How to stop syncing libraries or folders in OneDrive

In this post we will detail how to stop syncing libraries or folders from SharePoint or Teams and then how to remove remaining contents from your OneDrive.

In this post:

Intro

Syncing libraries/ folders or files from SharePoint or Microsoft Teams lets you his lets you work directly in file explorer in Windows, access files even when you’re offline and sync any changes made to files automatically when you’re back online. From time to time you may not want to sync these files or folders any longer. Here’s how you stop syncing and remove the contents from your OneDrive app.

You can sync libraries, files or folders from SharePoint & Teams in your OneDrive app.

NOTE: If you are unsure how to start syncing files/ folders in OneDrive, there is an article by Microsoft here (although a little out of date). Let me know in the comments if this is something you’d like me to add!

How to stop syncing in OneDrive

  • Click on the OneDrive app icon > Press Help & Settings > Press Settings
Click on the OneDrive app icon > under Help & Settings > Press Settings.
  • A new window will open > Press the Account tab
  • You will see all the locations which are currently syncing > find the one you wish to stop and press stop sync
Choose the location you wish to stop and press stop sync.
  • A message will appear that says “the file/folder will stop syncing. Locally available files will remain on this device while online files will be removed”
  • Press Stop Sync. The location will now disappear from this view. Press OK

How to remove the synced contents from the OneDrive app

Once you have stopped the files/ folders from syncing via OneDrive settings, you now need to remove the remaining location from your OneDrive app:

  • Open OneDrive in file explorer > Select the previously synced location
  • Right-click on the location > Press Delete

NOTE: This will not delete the contents of the location from its source (e.g. SharePoint or Teams). It only deletes the folder from your local machine, even if the files aren’t online only.

Issues & workarounds

#1 I’ve not been able to successfully sync from Teams

It seems I am not alone either! There is a long thread here on the Teams community blog that talks about the same issue I’ve ran into, for lots of other folks. I’m currently running Teams 1.4.00.2879 (64 bit) and no matter what Team or channel I try if I press the sync button it just does nothing…the initial syncing window opens but that is it.

The way I’ve gotten around this is to open the files tab in Teams with SharePoint. The sync feature in SharePoint works every time for me so I would suggest that as an alternative until Microsoft can sort out syncing from Teams.

#2 Trying to delete synced folders without pressing stop sync

In the interest of a full end-end test I decided to try to delete the synced files/ folders without actually stopping the sync in OneDrive settings – just to see what happens. Well, if you do this you kind of get stuck in a loop. At first when you press delete you will see this message:

If you then press yes to this, windows explorer won’t actually let you delete the files/ folder. As it begins to delete it just continually tells you the file or folder is in use:

The way to fix this may be pretty obvious at this point – stop syncing from OneDrive!


Tales of a Microsoft 365 migration – OneDrive

Wow it was over a year ago I wrote the first part in what was intended to be a series documenting my experiences of migrating to Microsoft 365! Better late than never I guess…well in this post we will explore the process of migrating “home” drives or personal user data to OneDrive in Microsoft 365.

Background

The key tenants to the migration approach are fairly commonplace in most organisations, with four distinct phases:

  • Exchange email migration

  • Home drive migration

  • File share migration

  • SharePoint migration

The plan was migrate all users home drives from on-premise file servers into OneDrive, making the home drives read-only in the process and then finally removing the mapping once all migrations were completed.

Discovery & analysis

Discovery of home drive data

So naturally to start to flesh out how we would migrate all users home drive data to OneDrive we needed to do a little digging to understand our estate and figure out:

(L-R) How many home drives are there? What is the total volume size of all the home drive data? Do all the users have OneDrive to move to?

Also during this discovery phase we began working with Microsoft FastTrack. If you don’t know much about the service, it is something Microsoft offer to assist customers with their migration projects and best of all it’s FREE!

So once you are set up with the FastTrack service, you still need to do all the discovery and analysis as described above before you can provide the migration tracks to them, in order for them to schedule and run the migrations.

