Reassess the possibility to ignore or exclude selected OneDrive folders and files from the sync process.
It would be great to be able to ignore or exclude selected files and folders within the OneDrive folder from syncing. It has been requested a few times before and solves user problems in a variety of areas: from software developers having problems with temporary build files and node_modules folders, through users who want to ignore sync problems (or issues like waiting days for a file to upload on a slow connection) by ignoring files in sync, to users who want to ignore files and folders created by applications, especially photo applications. There are many use cases where this feature would be a solution.
It might also be the case that a feature would reduce the number of support requests and user dissatisfaction, since users would have a way to fix various issues themselves (there is probably more applicable scenarios than described above) by desyncing a file or folder causing problems.
I know this feature has been requested before, and has received the status 'not right now', therefore I have termed this request 'reassess', to determine if the 'not right now' status is still the state of this feature request. I have collected the IDs of the uservoice requests for which this feature would be a solution (listed at the end of the request), summing the votes on these requests, this feature has a total of 549 votes, which would place at about the 35th position, among other requests which have status of 'working on it' or 'thinking about it'.
Thanks for your consideration!
The IDs of the related uservoice issues are: 6988070,10720758,10932591,10778649,10954851,11301837,11344905,11654178,13452462,15748891,17236724,8026992,15017205,17169314,18429295,7290507,11625105,12915153,13541754,16044514,7927728
Thanks for the feedback! We’re starting to look at this one. No plans to share yet.
Virgil Ierubino commented
Please yes. Clearly we need to ignore many types of temporary file, particularly in software development. A file/folder exclude pattern would be ideal, similar to the ".gitignore" approach. I don't need it to be handled via an actual file in the folder, we could configure from the admin console.
Would very much like to be able to exclude .git and .Rproj.user directories from being synced. When they are modified en-masse by Git or RStudio they confuse the heck out of OneDrive (for business) and I often get a message saying "you deleted a large number of files, would you like to delete them from OneDrive." Unfortunately, until I say "no" and they sync back down to my machine, I have no idea which "set" of files has been deleted and that it would've been perfectly safe to click yes (I suppose another feature request is to let me know which files are going to be deleted when you show me that message).
I think the hesitation to implement this feature in part comes from how finicky and complicated the UX would have to be for most users. I'm not just talking about non-power-users, but *most* users, period.
So, since this would be a power-user feature anyway, I propose a system like ".gitignore", maybe called ".OneDriveIgnore" where a user can place a text file of that name in any directory which handles the exclusions for that directory.
The document would have a dead-simple syntax, like .gitignore a simple list of files, folders, or extentions to exclude form syncing in that folder and all of its nested subfolders (unless another .OneDriveIgnore file is placed in a subfolder, which would overrule it)
Rather than store all the complex information in once place, in a settings database or, worse, the registry, placing it among your files would be familiar to the type of person who most needs this, developers, and intuitive enough for anyone else who wants to use it.
This also is better than a "right-click folder > OneDrive settings" option because having a file sitting in the directoy would expose it to the user, meaning that they are not likely to lose track of which folders and files are being excluded.
Maybe the OneDrive app could have a GUI utility for cataloging and creating these files, so that it *could* all be managed from one place for the user who prefers to work that way. The applet would scan the user's OneDrive folder and list all the .OneDriveIgnore files that it finds, and also serve as an editor for them.
Tomasz Kromrych commented
It's a critical feature for me, as today I have to disable sync for the whole day to avoid the upload of tons of temporary and not important files in subfolders created by build system. Then I manually remove those files, switch OneDrive back on (if I'm lucky to remember) and wait for the upload.
Like the top comment it is weird this feature is not available for consumers. Furthermore, it shares pro's with the top issue (differential sync.) that you are working on.
This feature would also result in less data needing to be transmitted, meaning less time to sync changes back and forth, and more efficient use of network bandwidth (especially if you consider all the different use cases people have voiced).
But the biggest pity is that the implimentation seems to be (partly) available for businesses: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/onedrive/block-file-types
So why not make this feature available for all consumers, the public?
No thanks commented
The lack of this feature breaks a game I've purchased. I am now fully disabling OneDrive as a fix. I do not plan to re-enable it until you provide the flexibility to exclude specific folders.
The fact that this functionality does not already exist is absurd.
Warren Coler commented
Being able to exclude the sync/moving of PST files in the known folders has beeen one of the barriers to our company adopting KFM. Altough the PSTs will not sync (good), the files are moved to the new KFM path, and will cause errors in Outlook, whch causes a lot of confusion. I know you have been working on the OneNote piece. If this were to be put into place I think we could finally move to KFM without pain for our users. Please implement this!!!
I found a very ugly workaround:
- Back up your data (this backup is needed later)
- Exclude the folder from syncing to your computer (the folder will be deleted locally)
- Delete the folder contents in the OneDrive web application but keep the empty folder
- Close OneDrive on your computer
- Restore the folder from backup
- Start OneDrive on your computer
OneDrive will now show a sync error forever but the data will not be uploaded.
Kris Jensen commented
This feature request is very important. During my day, I use many tools for development and corporate adherence.
Many of these tools generate enormous data files that get synchronized via one drive. Sometimes the data files exceed 10GB for simulation data. I never want the simulation data archived, only the simulation and the results.
I am another customer requesting that a file type filter be added to exclude certain files from synchronizing.
Various programs auto-save data to my /Documents/ folder, which then will auto-sync to OneDrive. I don't want them going up to the cloud, taking bandwidth and OneDrive space. I cannot exclude them. If I move them out of the Documents folder, the programs no longer recognize the data.
Steve Mendoza commented
It would be nice to exclude the iisExpress in my documents. I don't need to folder to sync every time I use Visual Studio.
Lisa EIlerman commented
+3, I've been completely bogged down (previous job) when syncing after being offline a couple days, never mind longer times. And often, those files being sync'd are not remotely necessary to be in one drive.
Thodoris Papadopoulos commented
yes please add this feature
Matt Edwards commented
Can't use Visual Studio product and Onedrive on the same computer without this feature. So which software program do you want me to use Microsoft?
Steve S commented
For over twelve hours, OneDrive has been pegging one of the cores on the computer from which I write this note. Why? a node_modules folder appears to be enough to bring OneDrive--and my computer--to its knees.
Blocking a folder or a pattern from syncing is a fundamental, obvious, mandatory feature.
Please add this to the backlog in fall 2019!
Flash Lin commented
+3 This is needed. Please add this feature. it will be on great feature!
Gene Jones commented
+3 this is my #1 complaint with OneDrive. Node_modules has dramatically slowed my client to the point that I'm never certain if a file will upload to OneDrive or not.
+3 This will help with Privacy issues
+3 This is needed. Please add this feature,
yes please add this feature