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Does anyone know of an easy/graceful way to end OneDrive docs/etc backups?

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,943
5,125
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On Windows 10, MS often tries to get the user to back up their local Desktop/Documents/Pictures folders to OneDrive. Very easy to set up, but in my experience it's a pain to reverse (in my experience customers often don't fully understand what they're agreeing to).

I think the last time I encountered it, I started by backing up OneDrive contents to another local location, unlinked OneDrive, right-clicked on Desktop/Documents/Pictures folders in 'This PC', properties > location, change the location, but then I've found that I have to go into the registry, (IIRC) HKCU > SW > MS > WINDOWS > CV > Explorer > User Shell Folders, make sure that Personal/Desktop/Pictures are pointing where I want them but also delete some entries that have CLSID-style key names and pointing to the OneDrive Desktop/Docs/Pictures folders, sign out, then it's back to normal.

Is there an easier way?
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,031
1,098
126
I think we're on the same wavelength or frequency about this. I had always been reticent about using OneDrive, but eventually Windows 10 presented me with some . . . . button-click . . . . and snagged me into the OneDrive Cloud backup for one system.

Another thread under Windows has my today's lengthy post with more about this and my home-server and LAN. I was actually happy, for buying a new laptop last week, to see that it had grabbed the backup from the Cloud for my sig-desktop down for repair. I have a few more tweaks to make to it, but the only thing -- which I don't like so much about laptops in general -- is that I have to "manage" the ups and downs with its battery. The instructions/guide advises not to leave the laptop plugged in all the time while using. And it says "try and avoid charging it up to 100%, as opposed to 80% -- to extend battery life". I don't know what mainstreamers do in their laptop use and practice. I may seem like a Luddite sometimes, but I'm not a mainstreamer.

So your question is highly relevant. "How to back away from Cloud syncing and the Cloud". I have no answers. But I'm waiting for others to answer your question.

Has anyone in these forums posted their guide or advice about using OneDrive, the Cloud and what is actually going on with the syncing, etc.? I'm beginning to see some advantages, but I also have a LAN to manage with backups, and I now need to take this OneDrive thing into consideration as part of the whole.
 

RLGL

Golden Member
Jan 8, 2013
1,867
226
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Has anyone in these forums posted their guide or advice about using OneDrive, the Cloud and what is actually going on with the syncing, etc.? I'm beginning to see some advantages, but I also have a LAN to manage with backups, and I now need to take this OneDrive thing into consideration as part of the whole.
Go into the settings for One Drive and uncheck everything. Say BYE BYE
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,943
5,125
136
Ok, I've answered my own question! Whether it was always this simple I can't say but anyway, to switch off the backup of docs/desktop/pictures and revert to the original folder locations:

Open OneDrive settings
Backup tab
Manage backup
Click 'stop backup' beneath each folder.
are you sure, yes

The files remain moved to OneDrive (in say your normal docs folder there'll now be a shortcut labelled 'where are my files' with a OneDrive icon), so you just need to move them back to their original locations (and your 'my docs' folder is set to its original location).

Once you've moved them out (you'll get a warning about files being removed from OneDrive btw), if you want to be rid of OneDrive altogether, then make sure OneDrive has finished syncing first then sign out of it.

Has anyone in these forums posted their guide or advice about using OneDrive, the Cloud and what is actually going on with the syncing, etc.? I'm beginning to see some advantages, but I also have a LAN to manage with backups, and I now need to take this OneDrive thing into consideration as part of the whole.
What do you want to know, specifically? One thing to be wary of is that I'm sure that OneDrive's default sync behaviour has changed at some point, which makes giving out reliable advice a bit tricky.
 
Last edited:

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
52,202
7,042
126
I ran into a problem, where I had a client that wanted to me to backup a (late) relative's PC, to an external portable HDD, and re-vamp the system (upgrade, re-format) for another family member.

While doing the file-copy backup (manually), I ran across two pictures, and like 5-6 documents (.xls spreadsheets) that it "couldn't copy", because they were "in the cloud".

There was plenty of disk space on the PC. I don't understand, why, if these are "cloud BACKUPS", why are they removing the original from the PC's drive, and leaving an NTFS "tombstone"?

I let them know, that the backup was missing a few files, but it left me feeling frustrated and lacking control of the PC, to make it do what *I* wanted/needed, under my watchful eye.

I understand NAS systems, but this MS Cloud / OneDrive stuff still leaves me a bit confused, how it all works.

I think it's borderline EVIL that MS "seduces" the end-users of their OS into using "MS Accounts", and therefore "OneDrive / cloud", without a full explainer tutorial showing what will happen with their files, how to get them back onto their local drive, etc.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
52,202
7,042
126
Another thing... MS (or, preferably, someone else, less biased), should have come out with some sort of "DLNA Cloud Services", for more than just playing back media collections, but also functioning as a "Cloud Backup Provider" for a PC or group of PCs, with an OPEN STANDARD that could be fill with ANY STANDARD-COMPLIANT CONSUMER NAS UNIT as a back-end, which the "Cloud" would be locally-controlled, and not at the behest of some large corp like Microsoft or Amazon.