Fast Track also require that you create virtual machines (VM’s) to run the migrations. They calculate the number of VM’s you need based on:

  • The total file count of your file share data or SharePoint environment (if supported)
  • The total volume of your home drive data

We wanted to multi-purpose our VM’s to also run migrations for other parts of the M365 project. So we had to take the metrics above and provide an average based on what little we knew at the time in order to create enough VM’s (we ended up creating six).

In order to find answers to the above questions, I used the SharePoint Migration Manager. The Migration Manager can be used to create scan-only tasks that will output reports on all your home drive sources and basically enable you to begin scheduling the migrations.

I’ve wrote a separate post on the Migration Manager here, which has full step-by-step instructions (and a video) on how to set up a scan-only task.

Analysis of home drive data

The analysis part of the migration included looking at how we could effectively answer the three main questions above. For the first two questions; how many home drives are there, and how much data do they contain – running the scan-only tasks answered those questions.

How many home drives are there? and how much data do they hold?

To summarise what I did, I created tasks for each top-level home drive folder on each file server that contained the home drive data (for example: \\yourserver\home) and collated the answers to the questions above in one, master spreadsheet.

Example spreadsheet that I created to collate all the home drive info.

The scan-only reports included much more granular information about each home drive within the top-level file share, which I downloaded from Migration Manager into a working folder for further analysis if required.

I also found that the summary reports, or key information provided by Migration Manager around failures to be a bit misleading. For example, if the accounts used to read the home drives don’t have access to a particular folder, that doesn’t flag as a failure. You have to open the ItemFailureReport from each task to find out if there were any issues with access or files/ folders themselves.

Coming from on-premises? Be prepared to compare user data

As mentioned earlier, you are expected to provide FastTrack with a list of home drive locations and OneDrive URL destinations in a migration track in order for them to begin the migration.

Because our estate still has an on-premise Active Directory (AD) that didn’t have all users synced, we had to do some checks to make sure all the users from our on-premise AD had O365 accounts and also had OneDrive sites to migrate to.

We used an export of AD on-premise data, compared against Azure AD data and a OneDrive usage report that you can download from here. We used this to flag any accounts that either didn’t have Microsoft 365 accounts, or OneDrive sites, or both.

Use the usage reports in OneDrive to get a list of total and active accounts in OneDrive.

Migration

Once you get to this point there is no turning back! Well, that’s probably a bit dramatic but I sure wouldn’t want to after doing all the discovery and analysis on the home drive data…

Migration process

When it comes to FastTrack they are the one’s running the migrations for you. So with that there are some limitations that they set out up front:

  • FastTrack cannot complete more than 50,000 tasks
  • FastTrack cannot migrate more than 1TB of data in a 24 hour period

The migration process itself was a relatively simple one once your migration spreadsheet has been created for each batch of migrations and provided to the FastTrack team via their portal. With your migration dates scheduled with FastTrack, your role then becomes 1) making sure the user base is informed as to when they are being migrated and what to do, 2) liaise with FastTrack as the migrations complete, 3) then handover to the users after they’ve been migrated and finally 4) remediate any post-migration issues. Easy right?

Inform: make sure users know when they are being migrated. Migrate: work with FastTrack to migrate the date. Handover: handover to the users once migrated. Remediate: post-migration support of any issues.

Lessons learned

Aside from the issues and resolutions described below, the biggest thing I took away from the entire process is not to underestimate how much support your user base will require post-migration. We received lots of queries post migration around the change from home drives to OneDrive, some of which may of been addressed by more training, champions etc. but largely was just reacting to the change and not knowing what to do next.

Issues & resolution steps

#1 Not all users had OneDrive

As mentioned earlier in this post, during the analysis of the user data before migrating to OneDrive we discovered several users did not have OneDrive set up.

I’ve wrote a separate post on how to provision OneDrive for Microsoft 365 users that goes through this in more detail.

#2 Migration tasks keep failing

Before the OneDrive migration started in anger, we ran a few pilot migrations just to test the process out more thoroughly. We had setup the migration VM’s and migration agents some months earlier, so when we came to run the pilot migrations, all the migration tasks failed – pretty much immediately. In the logs for the failed tasks we received this error:

Error, the source file share does not exist.

