The Day Microsoft Messed Up My Files

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My wallpapers started disappearing. That’s how I noticed it.

My daily work machine is an iMac 27″, and I also have a MacBook Pro. For years – years, I tell ya! – I’ve been using OneDrive to sync my files. I could stop working on my iMac, pick up my MacBook and pretty much pick up where I left off.

On both of my workstations, I use Apple Spaces, or virtual desktops. I typically have 3 or 4, and I swipe left and right between them as I work. I also setup different rotating groups of wallpapers for each – it helps identify which desktop I’m on.

But one recent afternoon, all my desktops had the default macOS Monterey desktop. I thought, “What the heck??” (Well, maybe I said “heck”) Since all my pictures and wallpapers are stored in my OneDrive folder, that’s where I headed.

Lo and behold, all my files and folders had a small cloud overlay icon, instead of the usual green checkmarks, indicating that all my files were synched locally. Also, the OneDrive folder in my Users directory was now a shortcut to a folder buried deep in my file system.

Now I was, like, “What the actual HECK??” (Again, maybe “heck”)

I chatted up my old friend Google, and it appeared that between macOS Monterey 12.2 and an update to OneDrive for macOS, Files-on-Demand was no longer an option. All my files had been removed from my local drive!!

Same situation on my MacBook Pro.

After a bit of reading, I found out that this had been planned for a while. They apparently had to change things to adapt to Apple’s File Provider platform. Geez, Microsoft, some kind of warning would’ve been nice!! As it turns out, I found LOTS of people who felt the same way.

You could still, however, right-click on a folder and select “Always keep on this device”. Ok, so I created a folder for my business files and one for my personal files and flagged them this way. Now, whatever I would put in those folders would always be synched down to my device. I did the same on both devices.

Alas, it was not to be. For some reason, not all files and folders were synching. Unreliable.

Ok. So now I needed an alternative. I thought of Dropbox, but folks were reporting the same issue with them. Since I have a family subscription to Apple One that includes 2TB of iCloud storage, I tried that first.

I started storing and synching files in my iCloud Drive; seemed like it was working. The files synched down to my MacBook as well, so that was good. Ok, let’s try working that way.

But…too often one or two files would not sync; “Waiting to upload”. Google lookup says “move the file somewhere else and then back into iCloud”. It worked, but…I don’t have time to play those games!! So, iCloud appeared unreliable.

Box.com, maybe? I tried out the free version, synched some files, but looking at the pricing, I found it a bit steep for one user – I need about 250Gb.

I then looked at IDrive. Pricing was more reasonable, 5TB (!!!), and encrypted backups, to boot! I tested it out for a few days, had an issue which their support quickly solved, but it appeared to work well so I paid the $60USD for a 1-year subscription (which is about $745CAD 🙄). However, after about a week or so of usage, I found that some files were not synching; they were going from the device into the cloud, but not synching down to the other device. Turn off sync and back on, again, but no go.

Ugh. 😡

I scoured the forums once again to see if anything had developed around OneDrive, but no – same complaints from everyone. In one of the (angry) comments on the Microsoft forum, folks were asking why other file sync solutions were working; one of them mentioned Tresorit. I’d never heard of it.

I found their web site, read some of their documentation and decided to try it. Good apps, for macOS and iOS, end-to-end encryption, good multi factor authentication methods, and strong compliance standards.

So, once again, I started moving my files to THAT folder; sync happened quickly, and on both devices.

I am now almost at the end of a 14-day trial, but it has so far been flawless! Finally! It’s a bit steeper than IDrive at $125USD per year, but I need something I can count on. Perhaps when my subscription is over I’ll see where OneDrive and macOS are at, since I have an M365 subscription, but for now, it’s bye-bye OneDrive.

Cheers!

(P.S.: In case anyone is wondering, no – I am NOT affiliated in any way, shape, or form with Tresorit; no business interest here at all, just sharing my experiences!)