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Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

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Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

We are heading towards the end of a big push to get all files in OneDrive or SharePoint.  The Finance department (VIPs) are getting very frustrated with deleted files/folders reappearing as they are synced back online from other user's sycned client OneDrives (the name of the user and date/time are listed with the file online).  PLEASE HELP.  I am also opening a ticket.

 

This is what we have tried:

  1. Make sure all sync clients are up to date
  2. Try renaming the folder/file and then deleting it from online SharePoint
    1. This did not work at all.  Both the original and the renamed files/folders reappeared
  3. Checked SharePoint permissions.  There are some unique permissions on a few documents but in general the members have edit permissions.
  4. GET HELP FROM THIS COMMUNITY

 

25 Replies

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

Are you sure that those files were not opened on other users machines when they were deleted?

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

Thanks for answering.  No they were not opened but were synced.  I opened a ticket with MS and have a call with them today.  I will report back to here.

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

Did you get this resolved?

I'm having the same issue.

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

I believe so but I will ask the on-prem IT Director  @Jeffrey Allen to also reply here.  This is what Microsoft suggested:

Issue Definition: The Finance department (VIPs) are getting very frustrated with deleted files/folders reappearing as they are synced back online from other user's synced client OneDrives (the name of the user and date/time are listed with the file online). 

As discussed on call, below are the precautionary steps the end users can follow on their machine to avoid files getting re synced to OneDrive:
* Make sure there is no network latency on the computer
* Make sure the Windows profile has no updates pending
* Make sure the OneDrive is up to date with the latest version installed (To install the latest OneDrive version go to https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=844652)

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive


@Christine R Stack wrote:

I believe so but I will ask the on-prem IT Director  @Jeffrey Allen to also reply here.  This is what Microsoft suggested:

Issue Definition: The Finance department (VIPs) are getting very frustrated with deleted files/folders reappearing as they are synced back online from other user's synced client OneDrives (the name of the user and date/time are listed with the file online). 

As discussed on call, below are the precautionary steps the end users can follow on their machine to avoid files getting re synced to OneDrive:
* Make sure there is no network latency on the computer
* Make sure the Windows profile has no updates pending
* Make sure the OneDrive is up to date with the latest version installed (To install the latest OneDrive version go to https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=844652)


At this time, I do believe the issue has been resolved as I haven't heard any more complaints on this for about 3 weeks.

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

Could You please give some feedback, what could be the actual reason of this problem? Did You figured this out finally? Best wishes!

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

@Tarmo K.  The problem did seem to go away.  I'm not sure we actually figured out what the problem was.  @Christine Stack, did we ever figure this out or did it just resolve itself?

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

This issue did not go away. We delete folders and the continuously reappear over and over. I have tried the things outlined.

Also - these folders are created because we made channels in Teams. I don't want this to happen!!!! I want channels separate from the folders created in Sharepoint.

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

Are these alle Windows 10 clients? So, in other words exactly the same Onedrive clients? Windows 7/8 uses a different Onedrive client, even if you have downloaded the latest version.

 

So I'd guess if you are using mixed Windows versions, this might give these sort of strange problems?

 

 

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

In our experience - no difference unfortunately in client. Used only 8.1 and 10 clients in test environment. We noticed that changing "default" internet time NTP service refresh interval to custom setting and used same NTP time server made improvements, but we skipped further testing and closed environment before certain conclusion made. Using one only NTP server is another problem and time drifting was significant also within ~24-48h update interval. As we guessed Onedrive itself had no impact on problem, but we wait some more after next jump to testing.

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

I have the same problem: reappearing folders and files after deleting them in Teams reappear after syncing the with the OneDrive sync client.

I tried the following and that helped: deleted the files and folders in Teams, opened the channel with SharePoint and deleted the files and folders permanently from the Recycle Bin. The files did not reappear in the Windows Explorer and were removed from the OneDrive sync client.

SOLVED MAYBE: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

Try This.

