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SYNC SHARED FOLDERS Without Duplicate Files!!

Right now, syncing shared folders is a NIGHTMARE because of the duplicate files it creates. This is unfortunate because it creates more work than it's worth. I understand this is currently a design limitation, but if it could be fully supported and implemented to support syncing shared folders, I feel businesses everywhere that use OneDrive would benefit GREATLY!!
This would allow users to access the files from the shared folder as they do now, as well as access the files from OneDrive cloud - and the changes would sync from either direction, thus allowing users in office and out of office to work together seamlessly.

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    Greg Martin shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    redirect to support  ·  Douglas Pearce responded  · 

    Hi, folks. Sync’ing a shared folder to your PC or Mac should not create duplicate files. If you’re not seeing this behavior, can you reach out to support? You can report a problem from the sync client by right-click on the cloud.

    21 comments

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      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        OneDrive has caused me countless problems over the last few days. It keeps on telling me that it can not merge files. It then proceeds to copy my folders and files numerous times. The syncing action kills my internet connection and never stops. I am the only one accessing and using these files ! No one else uses these files but me. How can it be. I use two computers but I thought that was the whole idea of using the cloud, get access from anywhere !

      • San commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hello, my one drive keeps signing me out on an old computer and it definitely duplicates my very large file folders with the same name! so it's very confusing and time consuming as I am trying to consolidate and switch computers....

      • Denise Sesson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I am having this problem of duplicate files in a library resident on my cell venue pro 8. My cell says I am out of space because of this linked file. Trying to find out how to stop it and keep my files in the cloud.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I just tried to reach out to support as you say but it said the topic is closed! the Get help! button was not even directing me to the help desk, simply to a forum!
        I need the tech department to help, not the other users with the same problem.

      • John commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Cloudchamponline.com is a completely free tool to eliminate duplicate files from your OneDrive.

      • Dennis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Run away from this junk. I used Dropbox for years with no problems and was enticed away to try this microsoft junk and I am so absolutely disappointed in my really stupid decision.
        Most of my data is on my Mac. I used dropbox on my mac and android phone to keep things synced with zero problems. I switched everything carefully to onedrive and now a couple of months later, I noticed that my encrypted password file has 38 versions! Really! And microsoft support have basically told me they are not interested in me and my problems. I am going to have to spend days sifting through the duplicate files trying to figure out what it was I added to the password file and try to combine it into one file. It is going to take me days! I can't wait to calm down a bit. I am going to push this info everywhere including on the Google maps forums where thousands of professional photographers who might consider onedrive lurk. Reach out to support - that is a joke. I tried twice with zero help.

      • Greg Martin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        OP Here. That's interesting. I've called support about this on numerous occasions, and their answer was "OneDrive wasn't meant to be used to sync shared folders". Twice, this was the answer. I had to stop using OneDrive on our primary shared drive, because it was creating so many duplicate files, it was creating more work for people trying to figure out which data was in one copy, and which data was in the other.

        We had to stop using OneDrive all together

        So you're saying this is no longer the case? Or it never was the case?

      • Alex sm commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm having this problem everytime I try to sync my Samsung s9 using one drive. I'm now using Google drive with much better results.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I continually end up with duplicate files with a "1" added to the name - mostly with Excel and Word files. I have tried to limit working just online but that defeats purpose of having a sync'd offline folder.

      • Jim Carlson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I had a disc drive failure and had to stop onedrive as it was trying to start and sync to the corrupt drive. Fixed disk, recovered files with and placed onedrive in the same location as before. Had to re-define the drive location to get syncing to re-start. But instead of re-syncing it is making copies of exact same files appending a machine name to them.

        HOW CAN IT GET IT TO ACTUALLY COMPARE FILES AND NOT JUST DUPLICATE EQUIVALENTS.

      • DarkT commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We finally gave up on onedrive, even we have an active subscription, it is not worth the time and hassle trying to set it up properly, because you simply can't make it work as it should.
        Syncs are a nightmare (changing desktops and user files between computers all the time), sharing files is awkward at best (links are asking end user for the password and confirmation of the same through another link!?!), and creating duplicate user folders on the same PC is so irritating, it really makes our work falling behind heavily.
        We got back to the old fashion way (copy-paste files and doing backups manually over the network), and we are back on track, way better and easier.
        We are looking for the new cloud service now, so anything you can recommend that won't require weeks of hours and nerves as onedrive did?
        Thx

      • Robert Christian commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        My wife and I are trying to use OneDrive to work and share files. We have three computers (but two accounts) that are accessing the cloud service a desktop PC (mine), a laptop (my wife's), and a Surface (shared). Trying to keep the PC's sync with the OneDrive app can seem to be a nightmare. For some reason, whole folders have disappeared on my wife's laptop when you look at it with File Explorer (if you looked online everything was fine). I tried to sync but the OneDrive app in the system tray would say "Up-to-date) but the File Explorer icon would show folders still syncing. To fix the problem, I had to:

        1) Quit the OneDrive app and reboot.
        2) Rename the OneDrive folder to OneDrive-old.
        3) Open the app and sign in again and let everything sync.

