OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online sync issues
We have had several incorrect disconnections on OneDrive that are SYNCED to Project & Bid SharePoint Online (SPO) subsite document libraries. This has resulted in countless folders and files being deleted. Fortunately, they are going into the site Recycle Bin however this has led to a significant amount of work to restore these files. This causes disruption to the ongoing use of the site until resolved. We can have up to 200 users on a project unable access the deleted files until restored. This will impact significantly on our productivity.
Users will initially SYNC a whole or part of a SPO document library to their OneDrive for Business (Files On-Demand for windows 10). Most users prefer to use the traditional File Explorer view. This is where they feel most comfortable whilst working from their laptop or desktop machines. This is because they can quickly view and access multiple SPO project or bid libraries they have Sync’d at a time. During their time whilst working on a site they will access thousands of files which download onto their machines.
When a user leaves the company or transfers to another project they sometimes forget and simply right click on a connection and then click Delete. All the files that the user has accessed are deleted and placed into the SPO Recycle Bin which in some cases amounts to thousands of files being deleted. We then must get our IT Department to restore these files as a normal user at a project level can only restore 100 files at a time.
Administrative preventative actions – whilst we have always had a documented guideline process included on every subsite library created and we have trained Project Administrators on these sites, end users still disconnect incorrectly. Investigations have taken place and we find that users are mainly rushing and forget the process to “STOP SYNC” at the OneDrive Account Settings before deleting in File Explorer.
In other cases, a new recruit to the company/project has not been shown the guide or instructed on the correct process. We have re-enforced the Guidelines and specifically induct NEW recruits through the process. Memorandums have been circulated business wide to departments at Head Offices around the country who also SYNC SPO/OneDrive multiple sites. The business IT Support Department have included a guide into their Knowledge Base.
Suggestion: For OneDrive connections within the File Explorer view to a SPO library that the right click>Delete menu command be re-engineered and replaced with a Disconnect menu option – when the Disconnect is selected it automatically forces a “STOP SYNC” at the OneDrive Account Settings. If the user wishes to continue a Remove Connection option, then becomes available. This safely disconnects without any folders/files being deleted at the source SPO document library.
NOTE: When a connection to a sever is Mapped in File Explorer and a user wishes to delete this connection, there is only a right click>Disconnect option available. So, when a user selects this menu item it is done safely without any folders/files being deleted at the source location.