 

Make sure the Microsoft Account is VALIDATED on the computer from which the deletions are taking place.

 

Start>Settings>Accounts

 

If you see something "You need to validate your microsoft account on this computer" that could be the problem.  I had a user who was deleting files in a shared folder in OneDrive.  I watched the files being restored from another computer by watching the OneDrive sync in real time.  I had them Validate their account (text message or email) and after they did, the deletes are sticking.  The files are no longer being restored.

Re: SOLVED MAYBE: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

Well, this seemingly worked, for awhile, but no dice.  Some of the photos we deleted still reappeared.  Now the issue is seemingly random.  Trying to nail it down.

 

NOTE: Photos are being deleted through the Win10 native Photo app NOT through Explorer.

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

 
Hi we have the same issue, someone delete's a folder in onedrive then it'll sync and re-appear, drives people insane. Everyone is on windows 10 with the latest version of onedrive. Sharepoint is online not on premis.
 
NTP: we dont have a local NTP server but do not see time drift between machines.

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

Having the same issue with a deleted document continuously reappearing from other users who have synced the library.

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

We have not had this problem for a while now.  Update Windows and the Onedrive syc client for all users who have access to the files.  That seemed to fix it for us.


@aravind murugesan wrote:

Having the same issue with a deleted document continuously reappearing from other users who have synced the library.


 

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

OneDrive still continues to annoy me. I've just been commissioning four new laptops so I've logged on with my Office 365 account which has a copy of Office 2016 for installation. I noticed some folders deleted ages ago had re-appeared. Specifically the "Monthly" folder here: https://i.imgur.com/ndUl4XE.png

So I hit delete on the folder. It disappears from a second but then re-appears! I got a snapshot of it missing: https://i.imgur.com/4RzaOHc.png

But a few seconds it re-appears: https://i.imgur.com/rvyRy86.png

Same thing happens if I delete the "Monthly" folder on the web. It simply comes straight back.

Having battled with OneDrive on 50+ systems now, I really do have a pretty low opinion of the fundamental algorithms used. Log onto an old computer where you haven't synchronised for a while (like a few weeks maybe months) and that computer assumes it's the master version and restores files that you have deleted since. This has caused a BIG problem by restoring a script that I had deleted from one part of my command path, OneDrive restored the old version and I accidentally ended up running it.

Seriously broken IMO....

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

Ahh, I might have found this specific problem. OneDrive is synchronised in a VM and on my main PC. I was deleting it from the main PC so I tried to delete from my PC and for some reason there is access denied on one of the folders deep inside "Monthly". So what's happening is that OneDrive on my PC probably tries to delete the folder but fails due to this access denied and therefore restores it back. Big question, why access denied??? I'll reboot and have a look.

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

Okay, yes that was the problem. On my main PC, something had gotten very confused in OneDrive with access denied: https://i.imgur.com/wVvwk9Y.png

After a reboot, the access denied had gone away and I was able to delete the old folders.

But the original flaw still stands whereby OneDrive restored those folders incorrectly because I happened to logon to an old computer and that version of OneDrive decided to assume it was the master version. That is just algorithmically broken :-(

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

BTW - also note that I user Dropbox and Google Drive as well. This problem has NEVER occurred with those two cloud systems - I can only assume because their synchronisation algorithms are better. They must keep a much more robust history of deletions so that when you logon to an old computer, it knows that that "Monthly" folder was deleted afterwards and deletes (correctly) the copy on the old computer. It doesn't bring it back from the dead!

I assume that Dropbox and Google Drive maintain some separate tracking system of updates so there is a record that says:

1. 4th Jun 2018 10:20 "Monthly" folder created on computer 1
2. 1st Jul 2018 old computer 1 is logged off
3. 13th Sep 2018 "Monthly" folder deleted on computer 2
4. 12th Dec 2018 00:30, user logs back onto computer 1
5. Ahh ha, "Monthly" folder exists here with timestamp 4th Jun but was deleted 13th Sep, it needs deleting from old computer 1 - NOT RESTORING BACK TO ONEDRIVE

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

Hi @Rob Nicholson - Can you explain a bit more on the root cause ? I was only temporarily able to solve this issue. 

