OneDrive downloads all files just uploaded

Copper Contributor

I use Syncbackfree to sync my files from a hard drive to an external drive. I then use OneDrive to upload the files from the external drive to the Cloud. The issue that just started happening is now when I sync my folders to the external drive and upload them to OneDrive the files I just uploaded re-download to my external drive (the OneDrive icon shows uploading then immediately after it shows downloading). Then when I run the Syncbacfree program it is as if I never synced my files. It's as if the files were somehow changed by OneDrive when they downloaded to the external drive after I just uploaded them to the Cloud. So it goes in a cycle that I sync my files and transfer 20gb of data to my external drive. OneDrive then finds the changes and uploads 20gb of data to the Cloud then immediately downloads 20gb of data to the external drive then I run the Syncbackfree program and it again transfers 20gb of data as if all the files on my drive I just synced are changed. Has anyone ever heard of this happening or what can be done to stop OneDrive from re-downloading the files after they are uploaded???

9 Replies
Since your external drive is not within your local OneDrive folder, it may as well be in another planet. You can either copy the files to your local OneDrive folder directly and/or ensure that Files in Demand is enabled so that the files are not redownloaded. If you don't need those files locally then remove their folder(s) from your sync

@sesslercory  That sounds backwards. OneDrive should be on your computer's internal drive and the backup software should copy that and anything else you want to the external drive.

I have 3 disc drives - 1 SSD for the o/s, and 2 HDDS for the data. I had moved OneDrive to the 1st of the two HDDs. I use Second Copy to nightly copy (anything that has changed) the entire contents of the 1st drive (the OneDrive folder and everything else on the 1st HDD) to the second HDD. That 2nd hard drive is never touched otherwise. And OneDrive does it's thing automatically all day long. Neither SecondCopy nor OneDrive mark any files - they are unaware of each other. Therefore I am tripple backed  up: the locale OneDrive, it's mirror in the cloud, and my 2nd HDD.
This has been my setup for probably 5 years now.

Mike thanks for your reply. My external drive is where my OneDrive folder is located. I primarily use the files on my external drive and have them uploaded to the cloud as a backup. Currently I do not have Files-On-Demand enabled. If I enable this check box will all of the files I currently have in the OneDrive folder on the external drive be deleted?
There's something else going on that I'm not comfortable with. From your description (which is the clearest) it seems that your local sync operation is touching all your files irrespective of changes.

I would not make any recommendations without a clear understanding of what is happening. Also you should have a backup of your OneDrive files besides a cloud sync version.
Mike, to give some more clarity. Our company has used Dropbox for several years. We access our files primarily through our external drives. We sync our files via the app both to the cloud and also to our drives. Our company also uses SharePoint and OneDrive and in the last few years we have seen a push to use this and not Dropbox. In the case we do pull the trigger on this at some point (we are not currently because of a minor detail) I have copied all of our files from Dropbox to OneDrive which can also be accessed on our SharePoint site. Our primary setup is through Dropbox, but I want to keep the files on OneDrive up to date in the case we do move over to it. For at least the last year I have maintained this setup on a single external 5tb drive. I make sure Dropbox is up to date then I use a file sync program to copy over only the changes to the OneDrive folder. Until recently I was using SyncToy. I stopped using SyncToy because I didn't like the files it was creating in each folder. So I searched for a new program to accomplish syncing the files in the folders from Dropbox to OneDrive using SyncBackFree. It seems to work very well. The only issue I am having now is after syncing the files and loading OneDrive the OneDrive program sees the changes and then uploads the files to the cloud, but then strangely OneDrive then downloads the files it just uploaded which seems to change the file somehow (even though the name and file size is the same as what's in Dropbox) it does something to the files to make the file sync program think they were changed and so it wants to recopy all of the files it just did from Dropbox over to OneDrive. Then it begins this vicious cycle all over again.

@sesslercory when you say that OneDrive downloads the files again do you mean that they are updated in the OneDrive folder. It would help if you gave path indications for all your file sets.


If the sync tool or something else is touching the files then OneDrive will notice the difference. You should also check your PC clock is accurate.

@Mike Williams After the files have been touched by the sync program OneDrive will see the changes and upload them and then immediately after they have been uploaded they will in turn download back to the external drive. This is very strange. I'm not sure why it is doing this.
You haven't clarified anything. You're just restating your original post
In case anyone uses SyncBackFree and OneDrive together I want to give an update on what I have found. When using the program SyncBackFree to update the files in the OneDrive folder this problem happens; however if I use SyncToy (what I was using before) the problem does not happen. For some reason Syncbackfree and OneDrive don't like each other and they don't play well together.