Microsoft Kills OneDrive Music Streaming in Groove Music

Posted on March 15, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in OneDrive, Groove Music with 85 Comments

Microsoft has revealed that it will retire the ability to stream music from OneDrive to the Groove Music app in Windows 10. The bad news? It’s happening in two weeks.

“On March 31, 2019, OneDrive music streaming in Groove Music will be retired,” a Microsoft support document explains. “Your personal music files will continue to be available in OneDrive. You can keep listening to your music using the OneDrive web player or by downloading your files and playing them in the Groove Music app.”

There really isn’t much more to say about that, though the support document includes various Q & As that beat it to death. Suffice to say that this remaining functional retirement effectively makes Groove Music useless to all but the most diehard of users. And it follows previous changes, like the retirement of Groove Music Pass in October 2017.

In related news, this change means that you will no longer be able to stream music from OneDrive to Forza Horizon 3 either. As of March 31, 2019, the in-game OneDrive music feature will be turned off.

Thanks to Neowin for the tip.

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Comments (85)

85 responses to “Microsoft Kills OneDrive Music Streaming in Groove Music”

  1. jimchamplin

    So it might be more accurate to say that streaming support is being removed from OneDrive?

  2. Piras

    Note to self. Stop using Microsoft software. Their lifetime is limited. You get used to one of their apps or features and boom they kill it. Microsoft, a consumer centric company, I think not.

  3. mcoor

    When MS retired Groove Music Pass the writing was on the wall, no interest in consumers.

    I loaded my music to Google drive and stream it through Google Play on my Android phone.

    And I don't have to have a MS Office subscription to get enough cloud space to save my music, 60,000 songs i think is the Google limit.

    ChromeBook for me next, I guess. I had such hopes for MS consumer divisions, but they have gone with Ballmer, the good old days when customers and corporations got products.

  4. Belralph

    Does this also affect the ability of the Xbox to play my onedrive music library as well?

    • Riopato

      In reply to Belralph: That would make sense if Microsoft switched off this ability entirely. I won't be surprised that the upcoming project xCloud will be abandoned as well if they feel like it's not making a profit or doesn't catch on as expected. Microsoft has become the company of half measures and never going fully in which explains why there is no such thing as customer loyalty when it comes to Microsoft.

  5. SvenJ

    Are you freakin' kidding me? Why the hell do I need Groove Music on my PC then? I sure can't use it to stream Spotify, the suitable sub promoted by MS when they killed the Groove Service. Good thing Spotify, Google Play Music, iTunes, et al work fine on Windows. Guess music streaming from your cloud storage isn't an enterprise thing. Kill it.

    Guess I can save some space on OneDrive deleting all my music. Up to iTunes and Google Play it goes. Guess what media stores I will naturally gravitate too. No problem, that's not really an enterprise thing either, is it.

    On the other hand, if OneDrive sync still works, and Groove plays that music from my local drive, that saves bandwidth and data.  That's only useful if you have the storage available though. I've always thought that I'm paying to listen to my music, every time I listen, when I stream from my cloud storage, since I pay for the data.

    • Riopato

      In reply to SvenJ: Groove music app is basically useless by the end of this month. It can't rip cds, it will most likely won't be a good music manager if it can't access the internet for missing meta data and everything that made it an excellent streaming player has been stripped away. It will be a dumber music player than the archaic Windows Media Player. If only they just integrate Groove's user interface into one drive, maybe this wouldn't be such a bad thing but their lack of vision confounds common sense.

  6. harmjr

    I used this feature to save disk space on my tablets. when you have only 128gb drive and 70gb of music this was a cool feature. I hope some third party can create a paid app version.

  7. lethalleigh

    At this point MS should probably retire the stand alone Groove app and build functionality into their Movies and TV app. Maybe even rename it to simply Entertainment or like.

  8. jatinder37

    So I may get lots of down votes here but in the past I used Google music manager to sync my iTunes library to Google play music and then I could stream on my phone. Play music is the only last music service that allows you to do this and you can upload 50000 songs. I no longer use it because I bought echo devices and decided to go all in with amazon and if you are a prime member then the full version of amazon music is £2 cheaper a month.