Suggestion, Ensure the source file is an existing network file share and shared with the current user

SharePoint Migration Manager task error

Microsoft have an article on troubleshooting the Migration Manager here, but in this case the issue was actually related to do with expired account credentials running the migration agents. Although the error logs didn’t tell us this, once we re-ran the migration agent setup and “repaired” the agent, re-authenticating the accounts meant the migration tasks ran successfully thereafter.

#3 Permissions issues with files don’t show as “files scanned with issues”

Again, something I’ve touched on earlier but another issue we encountered during the migration was that any permissions issues that occur during the migration are not highlighted in the summary information for a given migration task.

So in the scenario post-migration, if a user gets in touch to say some files/ folders are missing you need to find the migration task, download the task report then comb through the ItemFailureReport to discover what data hasn’t been migrated due to permissions issues.

#4 “Missing” files and the hidden CSC folder

Kind of related to #3, we also encountered issues when switching off Windows Sync Center as part of our migration process. In some cases we had users who had files/ folders that hadn’t successfully synced from their local machine to their home drive, so following the migration and switch off of Sync Center it appeared their files had gone “missing”.

We resolved this by locating the hidden Windows CSC (client side cache) folder C:\\Windows\CSC, which is a location where Windows keeps offline copies of files and folders. Getting access into this location was a bit of a nightmare for us, but once you get access into the location we were able to find all of the reported “missing” files and copy them over to the users OneDrive.

Navigating to C:\\Windows\CSC with hidden folders enabled shows you this folder, which contains offline copies of files and folders.

How to provision OneDrive for Microsoft 365 users

This blog post describes a scenario where not all users in your Microsoft 365 tenancy have OneDrive and how to provision it where required.

Overview

As a general rule I’ve found that most users who are in your M365 tenancy should have OneDrive irrespective of whether they are using it or not.

During a project I was involved with, we were compiling a list of all our M365 users home drive source locations to migrate the data into their respective OneDrive’s. Completing this exercise we found that not everyone in our organisation actually had OneDrive provisioned.

Information online as to the reasons why was scant, with much of what others describe around licensing issues not being applicable in this situation.

When you look at a user’s OneDrive information within the M365 admin center, you will see this:

If a user in your tenancy doesn’t have OneDrive, you will see this message.

I’m not 100% sure why these users are without OneDrive as the accounts checked hadn’t been blocked. However they have not had any sign in activity for the last 30 days – although we have set our retention for OneDrive to be 90 days before deleting so it’s still a bit of a mystery.

The solution

Microsoft have provided documentation on how to pre-provision OneDrive for users in your organization which is exactly what we needed. The documentation details two ways in which you can approach the problem:

  1. Pre-provision OneDrive for users – Create a list of users who need OneDrive > save as a txt file > run PowerShell to provision OneDrive for those users
  2. Pre-provision many users at the same time – Run PowerShell to provision OneDrive for large numbers of users

In this example we didn’t know how many of our users were without OneDrive so we choose to go with option 2.

How to provision OneDrive for large numbers of users

Prerequisites

  • The account you are using to run the script needs to be  a global or SharePoint administrator and must be assigned a SharePoint license
  • The user accounts that you are provisioning must be allowed to sign in and also have a SharePoint license assigned
  • Make sure you have the latest version of the SharePoint Online Management Shell installed

Run the PowerShell script

  • Open SharePoint Online Management Shell
  • Run the PowerShell script

The script should loop through until it completes for all users in your tenancy. You should see it looping through like in the example screenshot below:

Example of once the PowerShell script has been run, the script looping through each user in your tenancy.

Issues & resolution steps

Before I start describing my experiences of running the script, I am a relative PowerShell novice so forgive my ignorance if some of this is elementary. I had some trouble getting the script to run, which I think was more to do with the cmdlets I had installed (I’ve had a new laptop recently) rather than the script.

Issues with Connect-sposervice

I had issues connecting to the SharePoint admin center, I was receiving an error like this:

Issues connecting with the sposervice cmdlet.

I found this post on koskila.net that is really helpful and may help others with similar issues. In the end I got the script to run by removing the $credential variable at the start of the Microsoft script and connecting to the msolservice and sposervice directly.

With the $credential variable removed, I was prompted to login twice, once for msolservice, and again for sposervice, which then authenticated moved on to the next stage of the script.

