need to supplement the batch file with reg commands to unregister fonts.

              As for Credential Manager and the others which remain in the Control Panel windows, I suspect it's relatively complicated to rewrite them to work in new windows as opposed to the Control Panel window, and also there may be complications removing them piecemeal. In other words it may be all or nothing, and if so MSFT may not want to expend the programmer resources on a complete conversion as long as Control Panel is still needed for old hardware with .CPL configuration applets which will need Control Panel for at least a few more years.

  13. hrlngrv

    Who in their right mind would try using files presumably larger than 4GB on remote hosts? People seeking to relive their fond memories of 110 baud dial-up connections?

  14. tonchek

    So it can use even more RAM...

  15. winner

    In reply to RM:

    Appreciate the comment, but my point still stands. They never made the UI a priority like say, Apple did. If Microsoft, with massive profits, is "thin with staff", then that's a statement on their priorities.

    Regarding others' comments on old windows being part of other software programs, does Windows NOT use a standard call to the OS to draw windows, that ought to automagically transform to a new style of the OS? Or is it hampered by an architecture where every independent program defines its own Window style?