Onedrive re-downloading old file versions

Copper Contributor

Apologies if this is discussed somewhere else, I've trawelled as best as I can but nothing specific to this issue.


I am currently using Onedrive for photo backup, a collection of 50k+ photos. I'm now in the process of tagging and adding keywords to them to build a database that is easier to search from desktop or phone of people or events etc.


However I am becoming increasingly annoyed by onedrive undoing any of the keywords I am adding in batch.


I can organise and sort a few hundred of these in a day with tags, faces etc using third party apps. These changes then upload to onedrive, but within 5 minutes onedrive will resync and download the previous file versions, sans keywords. It isn't every file, isn't every folder just a random selection that will forever remain in this loop. I can wait for all syncing to complete then manually go into that file via explorer, re-apply tags and then watch as onedrive waits 30 seconds and redownloads that file once again without the tag data. The only fix I have found is to drag the file away from onedrive so the file is "Deleted" from the server, apply the changes offline and the re-upload the file as a whole new file. It seems that the issue also follows if I make and edit an offline file version to edit and then upload as Onedrive is now, once again taking any new changes and overriding them with the old file version.


All files are synced for offline use in onedrive so appear on my hard drive for easy access on my main PC.


Anyone know what the issue might be? I've tried rebuilding the Folder, relinking my account and clearing the cache.

7 Replies

@LT7_P1710 Can you clarify your work process? As the way you use "upload" and "resync" suggests you're perhaps uploading via web interface and then watching them sync in local desktop folders.

So process is:
I have desktop PC, with HDD installed
Running Windows 10
Onedrive desktop app installed and operational on startup
Target location of Onedrive is aforementioned HDD

The upload and resync is regarding the Onedrive app in the taskbar notification window, opened to watch the status of mu uploads which go from
Uploading - "Filename"
I then sit and wait the inevitable
Downloading - "Filename"
which is the same exact file but pre-keywords attached. I have to monitor this in this way as when I modify lets say 250 files, it will upload all 250, then a few moments later a sporadic 23 will download again and get into the aforementioned loop where by i have to manually find those fiels in windows explorer, drag them onto a separate hard drive, wait for onedrive dock to say
Deleted - "Filename"
then modify the file on the new drive, then re-add the file via windows explorer, watch onedrive icon sync file into location, wait 10 minutes to confirm changes have stuck
So it isn't via a web interface besides the fact that it is in essence what the onedrive dock is presumably as it uploads into a web based storage? but the process is all done via explorer in the Onedrive folder created during intial install of Onedrive onto my PC.

There's still a lot of gaps in the story. I'm not yet concerned about what the OneDrive app is doing in the taskbar. I am trying to determine the step by step process by which _you_ are updating the files as there are many possible paths to do this.

It's still confusing as it appears you are manually deleting old local synced files, (or at least moving them from outside of OneDrive) and then replacing them with files of the same name?? Why not just overwrite the old files so it is clearly a replacement version of the old file, rather than a possibly distinct different file of the same name?

@Mike Williams Ok, apologies, didn't really think of any other ways of using OneDrive to what I'm doing. This is all done in the route OneDrive folder, on my PC. Set up during installation of Windows through the OneDrive wizard and is always edited via the explorer folder direct. And also happens when I edit aon the backup hard drives and then copy across the newer file into the OneDrive one also.


So it's via windows explorer one a Microsoft windows PC. In the original folder configured when setting up OneDrive on fresh install of the PC, in D/OneDrive

Then open this online folder (all files available offline so exist on HDD) navigate to, as an example Christmas 2023 folder. I want to tag these photos with Christmas 2023 plus additional information of location and people in the keywords.

All of this is via windows explorer, I open the folder, select all the 100 photos, click on "Add Tag" in the preview panel with all other metadata and fill in the data en mass. 100 photos tagged, at source of OneDrive in explorer as Christmas 2023.


Then begin the upload to OneDrive. Let's say modified files are May 4 2024. These sync to onedrive.

A few moments later OneDrive will redownload 5 of these photos, date modified 1 Jan 2024. No keywords but the exact same photo file name meta data only keywords are missing.

I can then focus on 1 of those 5 files and every change will be locked into undoing on OneDrive any changes from that date, rotation in windows photo viewer, filename change or keyword tag via windows explorer. It just won't edit the file without physically removing it from the OneDrive folder so that OneDrive syncs the deleted change and then re-adding the file as a whole new file


(This is the 2nd time typing on my mobile as the page refreshed so apologies if it feels a little blunt)

I'm sorry but rather than being blunt I'm getting a lot of unrelated descriptions about OneDrive installation and post sync, and then the detail of what YOU do is omitted I think you need support from someone sitting next to you and making notes.

If I navigate to a folder containing a jpeg file in windows explorer I see such items as
Date created
Date modified
File type
File size
And so on (a long list of items that can be made into a column in windows explorer) which the files within a folder can then be sorted by for example sorting by date created.
(My PC>D:/>OneDrive>Pictures>"folder")

One of those columns that exists that I have activated for sorting purposes is tags aka keywords.

If you have the details panel active in windows explorer then when you select a file, particularly a jpeg it will list the attributes in a pane on the right of my windows explorer window. Ha details such as filename, date created, file size,rating, keywords, etc. is this what you see on your jpeg file? Alternatively, right clicking the file and navigating to properties also bring up the same details.

I am selecting the tags attribute option within the details panel so it is highlighted and adding in the keyword I would like applied to the file.

If there is something in those steps I have omitted as that seems like the only way of getting to what I mentioned above in changing those keyword attributes. But the process of doing that works for 95% of the file attributes I modify.

Please let me know if there is a point I lose you or if there's a description you don't understand what I'm trying to describe.

Apologies Mike. Having reread my previous reply I can see that where I thought I had written more detail on using the windows explorer window I had glanced over that and can see where I had omitted stuff. I was trying to type this up on my mobile as away from home for a few days and the page reloaded a few times while trying to type it up.
Sorry that I was blunt and hopefully my last reply has more detail. I assumed most people would access files via windows explorer and therefore omitted that step but understand that being useful to understand where the issue might be arising. But agreed showing someone the process and what OneDrive is doing would be easier than trying to explain it (badly) here. So I'll just keep doing what's working in an albeit clunky manor