Run OneDrive as a Windows Service with FireDaemon Pro

Microsoft OneDrive Logo



Microsoft OneDrive is a file hosting and synchronization service. It's useful for backing up files for safe off-site storage or to share files with others. OneDrive can be run as a Windows service using FireDaemon Pro. This allows you to start and run OneDrive automatically when Windows boots and before login. FireDaemon Fusion can also be used to manage your OneDrive service, plus other Windows services via your web browser.

OneDrive on Windows 11 23H2 and Server 2022

OneDrive is designed to be run in a logged-in Windows user session. OneDrive does not run as a FireDaemon Pro Windows Service on Windows 11 23H2 or Server 2022. OneDrive crashes. Sorry about that. OneDrive appears to work fine on Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 or earlier.

Turn Off Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration

When attempting to install OneDrive on Windows Server, you will need to ensure Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration is turned off for Administrators via Server Manager. Otherwise, the installation of OneDrive may be blocked by IE ESC.

Install OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive is already installed in Windows 10. OneDrive also comes with Microsoft Office. OneDrive is generally not installed on Windows Server. OneDrive can be downloaded from here. Alternatively, download a OneDrive Insider Build.

Setup OneDrive to work with FireDaemon Pro

Once you have installed OneDrive, you will need to set it up so it works properly with FireDaemon Pro.

Step 1: Log in to OneDrive with your Microsoft Account

You will need to log in to your OneDrive with your Microsoft Account. You may have to use Microsoft Authenticator to authorise the login.Set up OneDrive screen

Step 2: Make a note of where your OneDrive folder is located

So you know where your files are going to be stored. After that you can skip through the rest of the OneDrive setup wizard.

Your OneDrive folder screen

Step 3: Configure OneDrive

By default, OneDrive runs when you log in to Windows. You do not want that to happen when OneDrive is running as a service under FireDaemon Pro. So right-click on the OneDrive icon in the Task Tray:

OneDrive Task Tray Icon

OneDrive will now be displayed. Click on the Settings cog in the top right-hand corner and choose Settings:

OneDrive SettingsEnsure everything is unchecked in the Settings tab then click OK (i.e. do not start OneDrive automatically and suppress all notifications).
Unchecked OneDrive Settings

Step 4: Log out and log back in again

It is really important to ensure that OneDrive is no longer running, so log out and log back in again and ensure you no longer see the OneDrive icon in the Windows Task Tray.

OneDrive Task Tray icon missing

Install FireDaemon Pro

Download and install the latest version of FireDaemon Pro. Just follow the instructions in the install wizard.

Managing OneDrive when running under FireDaemon Pro control

CAVEAT: Once OneDrive is set up as a FireDaemon Pro Service, you will no longer be able to access OneDrive's Settings. To access OneDrive's settings you will need to:
  1. Stop the FireDaemon Pro OneDrive service
  2. Manually start OneDrive and change the Settings
  3. Logout / login
  4. Start the FireDaemon Pro OneDrive service again

OneDrive is installed on a per-user basis, so to run OneDrive manually you will need to run OneDrive.exe relative to your user profile. For example, if you were logged in as the user Administrator, OneDrive.exe would be located here:


Setup the OneDrive FireDaemon Pro Service

Now start FireDaemon Pro and create a new FireDaemon Pro service (Ctrl+N) per the screenshot below:
FireDaemon Pro OneDrive Program tab

The Program and Working Directory should point to your user-specific OneDrive installation location. In this case, we are logged in as the user Administrator, so set:

Program to C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\Microsoft\OneDrive\OneDrive.exe
Working Directory to C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\Microsoft\OneDrive

Now click on the Settings tab and set up the user account that is to be used to run OneDrive. This must be the same account you are currently logged in as (in this case Administrator). Enter the user's password twice. Then click "the tick" to save and run OneDrive.
FireDaemon Pro OneDrive Settings tab

Verify OneDrive is running correctly

OneDrive should be running. You can verify it is running correctly by viewing the FireDaemon Services list. Status should be Running, Process should be Running, and you should have a Process ID (PID) that does not change

FireDaemon Pro Services List

You should now be able to open your OneDrive folder (e.g. C:\Users\Administrator\OneDrive) and view your synchronised files:
OneDrive Folder