Office 365 Customers Get Unlimited But Flawed OneDrive

Microsoft is giving away unlimited storage but they will have to improve OneDrive before it matters

By Stephen Pate – Microsoft Office 365 customers can now use OneDrive with unlimited cloud storage. That follows the announcement in the spring of 1 TB OneDrive storage.

Does it mean anything to you? When you get a gift that is worthless, the French say “pas un cadeau” – not a gift.

Like many products related to The Cloud, OneDrive is a great concept – share files anywhere on any device – that is flawed in execution.

When Microsoft upped my limit to 1 TB, it encouraged me to use OneDrive more. I had up to 400GB stored on OneDrive until August when I scaled back to only occasional use.

OneDrive is a deeply flawed product that follows the usual Microsoft pattern of developing the dream specification, partially finishing the coding and throwing the product at consumers for them to discover and report the flaws. It will take Microsoft 5-10 years to make OneDrive a safe program to use.

OneDrive is so close to beta code that if you have a problem and try to post it on Microsoft Answers, the support technician will move the discussion offline. Public discussion of OneDrive’s flaws is a no-no at Microsoft.

OneDrive is fine for a few photo albums but bogs down when you load 10 GB and crawls at 100 GB of storage. I can’t imagine the problems with 1 TB or 5 TB of data.

With large data sets OneDrive has problems syncing in any reasonable timeframe. It took almost a month to sync about 200 GB of photos from my computer.  None of the messages from OneDrive explained the problem or how to fix it.

OneDrive Modern App

There is no simple way to maintain your OneDrive. There are at least three different apps or programs that control OneDrive on your computer. It takes a genius to remember which program has what function since none of the programs are the same.

OneDrive Live app in the browser

The design concept of OneDrive is fundamentally flawed. You should be able to flag libraries for storage on OneDrive, like File History but you can’t. OneDrive files get stored in a separate subdirectory of your computer creating a second copy of the file. This is neither brilliant, manageable, space-saving or safe.

The OneDrive mirror copy has to be maintained in parallel with the original copy. It would be foolhardy to store original files on the cloud. Microsoft warns against it and disclaims any responsibility if OneDrive loses files.

My wife, a senior system administrator asked where the files are stored. There is no answer to that. Your data could be in the USA, Canada, the EU or anywhere. Who owns the data? What governments can look at it?

OneDrive should be a slave copy of your original files but Microsoft has designed it as the original. Delete a file in OneDrive and it will delete from your computer when OneDrive syncs. Gone, poof.

There is a fallback in the OneDrive Recycle Bin but it loses files as well.

Large file, video and photo editing with OneDrive is laborious since OneDrive cannot instantly save and retrieve files like your hard drive. You wait, and wait and wait for them to sync.

If I file can’t sync, OneDrive just stops syncing. Why aren’t the files syncing is for you to discover. The status of your OneDrive sync is a mystery.

OneDrive loses connections with computers without explanation. For instance, I was working on the computer Katzass looking at OneDrive in the OneDrive/Live web app and it said OneDrive could not connect to Katzass. The only suggested action was to delete Katzass from OneDrive without any explanation of the consequences. In the Modern app, it was connected on Desktop Explorer.  Go figure.

This is not the complete list of OneDrive issues. If you have others, please add them in the comments.

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By Stephen Pate, NJN Network

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