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Microsoft Upload Center - what is it, why do I want it and what if I don't?

What's this Microsoft Upload Center?

You've installed Office 2010, you've tried out some of the apps and now you notice that there's this little orange circle thing in your task bar.

You click it and it tells you it's the Microsoft Upload Center.

The Upload Center is a tool that's included with Office 2010. When you open files from a server or upload files to a server it caches the files for you and monitors the transfer process. If it's interrupted for some reason, the Center can notify you and can even restart the process later, when network connectivity returns.

The Knowledgebase article Microsoft Office 2010 Upload Center describes how you can control the notifications the Center gives you or even how to keep it from appearing on the taskbar.

It doesn't describe how the Upload Center gets loaded in the first place, what sort of file transfers it actually monitors, or how to get rid of it once it's invoked.

Fine. But what if I don't want it?

For starters, if you don't want it, don't run Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010 (what used to be called Groove). Workspace also loads the Upload Center, even if you simply start it, then cancel before doing anything. It also sets some values in the Windows registry that cause Upload Center to load again every time you restart Windows.

Mea culpa. I was curious and ran it once. NOW what?

Once it's been loaded there's no simple way to get rid of it, whether you want it or not.

Rude. Very very rude.

To get rid of Upload Center for the current Windows session:

If you don't want to repeat this little dance every time you restart Windows, you'll need stronger medicine.

When SharePoint Workspace runs, it makes some registry settings that cause a program called MSOSYNC.EXE to run every time Windows starts. The simplest way to prevent this is to find and rename MSOSYNC.EXE to MSOSYNC.NO! (it's in the folder where Office 14 is installed, in the Office 14 subfolder.) Do that, restart Windows and the Upload Center won't be there any longer. If you want it back, you can always rename MSOSYNC.NO! back to MSOSYNC.EXE and run SharePoint Workspace to start it up again.

Note that Upload Center might still re-appear if you reinstall Office or install a service pack; either would probably install a new copy of MSOSYNC.EXE to replace the "missing" one.

If you prefer, you can edit the registry to get rid of Upload Center. Locate HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run and rename or delete the OfficeSyncProcess entry that points to the current location of MSOSYNC.EXE. If that didn't make sense to you, you probably should leave the registry alone.

Again, reinstalling or updating Office will probably re-create the registry setting. And so will running SharePoint Workspace.

Of the two approaches, we'd recommend renaming MSOSYNC.EXE. It avoids the danger of editing the registry and will be more foolproof.

One last touch: you could also delete any shortcuts to SharePoint Workspace so that you don't accidentally run it again. You can always go to the Office 14 folder and doubleclick GROOVE.EXE to start it at will.

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Microsoft Upload Center - what is it, why do I want it and what if I don't?
Last update 25 June, 2013