Q: How can I block the use of SkyDrive in Windows 8.1?

A: There was no Group Policy setting to block the use of SkyDrive in Windows 8. However, now that SkyDrive is a built-in component of Windows 8.1, there is a Group Policy setting to block its use.

  1. Open the Group Policy Object (GPO) that's applied to the Windows 8.1 machines, or run gpedit.msc locally on a Windows 8.1 machine.
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration, [Policies], Administrative Templates, Windows Components, SkyDrive.
  3. Double-click Prevent the usage of SkyDive for file storage.
  4. Set to Enabled, and click OK.
  5. Close Group Policy Editor.

Within a few minutes the change will take effect, and you'll find the following upheld:

  • Users can’t access SkyDrive from the SkyDrive app and file picker.
  • Windows Store apps can’t access SkyDrive using the WinRT API.
  • SkyDrive doesn’t appear in the navigation pane in File Explorer.
  • SkyDrive files aren’t kept in sync with the cloud.
  • Users can’t automatically upload photos and videos from the camera roll folder.

To make this change on a Windows RT device, you would first need to start the Group Policy Client service (start services.msc and start the service).