I am a long-time PC user with better-than-average, although not expert, knowledge of how to operate a computer. I operate a Dell desktop for
I am a long-time PC user with better-than-average, although not expert, knowledge of how to operate a computer. I operate a Dell desktop for personal use. I also operate a Dell Inspiron 17” laptop for my consulting business. My operating system on both computers is Windows 10 obtained by subscribing to Windows 365 Home. Integrated in Windows 10 is a “cloud storage solution” app called OneDrive. It is “set up when I log into my Microsoft Account with storage available in File Explorer” as described by Microsoft.
Sounds great so far. I am very interested in “cloud storage” to back up my files as an additional backup to my Seagate external backup drive. So, I logged into my MS account. Now, I am really excited. Let the games begin. OneDrive starts syncing.
I open the OneDrive folder on my desktop computer. Lo and behold, there is my Document folder. But wait. The folder contains files from my laptop not my desktop files, and the files are a year old. How strange. For some unknown reason, I check Properties of the OneDrive folder. My eyes are drawn to the 281gb of storage. My curiosity gets the best of me. Next, I go to my desktop settings. Then storage. Then expand storage to see the storage breakdown. Wouldn’t you know it? There are 281gb of space taken up by the OneDrive folder on the same C-drive as My PC/Documents folders. Next, I login to my MS Account that starts “OneDrive.live.com”. On the cloud are the same 281gb of laptop files. Still, no files from my desktop computer. OneDrive must still be syncing.
But wait, in the left pane of OneDrive website, I click on PC’s. I see four (4) computers. The one labeled “desktop” contains my laptop files. The other three PC’s should contain my desktop computer files. I only need one. So, I delete two of the PC’s and go back to Files also on the left pane on the OneDrive website. Still, no desktop computer files. Only the laptop files. I then go to help and try to learn more about how to operate OneDrive. I believe all my OneDrive settings are correct in which “all folders to be synced” and OneDrive is “to always keep (files) on this device”. To verify, I open File Explorer /My PC/Documents then open the OneDrive folder/Documents on the same (desktop) PC. Some files show icon status as “online only” some are “available on this device”, and some are “always keep on this device” even though the latter is the only status icon I selected. Oddly enough, status icons were different for the same files when comparing My PC/Documents with my OneDrive folder/Documents. Still, I was getting laptop Document files only in my OneDrive folder in my desktop computer’s File Explorer.
Ahh! OneDrive must still be syncing.
I start an email conversation with OneDrive Support. Before getting into the above technical issues, I asked my basic question:
“How do I setup OneDrive to provide cloud storage of my files without adding the same storage to my File Explorer while always keeping all my files in My PC folder on each of my two computers?”
The Support person could not answer my basic question due to prepared canned responses. I learned later why there was no canned response to my question.
My next experience with OneDrive happened after a restart due to an update to a non-related app. Whoops! The OneDrive cloud icon disappeared from my taskbar. It wasn’t even hiding in Show Hidden Icons pop-up. There goes my access to OneDrive settings. More email correspondence with OneDrive Support who told me I had a Windows issue. OK, I called Microsoft Tech Support. Apparently, my response to the prompts got me Office Tech Support. The tech person helped me retrieve the OneDrive cloud icon and knew more about OneDrive than OneDrive email support. I asked whether he could connect me to a real person in OneDrive Support. He said that only email and online self-help for OneDrive are available at this time. I explained my frustration with the email correspondence. The Office tech support person said that OneDrive does not have a real person for tech support yet because OneDrive is still being perfected, but maybe I could get help from Windows Support. Well, there you go. Microsoft launched OneDrive on August 1, 2007. Eleven (11) years and still no live tech support.
It’s been five (5) days now. OneDrive is still syncing. Incredible.
After reading dozens of OneDrive reviews and how-to’s, I am convinced that OneDrive does not just provide “…..storage available in File Explorer” as described by Microsoft marketing. OneDrive provides, or to be more precise, mandates OneDrive storage on top of My PC storage in File Explorer taking up my C-drive storage space for no reason that I can justify. Furthermore, if I don’t want to use OneDrive, I just can’t uninstall OneDrive because the OneDrive files remain on my hard drive and can’t be deleted without the OneDrive extension that would be gone if OneDrive is uninstalled. If I unsync OneDrive in settings, files with status “Online only” will be deleted unless status is changed to “Always keep on this device”; even this is questionable for both OneDrive folder and My PC/Documents both on File Explorer because who knows whether files showing the status icon “Sync Pending” will or will not be deleted. The only sure way to stop using OneDrive and getting back my 281gb of storage space is to completely backup my C-drive externally, delete all OneDrive files on File Explorer and online, uninstall OneDrive in my PC Settings/Apps/Uninstall, then download my saved files from my external backup hard drive. This goes for photos and videos as well as document files on my laptop as well as my desktop computer.
To provide PC users with a “cloud storage solution” that is “….available in File Explorer”, Microsoft should have been forthright and describe OneDrive as a “cloud collaboration solution” that “can reside/take up storage on File Explorer”. Even if I used OneDrive as a cloud collaboration tool, I absolutely would not want it to take up storage space other than space necessary to operate OneDrive. OneDrive should be a stand-alone app able to be downloaded to Windows 10 at the discretion of the user.
Instead, Microsoft in their infinite wisdom has a fixed belief that their customers prefer to operate their personal computers on the world wide web and assumes that the internet will be available at the proper speed, at the user’s various locations, at exactly the time the user wants to access their files, and for the user to know ahead of time when to use Files on Demand to move files to File Explorer prior to an unpredictable internet interruption. Don’t forget the unavailability of live tech support after eleven (11) years of OneDrive issues. OneDrive is more for friends sharing information across the cloud. For those who do not want to share files or collaborate and edit files on a cloud platform and for businesses who have their own cloud-based network, OneDrive is not for them. Again, OneDrive should be optional. My next move is to copy all my files externally and uninstall OneDrive as described above. I will probably subscribe to a 3rd party cloud backup service such as iDrive or Carbonite. It will take a lot of my time to rid my computers from an application that I did not request.
I am not a happy PC camper. In an effort to reduce my stress, I have written this lengthy review to blow off some steam.
Wait! On no. My mistake. For a minute there, I thought syncing was complete. How silly of me.