How do I provide Feedback for the OneDrive Development Team?

Copper Contributor

I'm new to this forum and know this may be in the wrong place. However, I searched for an hour in an attempt to send feedback to the proper place, but just found dead links, bad descriptions, incorrect URLs, mislabeled pages, "insignificant privileges" to post in different forums, and the inability of the Microsoft website to continue to keep me signed in across different pages of its own site.  Forgive me if this is the incorrect place, but my first feedback is to create an easy way for feedback, especially for client-side feature-small applications like OneDrive that don't have ribbons for options. I am assuming the forum name “AMA” is “Ask Me Anything”, but I could not get it to load properly to check.  Something has been wrong for days with Microsoft’s sprawling online presence.

Second, and my original feedback.  This post became much more verbose than I had originally intended so I am putting a list here, and explanations and details below.

  1. A settings page that can be accessed without allowing the program to search for, or act on any files.
    1. Download only mode:
      1.       Example: I needed to have OneDrive download gigabytes and thousands of files to one computer’s hard drive to make RAR backups of certain groups of files while ensuring that OneDrive did not remove or change other files in the cloud that I had removed from this particular local drive.
    2. Upload only mode
    3. No transfer mode to review settings before actions.
      1.       Currently the program starts to work in the background before you can try to “pause” syncing.  This is another area of the program that is prone to bad performance and crashing, creating a potential to ruin files or forget to pause syncing before damage is done.
    4. Greater control over which files to control locally.
      1.       For whatever reason this page of the program does not work well.  It is sometimes agonizingly slow, hogs system resources on the level of AAA games, and can crash the program causing errors in files.
      2.       It has many limitations on what I can select to select local or keep online.   Let me choose the folders or files I want, without also selecting large folders like the entirety of my pictures folder with 800 gigs of raw photos just to keep this years’ worth of only 100 gigs of raw photos I am still working on in Lightroom.
    5. Allow the creation of device specific profiles.
      1.       While trying to create a system on all three of my families’ computers to sync and act as one, OneDrive messes up many things, especially creative file spaces.  I would like to create a profile for each computer, and maybe even each user.
        1. This would create separate, independent, spaces for folders for each devices like:
          1. Documents
          2. Pictures
          3. Screenshots
          4. Anything else one chooses
        2. One example would be Adobe Lightroom Classic.  This automatically creates thousands of files in the pictures folder (or wherever you choose it).  OneDrive currently treats all of these files from different computers the same, and all current work arounds have many problems and if you are not *exact* in your devotion to keeping these workarounds you will easily ruin decades of work when the sync fails.
        3. This also excludes everyone that does not have constant access to extremely fast and cheap internet access.  For these workarounds to work, you must allow OneDrive to completely sync each device, each and every time you turn it on, fully and completely with no errors, before you can begin using it or you will easily ruin all files.
          1. I have the resources and patience for this and my autistic brain is usually a help in the area, but even I could not keep this up correctly and ruined a multi-year Lightroom Classic setup and lost many of my pictures of Egypt and Somalia, of beautiful moments with people I will never get back, and a year later I still have not been able to redo the work I lost.
        4. The ability for OneDrive to keep different, separate, *but always accessible manually*, backups of each computers C:\Users would go a long way in ensuring the sanity of our techies and families, blood and chosen. 
        5. It would also fix many issues of inequities of tech access I have seen in poorer areas of the world in ways that are too verbose to cover.

----- back to the original thought flow.

Please allow a launch mode that allows users to select what actions they want to take before OneDrive starts to sync.  My issue is that I have three devices now after multiple upgrades through the years and they each have a purpose.  Desktop for power work, a 5 year old Alienware that powers my small office when my family and friends use the desktop for their work or to play games they love but do not have powerful devices that can handle them.  The last device is a 2 year old XPS 13 laptop from Dell.  Most devices were one year old top of the line items, purchased refurbished for around half of their original cost, (score).  

Three days ago Dell decided to brick my desktop.  I logged into a blank screen for a few minutes until my desktop loaded with a blue message from Dell stating the Alienware Command Center could not be loaded.  For me this program controls a single RGB light on the outside of the Alienware mouse Dell gave me for free with the Desktop and my gaming buddies appreciate.  There are no useful functions that I am aware of and I had manually turned it off from starting up in the task manager the day I received the computer years ago.  Why it was allowed to load without my knowledge after being disabled in the start menu is another question, but when I clicked "okay" it popped up immediately a hundred times, completely disabling all other computer functions, bricking my originally 2,700 dollar, 2 year old desktop in an insistence to control a single visible, unimportant RGB light on the side of my mouse.

Dell support refused assistance as the warranty was expired and I refused to pay for an extension for a problem they actively created.  I did not create it, it did not break on its own, it was not an act of God.  It was Dells active mistake and I feel they should address it, but they refused. They also refused to escalate the issue to a lead, supervisor, manager, or anyone at all above regular customer service.