    But I'd just like to say I still trust Microsoft but in certain products and services e.g 0365 has helped not just myself but my family as well as every time they have run out of space on there phone I can give them 1tb basically for free.

    My Microsoft line up is:

    XBOX one x

    Surface pro 6


    Edge with bing

    The to support that I have

    Amazon prime with full prime music

    Galaxy s10

    I get the logic of wanting to go all in a single service provider but in reality I feel that's dangerous as you become dependent (hence I never use apple). Ultimately you want services which are platform agnostic and am I content with the trade off of having to use Google devices. I'd much prefer not too but don't forget all service providers kill there products and services. Allo was great until Google decided to to kill it even though people were using it, its video service was better then WhatsApp, which always felt laggy so please don't feel like Microsoft are punishing you

    • Riopato

      In reply to jatinder37: Spotify has the potential of doing one thing that can make it a killer music service. The ability to stream music from any cloud drive while integrating their own library, which is why Groove Music was such a great service to begin with. The lack of interest from Microsoft supporting with their own products was enough to keep potential users from ever using Grove Music knowing that they will eventually abandon it later on. Being platform agnostic centric, the Groove Music app could've been a sufficient alternative to streaming services by also opening it up to allow other cloud drive streaming but I guess they weren't interested in this feature either or they realize they can't monetize this feature to make it profitable.

  9. Big_Swifty

    I use Cloud Player on my Android S9+ to get at my One Drive Music and I have just installed Sonca from the Windows 10 App Store which allows me to access my On Drive Music Folder on my Surface Pro 6 and Surface Book 2 so that should cover things for me. It is currently on sale for $1.99 for 2 more days. Still love the Groove Music player to play my music stored on the computer. I will miss driving my car in Forza and listing to Frank Zappa music as I tour around!

  10. jules_wombat

    Hopefully they will be offering us a cash refund, for those of us who have streamed Music from OneDrive into Groove in the last month ?

    • Riopato

      In reply to Jules_Wombat: refund from what? One drive music streaming wasn't a feature you paid for. It was just a function that was free and you can still sync your files locally as long as you have storage space on whatever device the OneDrive app is installed.

  11. szad

    Thank you Paul for your great information. Best

  12. tdsmith

    So what will be the point of my OneDrive now? After trying to switch "whole hog" to MS with my Lumia 1020 (sniff I still love that phone), I really took advantage of the OneDrive cloud storage with my photos and my music. Sure I have some Office files in there, but I'm not in University anymore so I'm not creating a lot of Word/Excel/Access/Project files anymore, and those don't take much space. But piece by piece, MS is retreating from the consumer market.

    Once Groove on my Android died, I've adjusted by pulling my Surface into the kitchen so that I can listen to my owned music. And I'm sorry, but I am tired of having to susbscribe to a plethora of services. I guess I will look at Google for my music, but I don't trust their invasive privacy-be-d***d business model.

    I trust Microsoft, but I can't rely on them. I guess it is only a mater of time until they pull photo storage. So why would anyone signup for MS/Office 360? Office documents are only a portion of our digital lives, but MS seems so haphazard about maintaining any relations with consumers, I wonder about their goals.

  13. mrdrwest


  14. mrdrwest

    When will the hurting stop...???

  15. John Craig


    Why disable a feature that you've already spent time, money and resource developing? I'm presuming that it doesn't actually cost Microsoft very much, if anything at all, to keep this streaming option running.

    The ability to run Onedrive files through a given application already exists. Why not just leave the option in place. What's the benefit of killing it?

    Why, Microsoft? Why are your decisions so lame and stupid and totally in the opposite direction to what everyone else on this planet actually wants?

  16. sevenacids

    I don't know what you mean by "the most diehard of users", but I still got the entirety of my music collection on my local server and keep it synced to my Smartphone via OneDrive (not streaming but local download). I don't know why I should change that, it just works for my needs and I'm in full control of what I have and what I want, and no one can take it from me just because some service is shut down. That's the downside of the happy-cloud-world no one talks about, or seems to care. It's easy, or like Paul would say, "a no-brainer", but that's pretty much all about it. And I'm one of those who still prefer to challenge their brain from time to time.

