SharePoint OneDrive file sync issues when users open the same file




We've been experiencing issues with files in OneDrive/SharePoint. 

A colleague will open a file (e.g. a word document), which is stored in SharePoint and synced to their OneDrive folder, and will start making edits, in the desktop app.


Another colleague also has the same file open, but the system isn't alerting either user that someone else has the file open.


When one user saves their changes, the system creates a separate file, with a suffix in the filename (the user's PC name). Now we have two versions of the file, and the changes haven't been merged.


Is there something we're doing wrong? And is there a way to prevent this?

One of our main reasons for adopting SharePoint was to avoid multiple versions of the same document having to be created.

19 Replies
Sounds like whoever is editing the files doesn't have a good connection or isn't online at the time of editing, when you reconnect it will prompt you to keep the file and overwrite or create a new version.

Basically anytime you edit a file in onedrive/sharepoint sync from your machine, it will connect online first, if that's not available it will work from local cache. There are always prompts if a file is locked for editing by an older client that doesn't support co-auth, or they turn "auto save" feature off, but the users have to pay attention or else you end up with duplicated files. Lots of variables at play, specially when using sync client with larger groups of people or on documents that are high traffic.

Please note that if the documents are synced with onedrive you wont get any notification that another user is editing since this is happening on a local file until the file is synced.

Regarding the sync issues make sure you are both running the new onedrive sync. It may sound like one of you are using the old sync. Check your processes on task manager. You should be running OneDrive.exe and not GROOVE.exe

We had a similar issue.  Updating to the most recent version of OneDrive sync helped since locally synched files now open the server copy instead of a local copy and then, synching changes.


Also, in the User's OneDrive settings, make sure that the following are the selected options in the Office tab.  


You'll see two options regarding how conflicts are handled, you want to select the option Let me choose to merge changes or keep both copies.


Note: This screenshot is from my Mac but the PC client has similar options.


Thank you.

I believe we are all using the latest version of sync, and have checked the box to 'Let us choose to merge...' where possible, however on a couple of PC's this option appears greyed out!


We are currently looking at upgrading all office software on all machines, so hopefully that will help to at least reduce the number of issues.


This is what worked for me. After syncing the library and finding the lock symbol on all the files in the library displayed in my File Explorer, this is what I did:

  1. Remove all required column status from all fields. Be sure to include the default Title field. You might have to drill into the Document and/or Item Content Types to get to it. (I have found that it seems to be set as a required field by default in the standard Document content type)
  2. Enable version control inclusive of drafts, be sure it is set for 'anyone who can read'. Save. Then return and disable it. 
  3. Enable Content Approval and save. Then return and disable it.

The key one, for whatever reason, was #3. When I did that, a message box popped up on my monitor saying something like 'you can now edit your files in OneDrive'. When I checked my File Explorer, the locks were gone. I verified today that other users who are syncing this library to their File Explorer are also now able to edit the files (the lock was gone for them, too).


Below is my original post.... LOL.... I was pretty excited to see that this worked. I hope it does for you, too.


Out of desperation, I enabled Content Approval and then disabled Content Approval and.....

Low and behold I got a pop up from ODB saying 'You can now edit your files'. I opened my File Explorer....yes...wait for it....and the LOCK WAS GONE!  OMG, I spent hours on this to find that it was one check box for a feature I'd never enabled for the library. Why it was affecting its performance, I haven't a clue, but it worked. WHEW!


Im having this issue can you help me out please?



I'm still looking for an answer myself!

The issue seems that you/we are using local copies of the documents.  If two people open the same document at the same time, then make changes there will be a conflict.  We too are struggling with this as we have over 100 people using Sharepoint and syncing via OneDrive.  I know you can go online to the portal and "check out" a document but that doesn't fly with our setup.  End users want to use the local versions of Office and not the web client. 


On top of all that, changes are only synced when you CLOSE the document and not just save.  You will get a sync error saying the file is in use.  These two issues are seriously making us think about going back to a server share vs using Sharepoint.  What else can we change or try?

We have all PCs updated to Windows 10 Fall creators update so we can use "Files on demand" since we do not have enough HD space to store them all.

Hi Austin,


If you are looking for the classic file server experience when editing Office documents you could try mapping a network drive to your document libraries using Zee Drive. Zee Drive will lock Office documents automatically by default which ensures only one user can edit the document at a time. It should prevent duplicates/conflicts from occurring.


With Zee Drive, changes to Offices files are synced as soon as the user clicks Save.



We are having similar issues.  Have you had any luck finding a solution, Austin?

Not yet.  I am trying to find out if Zee Drive can scale down to only the features that we need vs paying for a suite of products.  I don't need to map a drive, I just need the file locking capability from file explorer that used to be there from before.

@Austin_Smith any luck on locking the synced file when someone else already has it opened?  We just started with OneDrive and we must have the option to allow for one person update at a time. 

You already can force this but you have to turn off auto save when opening The document. But keep in mind nothing can prevent anyone from opening a file offline.
Our solution is to map a drive to the SharePoint share. We have been doing this for a week now. This gives us the ability to lock files like normal. This way you are accessing the files directly and not accessing a synced copy that is only on your pc. One drive is now only being used for syncing your desktop, documents and pictures. Using an office 365 account with the desktop software as part of your account allows for simultaneous file use if auto save is turned on, otherwise if you are in the file, it's read only for everyone else.

The two biggest problems we are having now (which is better than not locking the files by far), is making your connection persistant for more than a week-long and file path names have to be under a certain length. 259-219 characters/letters total.

The trick I've discovered so far for the persistence is using IE and make sure you use check the box to keep you signed in. Since we are on a domain and user names are synced with the cloud, we can have the trusted sites use your pc credentials. Mapping a drive you don't click the "use different creds" this way.

Google how to map SharePoint as a network Drive for more instructions. The following is a great troubleshooter. And of course the want you to sync vs map it directly.
Pretty sure you don't need to do this. Check into this GPO

This in theory should set all synced shared files to online-only. This will essentially do the same thing as trying to map the drives by giving you file explorer access to the files in online-only mode. Otherwise, you should just tell people go to the SharePoint locations via web instead of relying on file shares to open the files direct only :)

@Chris Webb  Hi guys. Sorry to open up this thread again, but it seems as close to issue i am having, that i have found. I want users to sync company SharePoint files using OneDrive, but i don't want all data to remain on PC. Data protection more than anything else in case PC is lost or stolen. I like files to be cloud only until opened. Let it download and then, go back to cloud only. Much like how ZeeDrive works.  We have used ZeeDrive with other clients, but there is still support involved with ZeeDrive, that we want to avoid. Also, we want to move away from the mapped drive methodology. Files on-demand keeps a local copy and it appears its a manual process to 'free space'. However, there's no server to push out GPO. Office 365 deployment. Any advice would be appreciated. 

It’s a known bug that’s being worked on.
Thanks Chris. Would you know if there's a conversation I can follow to see status of this bug?

@Chris Webb - do you have any information about the status of this issue - it's compromising productivity on our end with changes being overridden on multiple occations