This issue forced a format and reboot and allowed me to format all three devices at the same time and work with many of Microsoft’s updated features to ensure that all of my devices are completely updated and in sync at all times.  All desktop views exactly the same at all times automatically, files downloaded to the spacious Desktop at all times, with all important files backed up and fresh at all times, and easily available on all devices, including the 13 inch XPS that I take with me out of the house and traveling to create content and continue advocacy with non-profits for my rare, uncurable but treatable cancer from anywhere in the world.  I understand the privilege this affords me to be much more efficient, productive, and help more people than I ever thought possible and want to expand this possibility to people I know who aren’t afforded it due to various equity issues.

However, in the process of formatting and updating all computers to work together, it also instilled fear that the automatic update features would automatically delete files on remote servers when I had only meant to delete it from one device locally.  Usually to make space on the drive to allow the creation of RAR archives that I could easily upload and backup in the attempt to save my files, but in an organizational way to not lose my mind when the formatting is complete and I am able to use my desktop with gig fiber to finally go through my OneDrive of complicated ADHD organization to update into cohesive manner that will serve me much better in the future, a dream I know many of us have.  

Due to the difficulty working with OneDrive I had to disable it completely and work with external drives in a complicated, frustrating, and time consuming attempt to ensure I had the proper files downloaded to my hard drive to make the RAR drives to be uploaded for safe keeping, but also in a way that would not allow OneDrive to automatically delete files online that I deleted when backed up on my local drive.  I'm sure many can imagine or have been through a similar situation and understand the frustration is difficult to find words for.  Being autistic and dealing with some needs that my mind asks of me and not of others made this task even harder.  Being able to have a start-up screen, or an options panel to interact with that did not allow for the transferring of files until I have chosen my settings would have made this process much easier, allowed me to ensure I was in a proper place and time to do similar work while traveling in places of the world with poor internet and civil strife, and would allow my friends and colleagues with less economic, political, social, and mental means a much easier and safer data life.

I understand the idea is to allow for easy, simple, automatic updating of files between devices but this has instilled actual fear into me, and others that I know.  I have lots of important data in my OneDrive account.  My pictures, scans of letters of kindness received over my life, drawings and pictures received from young family members, the backup of files that contain the entirety of the family history I have painstakingly gathered from blood and chosen family over the world - literally the only surviving record of the lives of hundreds of my ancestors.  While I have backups of backups on my NAS and other backup drives online and even two fancy USB drives included in my fire safe and my families thousands of miles away: OneDrive has the unique access to my live and up to date files which could mean the destruction and loss of data I've yet been unable to backup. 

Most of my friends in the non-rich world do not have access to these solutions, providing a unique opportunity for Microsoft to allow equity to a large swath of the economically improving world by bringing them into its ecosystem in such an important and deeply personal way that is difficult to switch from later.  I do not support walled gardens but find Microsoft is attempting to find an equitable way to offer services to others while remaining competitive and profitable.  Use this to your advantage and ensure continued growth over the next few generations while paving the path to interoperability.  Something some of your competitors who demand extra money for their products will miss out on.

One Drives integration into Windows and its ability to multiple devices up to date is unique and Microsoft adds unique economic benefits with its 365 costs.  This works to the improvement of people who understand and can work the software to their niche needs, but to the detriment of others who do not understand technology well, like most of my family.   This could easily lead those with multiple devices to loose valuable and non-backed up data.  We need to remember that while increasing amount of people can afford to obtain and maintain multiple devices as they upgrade through the years and keep the older devices working, they may not have the resources, the knowledge, or the know how to back-up their data in multiple places.  I believe this is an assumed fallacy by the rich world.  USB drives, even in large capacities are cheap and easy to maintain here in the USA, but are unobtainable or multitudes more expensive and difficult to acquire and maintain in remote, war torn, or economically devastated areas. 

I have lived as a poor in the rich world, but entitled rich world expat in many places including refugee camps in Thailand that are now housing their 5th generation of refugees fleeing for safety from conflicts on all of Thailand borders, to hospitals in Somalia, and many other places on six continents. I've had to seek life-saving chemotherapy treatment in India due to its unaffordable cost in America and these experiences, along with many others, have shown me that quality digital back-ups are hard to obtain for many reasons that it has been an overlooked and unseen economic burden to many when they lose days or years of both personally important files, and business receipts, code upgrades, and more.  There is nothing more frustrating than losing days of work because the internet or computer glitched.  Maybe it's an internet issue, or the computers at the internet cafe are full of mal ware but you're unable to afford your own device.  This last issue has stopped some brilliant minds I know from continuing to learn about tech, learning to code, or from obtaining the operating efficiency that we enjoy as a matter of everyday life in the rich world.

Please consider these suggestions that I hope are simple to implement.  The OneDrive team is welcome to contact me for clarification or discussion.

1 Reply
Thanks for sharing, is this Windows OneDrive?