    Apart from that, I never really liked the Groove app. Its style does not compare to the original Zune software, even though this is now more than a decade old (I still use it on the desktop, IMO it's one of the best-styled music players of all time). Groove is also slow in comparison on the same hardware. Sorry, but it always s***ed big time. I wouldn't miss it if they were to kill it off completely.

    • Riopato

      In reply to sevenacids: the sync function still works as long as you have local storage space. It's the streaming function that made the groove app worth keeping since most music apps that has one drive streaming were butt ugly and was never seamless as Groove. Now it will be the stupidest and useless music app to ever exist since it will make Windows Media Player look like a better music manager. Don't get me started on Zune desktop either, since that is the best thing that Microsoft ever made which they killed . BTW, how are you still running that application? Zune was very buggy after the Windows 10 anniversary update was released.

  17. madthinus

    My guess is that what ever agreements they had with the music industry is coming to an end.

  18. Bob2000

    They should just opensource the basic groove media player and let it continue on life that way.

  19. Winner

    So then the cloud is great and you should use it, except that they are restricting certain uses of it.

  20. Ron Diaz

    Honestly why does anyone use Microsoft at all anymore?

    Businesses absolutely. All our LOB software is Win32 and Microsoft is a must.

    But other than that you are crazy to be touching Microsoft with a 10 foot pole.

    I went all in on Apple around 3-4 years ago. Things couldn’t be better.

    Keep crying and supporting a company that doesn’t give a damn about you.

    Sounds like a stupid plan to me

    • Riopato

      In reply to Hypnotoad: you sound like Apple cares about you and worships the ground you stand on. Now that's stupid.

    • sevenacids

      In reply to Hypnotoad:

      I develop software for Windows but started to use Fedora on a second PC a few monts ago because I wanted to know what it was like being natively in the Linux world, both developement- and user-wise, and I must say: If it wasn't for Visual Studio and some other great tools that are only available on Windows, and the fact that all my development experience is based on the Windows-world, I'd be quite comfortable to make the switch. This, and maybe games.

      Linux has become quite an appealing alternative, and it's not that hard to use. It's not like you have to deal with the command prompt all the time just to change some configuration. That's a cliché living on from the past. The desktop world is a little fragmented, admittedly, but I think most casual users that need nothing more than browsing and using a word processor from time to time require Windows for that anymore.

  21. jrswarr

    I think the future is in services like Spotify - and not ripped content from a personal collection. I can't tell you when was the last time I listened to my personal collection of music. Other than rare tracks you are not going to find anywhere else , what can't I find on Spotify? In fact I find that Spotify actually has broadened what I listen to. So many genres , so little time....

    I'm sure that Microsoft looked at Groove and the usage of this feature before deciding to drop it. Yes - it does kill Groove which I am pretty sure was it's intention. We need to quit trying to cast Microsoft as some sort of consumer facing entity. The future for Microsoft is in the cloud and the commercial services that it will provide. You have to follow the money.

    • Riopato

      In reply to jrswarr: I won't be surprised that the future is in going back to ripping cds or direct downloads because Spotify will become another lumbering giant social media service that will alienate lesser known musicians and give more popular musicians an advantage over mainstream exposure. I hope musicians like Jay-z, Thom York, Tool and Metallica become more prevelant into dictating how their art is distributed, making services like Spotify irrelevant as its competition is becoming.

    • wright_is

      In reply to jrswarr:

      Except that I have already paid for the music on OneDrive and I don't want to pay a monthly fee to listen to the music I already own or listen to adverts.

      That said, the music is all synced locally on my PC, so it is not a problem. It is annoying on my phone, but I mainly listen to podcasts and audiobooks on the move anyway, so I'll just do without.

      • jrswarr

        In reply to wright_is:

        I can't really disagree with that and it was pretty much what I had thought before I subscribed to Spotify - but over time I just got tired of switching between players and Spotify had all my favorite artists and more.... I did move all my music to Google so should the need arise I can get to it with my phone.

  22. Demileto

    Honestly, I thought since they killed Groove music service back in 2017 that the app was not properly streaming music from OneDrive but rather download them to temporary folders and playing them locally, but I guess I was wrong. Going to be rather annoying if local sync of my OD music folder isn't enough to let me pick songs to play from within the app.

  23. Rob_Wade

    Well, the "suggesions" in the FAQ were a completely joke, written by people who clearly are completely ignorant of the issue. They need to be fired. In the meantime, how can we replace the capabilities the Groove afforded us?