        This all started when my wife asked me how to do something in Word in one of her documents. This was contained in a shared folder she would have created either on the Surface or the laptop and would have been a folder I would not touch. When she logged onto her laptop, the folder did not appear in her File Explorer. I could see it on my PC (I checked after) but it was frustrating for both of us because something that should have taken a few minutes became a several hour debugging project.

        It would be great if the OneDrive App had some kind of resync all (shared) folders options. Something that would when you select it, it will clear your local OneDrive and rebuild it. This could include options to with download the files to the local PC or save space and download only files that were accessed by this PC in that last x days (I am assuming you can determine that).

      • Jason commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm thinking that if the program recognized / referenced previous versions before creating duplicates it might be a solvable matter. Say, if a computer is shut down or loses sync, and a file is updated on the cloud, rather than the computer that was shut down upon resyncing saying "my version is conflicting with the new version", it says "my version was updated while I was away".

        I'm not a programmer, but other companies like DB seemed to have figured this out. I hope MS figures it out too.

      • BradC commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Multiple troubleshooting sessions with Microsoft and with company IT personnel has revealed at least one possible cause for duplicate files and potentially other undesirable behaviors of OneDrive. Specifically, we found that there were processes running on the machine which were attempting to backup or protect the same files as were being simultaneously handled by OneDrive. This was determined to potentially cause what the user perceived as "Latency" issues in the behavior of OneDrive. The latency had follow-on effects that resulted in undesirable behavior by OneDrive to duplicate files (among other things) resulting from file locks caused by the other programs. To fix the problem, we uninstalled the backup program with a favorable result (lower latency and fewer symptoms). It was at that point that we noticed additional latency caused by the security program. When the scheduled deep scan was cancelled, performance improved significantly and latency practically disappeared. My recommendation is to investigate simultaneous processes which could potentially cause file locks on synchronization. Those complimentary processes should have exception rules implemented which exempt (or at least delay acting on) certain OneDrive synchronization activities to prevent troublesome file locks. Conversely, OneDrive could be patched to accommodate the complimentary programs users (or their companies) tend to run on their hardware platforms / ecosystem.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Exactly the same nightmare with me, including trying all options to get o365 applications to save files locally. Used to work like a charm, but with the Dec 5th update, OneDrive started making a mess out of my storage by forking every other file into a version with the -DESKTOP-XYZ extension. Makes no sense to use OD at all as it more of an effort to keep my files sorted than to have the benefit of cloud storage.

      • codeshare3 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have exactly the same problem. It looks like something changed on OneDrive from November 2017 and the problems started. I did all the tests that user DavidT commented on and the results were the same.

      • Bob McKinnon commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We are seeing the same problem here, users complaining about slow saves to their local synced folders and the duplicate files. It seem to start in December for us. I hope we get a fix soon or at least some guidance from MS.

      • DavidT commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Since last November I have been having real problems saving Office files to my OneDrive Folder or one of my Company's SharePoint Folders. (In all cases the Folders are synced to my PC)

        Whenever I save a new Office file either to my OneDrive folder (Personal) or to one of my Company's SharePoint folders I end up with two copies instead of one. This is the sequence:

        Open a New File. Save As to my OneDrive Folder on my PC. The file very slowly saves direct to the Cloud and at the top of Word it says 'Saved to OneDrive'. If I then make changes to the document and close it I end up with two copies in my OneDrive Folder on my PC - the second one being a duplicate with my computer name appended. This is the behaviour when there is conflict between versions edited by different users, but I am the only user. This is not expected behaviour and it is making OneDrive and Sharepoint unusable.

        I have done some experiments with saving in different locations:
        1. Open a New File. Save As to my Desktop. The file saves instantly and at the top of Word it says 'Saved to this PC'. This is expected behaviour.

        2. Open a New File. Save As to my Dropbox Folder on my PC. The file saves instantly to the Dropbox folder on my PC and at the top of Word it says 'Saved to this PC'. This is expected behaviour. After the file has been saved to my Dropbox folder on my PC, the Dropbox sync engine detects the new file and uploads it to the Cloud in the background. This is expected behaviour and this is how OneDrive used to work. Each time I re-save my file Word updates the file in my Dropbox Folder on my PC. The Dropbox sync engine then detects the change and uploads the changes to the Cloud in the background. Once again, this is expected behaviour and this is how OneDrive used to work. At no time does Word communicate directly with the Cloud. Word saves to the Dropbox Folder on my hard drive and that is all it does. The Dropbox sync engine continually scans the Dropbox Folder on my hard drive and it uploads new files and changes to the cloud as and when necessary. OneDrive used to work like this too. It changed sometime last Autumn and I need to be able to make it work like this again.

        3. As 2 but Save As to my Google Drive Folder on my PC. Exactly the same results as with Dropbox - everything works correctly.

        These are the Options I have set:
        In my OneDrive Options:
        AutoSave Tab: All set to This PC Only.
        Office Tab: Tick removed from 'Use Office 2016 to sync Office files that I open."
        In my Word Options:
        Save Tab: 'Save to Computer by default' is ticked.

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