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

Hi Arvi10 - my reply above showing guessing how Dropbox or Google Drive handles deletions may give a hint of the root cause but I can confirm without a shadow of a doubt that the following happens on OneDrive:

1. Logon to a computer where you had OneDrive synchronised but haven't logged onto for a while - say a few months
2. OneDrive will restore deleted folders and files back to the last time you logged on

Fortunately, thank goodness, it doesn't overwrite edited versions or delete anything. You do get the horrible "My file - LAPTOP046.ps1" cropping up where I assume it thinks it's got the latest version (it never has!) but there is a file there with a newer timestamp so it renames its (old) copy with the suffix and restores that. The creation of these files is usually my trigger to go into OneDrive and restore it back in time - a feature designed to Wannacry attacks but used because of this bug.

I suspect, but a lot of guessing, that this is because OneDrive doesn't keep a transaction log kind of structure along side the actual folders and files. Therefore when you logon to an old computer, it has no idea that "Monthly" was deleted on another system many days later and merrily brings it back.

Hence my observation that this is a fundamental flaw in the synchronisation algorithm used by OneDrive which Dropbox and Google Drive don't suffer from. They have a transaction log which they can refer to resolve issues like this.

So the Microsoft programmers need to go back to the drawing board IMO... wearing my developer hat. I am flabbergasted that OneDrive has this fundamental flaw and they intend you to use it for business! Thank goodness that my clients only tend to logon to one computer at once!

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

PS. The magically re-appearing folders just now when I tried to delete those incorrectly restored folders was due to some flaw in OneDrive on my PC and access permissions. Why it got into that state (access denied), I have no idea. But OneDrive has other flaws. For example, if you share out a folder to another user with read-only access (which I do with a set of PowerShell scripts), there have been examples whereby the sync engine thinks it's got a later version of the file and incorrectly creates a "New-User - LAPTOP034.ps1" version in the read-only folder. The problem is that because the folder is shared read-only, it is unable to upload it (too right) but then gets a red cross. And WORSE - because the file has been created in a read-only share, the permissions on that folder are set to DENY and are very difficult to get rid of. Fortunately, 7-ZIP manager when run in admin mode is very good at deleting stuff with bad security settings.

So this bug goes something like this:

BEGIN

OneDrive thinks, for reasons unknown, that it has a locally modified copy of a file in a read-only share. Obviously this can't happen as the folder is read-only with deny access! I suspect it happens when a file is changed rapidly on the host OneDrive - as can happen if you're editing a PowerShell script and hitting Ctrl-S often - and OneDrive gets confused over timestamps, thinking it's got a different copy

OneDrive then renames its local copy as XYZ - LAPTOPNNN.ps1 but this then fails to synchronise as it's read-only

END

So two bugs here: the first one that triggers the creation of a sync copy IN A READ-ONLY share (can never happen so should be trapped). The second is creating the XYZ - LAPTOPnnn.ps1 file which then fails to synchronise. And maybe a 3rd in that you are then unable to delete the accidental copy because it's created with DENY accesss

Ho hum!

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

It should be easy to fix as the logic would go like this:

BEGIN
For reasons unknown, OneDrive thinks it needs to create a "My doc - LAPTOPnnn.docx" kind of file due to some kind of version clash
Am I trying to create this in read-only share?
Goodness, I can't do that - forget the duplicate then
END

Re: Deleted files/folders reappear as they are synced back online from client OneDrive

Same here in the Free version of onedrive.  This is the first issue I encountered and I resolve it by taking all clients offline, then remove the file/folder from every computer (including the copy on onedrive).  Stupid but it works.

 

It appears some file has been opened by a computer, therefore it reappears.  I think a "OneDrive reset" on each computer would work?

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