  24. markbyrn

    Is this the final nail in the coffin?

  25. hometoy

    Oh. I didn't know this was a thing.

    When they retired the Groove Music Pass (which I didn't use) I didn't know that it could stream.

    Oh well, I only use it for playing my local files, primarily files on the SD card of my phone (through the car's speakers).

    • Riopato

      In reply to hometoy: That was the beauty of the Groove Music app and why people kept using it after they killed the subscription service. To have the ability of streaming your personal collection on your device without using up it's storage was awesome. iPhone and Android users had alternative apps that did the same when Microsoft stopped supporting the Groove app but now disabling this function through the cloud service might effect those apps also.

  26. Cdorf

    What sucks is Groove had so much potential -- so much lighter weight than Crytunes, and is a nice looking modern app. But they keep removing features and not adding any. While alternatives such as Musicbee function well they don't look as nice

  27. dontbe evil

    thanks nutella

  28. JosephDickerson

    Absolute BS. I have all my music mirrored in my OneDrive folder and have frequently taken advantage of this feature when I travel for business. Unlike many/most I don't subscribe to a music streaming service and I like to have physical media that I can rip myself. Ugh.

    • lvthunder

      In reply to JosephDickerson:

      So either sync that folder to your hard drive and use whatever music player you want or get iTunes match and use iTunes to play music.

    • Riopato

      In reply to JosephDickerson: Everyone in this comment thread needs to pay attention to Paul's first sentence in this article. "Microsoft has revealed that it will retire the ability to stream music from OneDrive to the Groove Music app in Windows 10." Knowing Microsoft they are once again sucking at communication and are not clear of their intentions. I am not so sure that only the Groove app will be effected and it's most likely the case that music streaming from One Drive will either not work on other apps or will be an extra cost for those apps to be able to stream from One drive. Don't be surprised if this function will be the latter.

    • safesax2002

      In reply to JosephDickerson:

      I don't know for sure but have you looked at Plex? It might do what you're wanting.

    • Daekar

      In reply to JosephDickerson:

      I'm not sure about iOS, but there are apps on Android that can still stream from OneDrive, or from Google Drive or Dropbox.

      Honestly, phone capacities are so huge now that I stopped bothering with streaming that kind of thing entirely. I use OneSync on Android to keep my phone's music folder synced with the music folder in OneDrive and I use a local player. The results have been far better for me.

      • Rob_Wade

        In reply to Daekar:

        We have FAR more music on our OneDrive than phones have capacity. And that's not even the point. We have our music on OneDrive so that it only HAS to be in one place for both my wife and I to stream it. Like Joseph Dickerson, there's no such thing as a streaming service that has all our music, has it in the meticulously curated fashion we have it, without all the idiotic "suggested for you" garbage and music we don't want. So, now we have to figure out some way to be able to continue streaming from OneDrive with the benefits of Album, Artist and Playlist support.

  29. Pierre Masse

    Groove has now become another piece of crapware that you have to uninstall while setting Windows (starting with 19h1).

  30. wbhite

    This would be a missed feature if the Android app wasn't so damned crappy. I gave up using it after a couple of weeks.

  31. navarac

    Rapidly getting to the point that I pull ALL Microsoft apps from my devices. I just do not trust them to support stuff unless it is the "in thing" anymore.

  32. beatnixxx

    So... I've tried several things related to this, because about a month ago, I couldn't get Groove to find my OneDrive music (user error, I was storing in a location other than the "Music" folder.)

    One crazy thing which I may go back to: Installing an Android emulator, and running the app that I use on my phone which DOES stream from OneDrive. Advantage of this is that it allows me to use the same playlists everywhere without having to recreate them. Leaning toward this. The app is Cloudplayer and I've been very happy with it.

    I tried the Sonca app on Windows 10 from the Microsoft store. It technically sees the music on OneDrive, but recognizes/processes none of the metadata, so it doesn't display as Artists/Albums, just a track list. Only marginally better than going directly to OneDrive.

    Lastly, there is a Desktop application (not Windows Store app) called Clementine that looks promising. I may try it out, although honestly, the phone app mentioned above is doing a better job of managing everything than anything else has and unless I can sync playlists to all devices, I'm not sure I care to spend the time managing things in multiple places.

