Suggestion: Improve Stop Syncing Usability

Copper Contributor

We've been using OneDrive for business for about a year now after a file server migration to SharePoint, and I have some comments on the usability of removing sync.


We create SharePoint sites per project - a project can last anywhere from a couple of months to several years. The team members for said project will often sync that project's document library via OneDrive. Files on demand is enabled in all cases. Over time however, the quantity of synced libraries increases, and the procedure for removing them from the synced libraries list is both confusing and clunky from a user's perspective. 


The issue is there isn't a way to remove sync from a library that fits the expectations of this workflow. The expectation is that any local files are verified to be synced with the cloud, then the library is removed from the computer entirely. Instead, the local folder is left in a sort of limbo-state that confuses users and causes unwanted behavior.


Any/all of the following may apply after removing sync:

  • The folder still exists in the user's profile, along with the rest of the still-synced libraries, and is visible in the explorer navigation pane.
  • Files that had local copies get left on the client, while files with cloud-only copies are removed.
  • The main folder sometimes can't be deleted after de-syncing due to some filesystem lock. You have to navigate into each subfolder and delete that first.

This results in confusion for the user. I've had several instances where someone has de-synced a library, but didn't/couldn't delete the remnants, then later on added data to it and wondered why their teammates couldn't see it. I've also had people delete entire document library contents from SharePoint because they thought they had de-synced a library and then tried to clean it up from explorer.


On the off chance the ODFB developers see this - please make removing sync from a library more workflow oriented and user-friendly.


Here's some of the things I'd ideally like to see:

  • A distinction between detaching and removing. Removing would actually remove any remnants from the computer as part of the process. Detaching (leaving stuff on the computer) as it stands now has no place in day-to-day use.
  • An explorer context menu item for removing a synced library.
  • The ability to see current sync status in the web client and remove sync from there also.
  • Detaching (leaving stuff on the computer) moves or renames the library folder to a different location so that it doesn't conflict if the library is synced again.


-Chris Kelly

2 Replies

@Chris-Kelly Use for suggestions. Microsoft doesn't pay any attention to this user forum.

Thanks, I'll throw it there too :)