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How can we improve the OneDrive experience on Windows?

Sync overlay icons "ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers" limit

There is a limit of 15 overlay icons in windows 10. Installing dropbox or google drive causes problems with sync overlay icons not appearing in onedrive (or vice versa). Why not make developers use the existing, microsoft sync overlay icons, rather than bringing their own? The 15 sync icons in "ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers" would be sufficient if Microsoft required that any third party sync application such as dropbox or google drive used the same icons. After all, onedrive and dropbox both show exactly the same information in the icon overlays - synced, not synced, sync in progress and sync error.

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  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    In my registry hive "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers" there are currently 34! entries of overlay Icons.

    Mainly using OneDrive and Tortoise(Git/SVN), with a second (leftover?) set of entries for Onedrive and three entries for Skydrive and some overlays for hard- and symbolic links.
    And I'm still missing programs like GDrive, Mega, Owncloud, Nextcloud, Acronis and so on, which all have explorer overlay icons.

    If I manually change the order of the overlay icon plugins by adding and removing spaces to their names (the same way, Onedrive tries to be the /winner of the Overlay-Icon war/) -
    after a reboot I get prompted by OneDrive, 'something seems to be wrong with my file associations and I should allow it to "fix" it. :-( . And this notification reappears on EVERY boot... :-(

    There are many more hits on this topic in the net, f.e. https://tortoisegit.org/support/faq/#ovlnotshowing

    Please put this topic at a high priority as this limitation is still present from the Windows XP days and was already a problem on Windows 7... - I hoped so much, this would be fixed with Windows 10...

    Thank you very much for spreading and talking about this problem!

  • Peter Weyzen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    They will never fix this - we who create overlays are also annoyed by this. I assume they created this limit when computers were slow.

    The way overlays work (currently) is that a development must create a plugin extension per icon they want to show. So, if I have 5 - I create 5 plugins.

    Explorer then calls each plugin in sequence on EVERY file.

    I bet 16 was a nice round number that limited the number of icons and prevented their usage from getting out of control and slowing the update on screen.

    So, if I were them - instead of just increasing the limit - they should create a new overlay plugin type - one that let's the developer show what they want without any limit.

  • Zac commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    this is a really long standing problem. Windows only allows 15, but I just checked and there are 33 registered on my computer. Not even all of the OneDrive ones are within the first 15 and there are 3 named SkyDrive. Its impossible to know if any of these can be deleted.
    I realize this isn't just a OneDrive problem but a Windows problem.

  • Ben commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Remarks about version 17.3.7294.0108

    New features and updates:

    - Bug fixes to improve reliability and performance of the client.

    - Users can now sync SharePoint libraries with Information Rights Management (IRM) enabled. Learn more

    - Users receive notifications in Activity Center when a file update cannot finish downloading while that file is locked by a local application.

    - Bug fix to avoid prompting for elevation if user is not an admin.

    - Bug fix to avoid issue preventing overlays from loading correctly in certain cases.

    Should be fixed with version 17.3.7294.0108, right?

  • Mathe172 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I assume this is addressed by the new status column in explorer? Btw, is this column also accessible to other applications like Dropbox so the fight over those 15 icons is finally over?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    In new windows this will be one of the main feature- overlay will be increase to 17 :D

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Microsoft Scum, Always know about issues, never willing to fix things, just sell.......SCUM

  • nick commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    please increase the number of overlay icons... 15 is not fit for purpose

  • Luca Fiocchi commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    this problem related to overlays it is not only creating problems with 'cloud' drives: I am a programmer, using TortoiseGIT, TortoiseSVN, etc... All these programs require specific overlays... You can imagine what happens while installing all that stuff: everytime You get the wrong overlay, as each one steals the place from the others...

  • Bert Verschuren commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Dropbox also started dropping some icons until fixing it in the registry. All 15 positions eaten up by Dropbox & OneDrive now. Google Drive icons are gone now. MS, please fix this. Multiple cloud storage is here to stay - no one will put all their eggs in 1 basket. For every vote on this forum, likely a million MS customers have the same problem but either don't get here or have no idea how to fix it.

  • Wilf21 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I dn't think anyone at Microsoft is listening. Funny thing is, Dropbox unerringly succeeds in using and displaying the icons, so why not Onedrive?

  • androparadeigma commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Maybe if Windows get more slotes. But the problem is that some number of cloud services will give error. The solution is really make developers use the existing, microsoft sync overlay icons,

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