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OneDrive For Business Has Issues

OneDrive for Business - not quite the right solution

I needed to love OneDrive for Business.

And it should have been an amazing relationship! There are many reasons to like OneDrive for Business. Although it had problems up to now, now the Windows app is secure and fast; I’ve received a lot of space for storing included with my Office 365 subscription; and OneDrive for Business consists of features at no charge that value additional from different providers.

So I dedicated to Microsoft. Throughout setup, I related my laptop computer to Workplace 365 (technically Azure Lively Directory), so I log in with my Office 365 business account. I prepared to make use of OneDrive for Business as the only place for my information and footage. It was going to be so nice! Word and Excel would auto-save my information while I work. Microsoft would maintain my information backed up and protected. The digital future was shiny.

However little things stored making us struggle.

The jigsaw puzzle was virtually full however a couple of pieces just didn’t fit.


Many Workplace 365 business subscribers will probably be proud of OneDrive for Business. The advantages are quite actual! You may be capable of surrender Dropbox or Box and scale back your monthly payments, with confidence that your information are safe and backed up.

But the points that cropped up for me may affect you too. I decided it was value it to pay Dropbox for a premium subscription to avoid OneDrive for Business points. What sort of a special snowflake are you?

Some great benefits of OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Business - folder backup

Most Workplace 365 licenses embrace 1Tb of online space for storing for information at no further charge. If your corporation makes use of Office 365 for mail, you’ve additionally acquired loads of space for storing in OneDrive for Business. If you wish to use Dropbox or Field as an alternative, you’ll probably need to pay for a license and adequate space for storing.

OneDrive for Business consists of one necessary function that isn’t yet part of all Dropbox plans: Information On Demand allows you to retailer information online and flick through them in File Explorer in your pc without using any exhausting drive area. Dropbox Sensible Sync is just included in costlier paid plans.

OneDrive for Business is deeply built-in into Home windows and the Workplace packages. You possibly can easily redirect your Desktop, Documents and Footage folders so the information are backed up and out there from all of your units. Life is easier should you can retailer all of your information in one place that’s deeply integrated so you don’t should hunt by means of the left column of File Explorer.

If you work on OneDrive information in Workplace packages, they are mechanically and constantly saved as you’re employed.

OneDrive for Business is full featured, providing quick syncing, model historical past, recovery of deleted gadgets, ransomware restoration, and more. The opposite providers supply comparable security and protection however the level is that you simply gained’t have to provide something up in case you use OneDrive for Business.

The problems with OneDrive for Business

Let me be clear: you won’t experience any issues in case you decide to OneDrive for Business.

Microsoft’s confusing “personal” and “work or school” accounts

First, though, you must leap over the hurdle that Microsoft has positioned in front of everyone using its providers: the confusing distinction between Microsoft’s personal accounts and the separate work or faculty accounts. When you hook up with each the private OneDrive and the “work or school” OneDrive for Business, so you’ve two cloud icons in the lower proper and two references to OneDrive in File Explorer, you’ll be in a confusing hell which most individuals never work out.

Let’s assume that you simply type that out. You join OneDrive for Business to your work Workplace 365 account and you utterly bypass the private account. What might go fallacious?

The mysterious folder backup error

OneDrive folder backup error

The function that mechanically redirects your Documents folder to OneDrive sounds pretty cool, so you visit that display in OneDrive settings, where a couple of clicks is all it takes to set it up. (Right-click on the OneDrive for Business icon / click on on Settings / click on Backup.)

Except it doesn’t work. You get the type of error message that the majority eyes literally can’t concentrate on: “We can’t protect Outlook.pst in the Documents folder. To continue, move this file outside an important folder and try again.”

There’s an answer to this. I’m not going to go through an extended rationalization of how you may break access to an Outlook archive and the shortage of steerage about the place to place a probably essential file so as to nonetheless use it and it still will get backed up. As a result of in the event you get past that, you won’t be accomplished because the subsequent error message may name out OneNote notebooks that also should be moved before folder backup might be arrange with OneDrive and that’s a totally totally different sort of confusion.

Perhaps that gained’t occur to you. Perhaps you’ll highlight Documents and click on on “Start protection” (or “Start backup,” because Microsoft can’t use the identical words to explain a function for greater than 60 days with out imploding) and every thing will simply work.

But if it doesn’t, like so many points, the reply is, as a result of Microsoft.