    I don't understand this move while also building and supporting Surface devices with limited disk space. While most people can't understand it, there are myriad reasons why I don't choose to use a streaming service and Microsoft is doing everything it can to push me off of Windows for home use. For the money I paid for my Surface, I'd like to be able to use it like it'sa modern device in 2019 or something.

    • Riopato

      In reply to beatnixxx: chances are that these alternative apps will also lose the ability to stream from One Drive. It sounds like this function was controlled by the service itself and not the apps.

  33. anthonye1778

    Just... amazing. Groove Music is now useless to anybody and everyone. Microsoft might as well retire that app also since its functionality and anything that made it unique has now been gutted. A sad turn of events. Inevitable, but sad.

  34. soundtweaker

    I was bummed about this till I just tried Next Player in the MS store. It streams my OneDrive music fine and the audio doesn't cut out when I open the Maps app on WM10 like the Groove app did.

  35. Chris_Kez

    I wonder if at some point they decide to pull photo backup from the OneDrive apps on Android and iOS. I'm not sure that it really benefits Microsoft. Unless they think it's helping to drive Office subscriptions for people taking advantage of the 1TB of storage.

    • jwpear

      In reply to Chris_Kez:

      If they pull photo backup, I may rethink my O365 subscription. Photo and file backup is a big part of that for me and my family. My wife and I both get an O365 subscription from our employers, but I choose to purchase a subscription for the family primarily for backup and sync of photos and other files at this point. While we certainly used the Office apps for both work and personal use, we could get by with Google Docs for personal office suite needs if we had to. I used to also subscribe to O365 for the kids, but nowadays they use the Google Docs suite they gain access to through school.

      I also tend to think O365 and OneDrive adoption are likely much higher than Groove and Groove streaming from OneDrive were.

    • Cdorf

      In reply to Chris_Kez:

      Its why I subscribe- through my employer I can get classic office for $15.00 one time- but obviously without the 1 TB of storage and that is my photo backup for my phone

  36. jwpear

    I'm not using Groove too much these days, but this still chaps my ass. Was there really that much effort involved in keeping this feature up? When are they going to open source the Groove app?

  37. Paul Avvento

    This is one of my issues with the corporate landscape today. It seems as if you're not going to be #1 or #2 in a given field you abandon it completely. I can understand the importance of focusing resources to be a market leader but there are certain apps or devices that are just necessary as part of an ecosystem.

    Devices today thrive on ecosystems, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Being able to push people to OneDrive with a native music sync/stream feature has potential for devices with limited storage, instead of requiring a web client or 3rd party solution.

    • Riopato

      In reply to Paul_Avvento: Just like Windows Phone, they just don't see a reason for any type of fully realized ecosystem. Microsoft can't decide to be a software, hardware or services company so they just let the market decide what kind of company they are by how much money people are puting into whatever products they make. Maybe if people just stopped investing into anything that Microsoft makes, this will make them realize they can't just lose interest into supporting their own products.

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to Paul_Avvento:

      This. There are scores of shitty 32GB Windows devices out there. I used several, and Groove’s OneDrive streaming made it an instant perfect player. Nothing local!

      Once more, Microsoft locks, loads, aims and shoots their foot.

  38. gregsedwards

    Is there any hope that this is timed to coincide with the announcement of something better coming along to replace it?

  39. stlbud

    So Microsoft wants to be more friendly to consumers. Way to go! </sarcasm> I'm just really done with buying Microsoft products. They think nothing of kicking customers to the curb.

  40. eric_rasmussen

    Microsoft kills me. They can't stop punching themselves in the face with their consumer strategy. This feature cannot have needed much time to maintain, but they always give up the consumer-facing features eventually.

  41. Tedzio Gibonni

    Nooooo. I love this feature. Groove player on win10 and cloud player on android means I have my music in one place only, and not carrying around 80gb of music.

  42. Steven Ball

    This is disappointing. I used this feature on both my Xbox and Surface to stream my rather large music library where I don't have the storage space to download everything. Time to look for a third party solution I guess.

  43. rv

    Thanks for the info..I loaded my music to Google drive and stream it through Google Play on my Android phone.