I know that QNAP has some home-grown "Sync Folder Tool" stuff, that works with their NAS unit, and as many PCs as you install it onto (I think), but I would prefer an open standard, that comes integrated into the OS.

Much like just plugging in a TWAIN scanner, and using it with any of your compliant applications, why not a CLOUD NAS backup, that just plugs into the OS and applications, and cloud-backup / file-sync / etc., all locally.

Of course, you could opt on the NAS back-end to replicate the local NAS's storage / file-collection to Amazon AWS or MS Azure storage as well, for a more disaster-resistant cloud, but much of the control of that would all reside on the local NAS.

WHY??? Why isn't the industry fulfilling actual user needs, and providing SOLUTIONS, that are STANDARDS-COMPLIANT, and actually WORK, rather than proprietary software stacks that exist to scan files and violate user's privacy in order to sell advertising as a matter of course? This whole (computing) world has gotten SO off-kilter. RMS is right about nearly everything wrong with (proprietary) systems today.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,943
5,125
136
I ran into a problem, where I had a client that wanted to me to backup a (late) relative's PC, to an external portable HDD, and re-vamp the system (upgrade, re-format) for another family member.

While doing the file-copy backup (manually), I ran across two pictures, and like 5-6 documents (.xls spreadsheets) that it "couldn't copy", because they were "in the cloud".

There was plenty of disk space on the PC. I don't understand, why, if these are "cloud BACKUPS", why are they removing the original from the PC's drive, and leaving an NTFS "tombstone"?

I let them know, that the backup was missing a few files, but it left me feeling frustrated and lacking control of the PC, to make it do what *I* wanted/needed, under my watchful eye.

I understand NAS systems, but this MS Cloud / OneDrive stuff still leaves me a bit confused, how it all works.
I think the confusion is partly due to MS changing how OneDrive sync works by default. AFAIK it used to be the case that if you got a new computer, hooked it up to OneDrive with 4GB of data in your OneDrive account, as soon as the OD client connects, it would start downloading all your stuff.

I think the default behaviour then changed to 'files on demand', so your files were only downloaded once you tried to open them for the first time. When my backup system (powered by robocopy) pulls OneDrive files, the OD client starts popping up saying 'this file is being downloaded'.

I too had a confusing time because of this change because I had a situation whereby a customer's computer wouldn't start properly and I wanted to get a backup. Robocopy throws some interesting errors for OneDrive 'placeholder files' that can't be downloaded because I started the system from Windows setup media, it took me a while to figure out what was going on there.

You can set OD to download all files automatically from now on, you can also set OD to clear out files from your end that haven't been accessed in x weeks.

I think it's borderline EVIL that MS "seduces" the end-users of their OS into using "MS Accounts", and therefore "OneDrive / cloud", without a full explainer tutorial showing what will happen with their files, how to get them back onto their local drive, etc.
Gotta sell some OD subscriptions! The sensible thing to do with OD and other more advanced features like Bitlocker is to allow the user to enable them (ie. opt-in), at which point they can be directed to a useful primer for how the feature works.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,031
1,098
126
Ok, I've answered my own question! Whether it was always this simple I can't say but anyway, to switch off the backup of docs/desktop/pictures and revert to the original folder locations:

Open OneDrive settings
Backup tab
Manage backup
Click 'stop backup' beneath each folder.
are you sure, yes

The files remain moved to OneDrive (in say your normal docs folder there'll now be a shortcut labelled 'where are my files' with a OneDrive icon), so you just need to move them back to their original locations (and your 'my docs' folder is set to its original location).

Once you've moved them out (you'll get a warning about files being removed from OneDrive btw), if you want to be rid of OneDrive altogether, then make sure OneDrive has finished syncing first then sign out of it.



What do you want to know, specifically? One thing to be wary of is that I'm sure that OneDrive's default sync behaviour has changed at some point, which makes giving out reliable advice a bit tricky.
It still gives me the willies, thinking that my data is "out there somewhere in some 'cloud'". But I can see how it might come in handy -- another backup fallback.

On the other hand, when I set up my new laptop, it was getting the desktop icons from my sig machine which is still down for repair. If you felt comfortable with what you knew about OneDrive, about how you would control it to serve specific needs and purposes, then I can see an advantage as a backup and storage option.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,943
5,125
136
It still gives me the willies, thinking that my data is "out there somewhere in some 'cloud'". But I can see how it might come in handy -- another backup fallback.

On the other hand, when I set up my new laptop, it was getting the desktop icons from my sig machine which is still down for repair. If you felt comfortable with what you knew about OneDrive, about how you would control it to serve specific needs and purposes, then I can see an advantage as a backup and storage option.
It's not really a backup when mistakes are automatically sync'd from one end to the other, or even that the files are only in the cloud.

Even if I were happy to store my files in the cloud, I'd still make an offline backup.
 

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