Changing OneDrive behaviour; watch out if indexing

Microsoft are changing the default behaviour of OneDrive on macOS; this change will result in files stored in OneDrive not being available locally by default. Anyone indexing files on OneDrive will presumably run into trouble when that happens; indexing requires files to be persistently present at a local path.

Microsoft have described the changes in detail here. It will be possible to pin files such that they remain available locally, but that will require user interaction.

In my opinion, anybody indexing files on OneDrive should be aware that there is at least a theoretical potential for data loss when the change is enacted.

@cgrunenberg do you share this concern? On first thoughts about this, I have two specific concerns:

  • the changing path for local OneDrive files might cause trouble, especially if two Macs using different software versions (of OneDrive) are involved
  • non-persistent local files

Both of these effects could cause loss of data (I assume; I’m basing that assumption on my interpretation of the workings of sync). In the case of OneDrive, users might very well not be aware of the impending changes. Would it be worth adding a message to the next maintenance release?



The good news is that it does appear you can pin a whole folder–so for my workflow, it shouldn’t impact much–but this sounds like a potential nightmare…

At least so far it sounds indeed like a possible problem.

Wow! Sounds like an extraordinarily bad idea, especially to force on users.

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Yeah, kinda interesting. I’ve not actually read anybody in the forum indexing OneDrive, so I guess it’s either uncommon or very reliable to date.

I know some people are using OneDrive-indexed data, just not specific names off the top of my head. I’m anticipating some fear and furor to come :confused:

Me too - do we have the option of warning users? So a blog post, a pinned thread, a pop up in the next maintenance release (ideally only popping up for those using OneDrive)? Or am I exaggerating the impact this could have? Or more to the point: pls will you discuss internally whether any measures are required and practicable, and what the appropriate point in time might be?

It’s actually less of an issue than it used to be as there are now some mechanisms in place for dealing with broken indexed paths. However, yes we will discuss this internally.

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