How to Remove Red X on Files Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Removing the red X on files in Windows 11 is a common issue that can be resolved with a few simple steps. The red X typically indicates an issue with the file’s synchronization status. By following this tutorial, you’ll be able to clear the red X and restore your file’s proper status.

Step by Step Tutorial to Remove Red X on Files Windows 11

Before we start, it’s important to know that the steps will help you re-establish the connection between your file and its original source, which should remove the red X.

Step 1: Check your internet connection

Make sure your computer is connected to the internet.

A stable internet connection is crucial because the red X often appears when there’s a sync issue with cloud services like OneDrive or SharePoint.

Step 2: Restart the sync process

Right-click on the file and select the "Sync" option.

Restarting the sync process can prompt the system to re-check the file’s status and remove the red X if the issue was temporary or has been resolved.

Step 3: Update Windows 11

Ensure your Windows 11 is up to date by checking for updates in the Settings.

An outdated system can cause synchronization and other issues, so keeping your Windows 11 updated is essential for the smooth functioning of your files.

Step 4: Check the file’s permissions

Right-click on the file, select "Properties," then check the "Security" tab to ensure you have the necessary permissions.

Sometimes, the red X can appear if you don’t have the right permissions to access or modify a file. Adjusting the permissions can resolve this issue.

Step 5: Use the Windows Troubleshooter

Use the built-in Windows Troubleshooter to fix any underlying issues.

The troubleshooter can automatically detect and fix various problems that might be causing the red X to appear on your files.

After completing these steps, the red X should be removed from your files, and they should sync correctly with their source.

Tips to Remove Red X on Files Windows 11

  • Regularly back up your files to prevent data loss in case the red X indicates a more severe issue.
  • Keep your antivirus software updated to avoid malware that may interfere with file synchronization.
  • If you’re using OneDrive, check the OneDrive settings to ensure it’s set up correctly for syncing files.
  • Consider unlinking and then relinking your cloud storage account if the issue persists.
  • If the problem continues, contact Microsoft Support for further assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the red X on a file mean?

The red X typically indicates a synchronization issue with the file.

Can I still open a file with a red X on it?

In most cases, yes, but it might not be the most up-to-date version of the file.

Will my file be deleted if I can’t remove the red X?

Not necessarily, but it’s a good idea to back up your files regularly.

What if the red X appears on multiple files?

Follow the steps provided to resolve the issue for each file, or consider a broader system troubleshooting approach.

Can this issue be prevented in the future?

Keeping your system and software updated and ensuring a stable internet connection can help prevent the issue.


  1. Check your internet connection.
  2. Restart the sync process.
  3. Update Windows 11.
  4. Check the file’s permissions.
  5. Use the Windows Troubleshooter.


Congratulations, you’ve made it through the guide on how to remove the pesky red X on files in Windows 11. Remember, this red X is usually a minor hiccup that signifies a syncing problem, and often, it’s nothing to stress over. By following the steps laid out in this article, you’re now well-equipped to tackle this issue head-on, ensuring that your work and personal files remain accessible and up-to-date.

But don’t stop here. Keeping your digital life in tip-top shape is an ongoing process. Regularly update your operating system, check your internet connection, and synchronize your files to avoid future issues. And if you ever find yourself in a bind, don’t hesitate to reach out to tech support or refer back to this guide. After all, technology is meant to make our lives easier, not give us a headache.

Stay curious, stay updated, and here’s to smooth sailing in the digital world of Windows 11!

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