Example of my changes to the script to allow me to run properly.

Microsoft 365 update for April 2019

Another bumper post for April, in this months update:

Let’s get started!

SharePoint updates

Files restore for SharePoint and Microsoft Teams

Files restore offers a self-service recover solutionthat allows administrators and site owners to restore files from any point in time during the last 30 days. Look for a new “Restore this library” option within the library settings panel.

Files restore example for SharePoint document libraries
Find out more:

Modern Document Sets

Long awaited modern document sets will update the user interface to bring them inline with modern sharepoint. Document sets allow you to group related documents together using shared metadata. Modern document sets also unlock the same intuitive user actions like drag and drop content, link to content that lives outside the document set, pin files and much, much more.

Modern Document Sets in SharePoint
Find out more:

News Audience Targeting

Audience targeting is a new feature within the news and highlighted content web parts that enables authors and site owners to tag news articles with Azure Active Directory groups to filter content through web parts to people within those groups.

Find out more:

Author reply emails for comments, replies and likes

Now when someone comments on your page or news post, SharePoint notifies you via email. Multiple comments will be batched so that you receive a single email. This feature will start rollout to targeted release in April, with worldwide rollout currently scheduled to be completed in mid-June 2019.

Find out more:

Connected web parts for SharePoint

Coming soon are three new connected web parts for SharePoint Online that allow you to display data from list and library web parts. With the List Properties, File Viewer and Embed web parts you can now connect to a data source and interact with lists and libraries in new ways.

Find out more:

Multi-Geo in SharePoint Online and Office 365 Groups

SharePoint Online and Office 365 Groups now joins Exchange Online and OneDrive in having the ability to enable where SharePoint sites and their content is stored.

Multi-Geo in SharePoint and Office 365 Groups enables global businesses to control the country or region where shared resources like SharePoint Team Sites, Office 365 Groups content (associated SharePoint Sites and Groups mailboxes) are stored at-rest.

Introducing Office 365 Multi-Geo
Find out more:

Autodesk AutoCAD integration for SharePoint and OneDrive

New integrations with Autodesk connect OneDrive and SharePoint to the drafting tools available through AutoCAD. As you work with DWG files across these applications, you can open and edit them in the AutoCAD desktop application, the AutoCAD mobile app, and the new AutoCAD web app.

Find out more:

You can now use larger, more flexible image types to upload your company logo in the Office 365 navigation bar. You will be able to upload a custom logo of any file size/ format via a URL in order to improve the clarity of the logo image that your users see.

Find out more:

Office 365 Group card enhancements

Improvements to the Office 365 group “hover cards” so that you can act on the group within the context of what you’re doing, rather than going to a separate page. You can search through all group members, renew the group per any set expiry, and approve pending members.

Office 365 Group card enhancements
Find out more:

Microsoft Teams updates

Praise badges

Praise in Microsoft Teams is the new way to show your appreciation and encourage each other at work. Send in a 1:1 chat or post it to a channel for the entire team.

Find out more:

Teams PowerShell module GA

The Teams PowerShell module is now generally available. This PowerShell module allows you to manage the lifecycle of teams within your organisation.

Find out more:

Request to add on behalf of

You can now request on behalf of someone else to join a private team. Teams can be created as either private, where admins control membership, or public, where anyone in the organization is welcome to join.

Increased member limits

Organisation wide teams now have higher size limits, so they can have up to 5000 members in a team. Global administrators can easily create a public team that pulls in every user in the organisation and keeps the membership up to date with Active Directory as users join and leave.

Org-wide teams now have higher size limits

Show/ hide teams

It’s now much easier to keep your teams list tidy. What used to be Favorite and Remove from favorites is now Show and Hide. Choose which teams and channels you want to show in your teams list and hide the rest. You’ll still get notified when @mentioned, they just won’t clutter your teams list.

Hiding a team from a list view
Find out more:

OneDrive updates

Golden folder icon design

OneDrive is introducing golden folders with subtle, yet noticeable clues emblazoned on the icon to remind you of the contents and sharing status of each folder. Golden folders are being rolled out across mobile and web in OneDrive, SharePoint and connected experiences in other apps.