The cluttered paperwork folder

This one is only private and nearly aesthetics. If you redirect your Paperwork folder to OneDrive, the whole lot in Paperwork is synced with OneDrive. That’s the point. That includes all the junk folders added by Microsoft and other developers which are cluttering up the Paperwork folder, which makes OneDrive a multitude once I visit it on the internet or on my telephone.

The folder redirection is an choice. I don’t have to show it on. I might transfer only the folders that have my information and quit the mixing that may let me click on Documents to succeed in them in File Explorer.

For some cause I’m nice doing that with Dropbox nevertheless it irritates me to be pressured to try this with OneDrive for Business. What can I say? I’m shallow and capricious.

The mysterious sluggish pc

OneDrive - Office integration

Look, I can’t show it, nevertheless it felt like the whole lot slowed down. It was bizarre. I’ve a monster pc full of RAM and a quick processor and SSDs and, nicely, it felt sluggish. I’m still unsure about that. Perhaps it was restricted to file operations in the OneDrive folders – sluggish to copy/move information, sluggish to preview information, sluggish to open and close them. Perhaps it was a common slowdown, perhaps it was creativeness.

What I’m positive of was that the mixing with the Workplace packages didn’t go properly. Opening or closing a file in Word or Excel all too typically obtained the white border “not responding” display for several seconds. You recognize the one, Outlook does it on a regular basis – the one the place you don’t know if the system will ultimately recuperate or if a program has crashed so that you click repeatedly until the pc throws up in your lap.

Ultimately I went into OneDrive for Business (right-click on the icon / Settings / Workplace) and unchecked the field, “Use Office applications to sync Office files that I open.” Restart the computer. Now I can’t collaborate with individuals on my Workplace information and the Auto-Save button in the higher left of Word/Excel is greyed out and information usually are not mechanically saved – but every part is operating at full velocity.

By this time I’ve turned off the folder redirection for Documents and I’ve turned off the mixing with the Workplace packages. I’m starting to assume, why did I make this variation?

The search problem

The final straw.

I exploit File Explorer to seek for information continuously. I’m an influence searcher. I’ve been obsessive about indexing and looking for information for twenty years. I’ve been intently following Microsoft’s instruments for indexing and looking for information in Home windows because the early 2000s, when it first launched Home windows Desktop Search for Windows XP.

Whenever you retailer information on-line with OneDrive Information On Demand, you’ll be able to see all of the information in File Explorer however you’ll be able to only seek for file names. You’ll be able to’t search the complete text of the file contents. You possibly can solely do a full-text search from the website. (Dropbox Sensible Sync works the same method however at the very least it adds a search box that pops up whenever you click the icon in the decrease proper.)

However that’s not all.

When you transfer the OneDrive folder in your pc to a unique location than the default, then you possibly can’t search it in any respect. Not for file names, not for full text. The folders disappear from the Home windows Indexing Service.

I’ve a small SSD for my C: drive. It holds the working system and program information however it’s not large enough for my paperwork and footage. For that cause I moved the OneDrive for Business folders to my F: drive, an enormous storage drive. Although a lot of the information are on-line, I nonetheless need to have some folders saved on the arduous drive for quicker access and to make them obtainable if I’m offline.

I can’t search them. Once you look in the Indexing options, they’re actually gone.

OneDrive folder missing from indexing options on F: drive

The left aspect of the screenshot above exhibits the contents of F:UsersBruceBerls – two folders, Dropbox and OneDrive – Bruceb Consulting.

The appropriate aspect exhibits the folders that may be listed using the Home windows Indexing Service (Control Panel / Indexing Choices / Modify). The Dropbox folder is indexed. I can seek for file names in Dropbox – not full textual content but better than nothing. The OneDrive folders are just . . . not there. Poof! They’re gone. I stored going again to that dialog box time and again as a result of it didn’t make any sense. Certainly that can’t be?

If I search for a file identify saved in OneDrive for Business, I get nothing.

Is it a bug? Is it required by some quirk of the Information On Demand agent? There are a couple of individuals online complaining about it however no details from Microsoft.

That was it. I moved my documents and footage to Dropbox and decided to not cancel my subscription to Dropbox Professional. I’ll spend $199/yr so I don’t have to consider any of this ever again.

It might have been such a stunning relationship. We dated for a while and I don’t regret it. However it gained’t work out between us.

Because, sadly, OneDrive for Business has issues.