Golden folders in OneDrive and the OneDrive mobile app
Find out more:

OneDrive sync client improvements

The OneDrive sync client lets you can access and share all your files directly from your desktop in Windows File Explore or macOS Finder. Some new updates for the sync client include:

  • Self-help option: “Illegal files names not syncing” 
    A new in-app resolution to sync errors – like when using an Asterix “*” symbol or any file name starting with “~$” – to help avert and solve naming blockers, to then rename the file and continue with upload
  • Request assistance
    Look for a new “Get Help” option in the OneDrive activity center on your desktop. This enables people to initiate a support ticket.
  • Prompt for pending uploads
    And one last “wait, before you go” feature… the OneDrive sync client will also notify users when they have pending uploads when the computer is shutting down or going into standby
Find out more:

Block download option for specific people sharing link

You are now able to use the “Block download” functionality that allows people to block recipients from downloading, copying and pasting shared content when using the “Specific people” style sharing links.

Find out more:

Office client apps – required document properties updates

Users will now be able to save Office files with missing required properties. This change only applies to the Office files synced by the OneDrive sync client. Additionally, users can add, or update required properties for a document by navigating to the file in the SharePoint document library and entering the appropriate value.

Find out more:

Other, related updates

Yammer conversations & highlights web part

The Yammer conversations wep part enables you to integrate topics, groups or users into SharePoint. This combines the social nature of learning across organizations with the content and knowledge management powers of SharePoint.

The Yammer Highlights web part, provides a quick overview of active conversations and a targeted portal to specific groups or conversations in Yammer.

Microsoft Search in Bing Preview includes Yammer conversations ​

Yammer conversations or conversations between co-workers will now start appearing Microsoft Search in Bing. Microsoft Search will only return information and files that you have permission to see.

Find out more:

New icons in Office 365 apps

Microsoft have updated their available icon set, with nearly 350 new icons being added to choose from. You are able to rotate, resize, and recolor the icons without any loss in the quality of the image. You can also separate the icon into its components and use only the pieces you want.

Find out more:

Power BI web by example connector

The Power BI web by example connector allows customers to scrape data from HTML pages. It supports ingesting any data element on the page, beyond just HTML tables. You can now automatically suggest Power BI tables based on HTML element repetition patterns.

Find out more:

Custom assessments in Compliance Manager

Compliance Manager now allows you to create custom risk assessments of any application used in your organization. This customised assessments capability enables IT to import their own security and compliance controls into Compliance Manager, including those for corporate policy, local law, and industrial standards.

Find out more:

Security Policy Advisor

Office Security Policy Advisor is a new intelligent service, now available in preview, that uses behavior-based analysis to help IT admins to quantify the risks and benefits of applying a tailored policy, and monitor policy health over time, for their Office clients.

Admins can now deploy policies with a single click and easily update, or even roll back, policies.

Find out more:

Links and resources

Microsoft 365 blogNew in Microsoft 365 – April 2019
New in Microsoft 365 video – April 2019
SharePoint Roadmap Pitstop –
April 2019
What’s new in Teams –
April 2019
OneDrive Roadmap Roundup –
April 2019

SharePoint Virtual Summit 2017 – Roundup

Yesterday’s SharePoint Virtual Summit highlighted some of the latest innovations for SharePoint and OneDrive. It was an interesting event that continued to further Microsoft’s cloud and mobile first vision.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the summit:

  • Over 250k organizations and 85% of the Fortune 500 have SharePoint
  • OneDrive lets you work with all your files in Office 365 with Files On-Demand
  • Connect existing SharePoint Online sites to Office 365 groups
  • Submit documents for approval with new approval flow.
  • Trigger and share flows in lists & document libraries!
  • Personalised search lets you find more of what you need. Faster!
  • New web parts help you do more in SharePoint and Office365
  • Yammer adds conversation and drives engagement within communication sites
  • Modern SharePoint Online admin experience!
  • Microsoft Graph & Webhooks across sites & lists make SharePoint even more powerful.
  • SharePoint Framework for SharePoint Server 2016 in FP2!

Here’s a great roundup by collab365 of the summit!

Here’s Bill Baer’s blog on the summit

Watch the SharePoint Virtual Summit 2017 in full