Discussion Peoples' experiences with cloud storage systems e.g. OneDrive / Google Drive / iCloud Drive / Dropbox


May 19, 2011
I had a baffling experience the other day on a customer's computer with MS OneDrive, and I'm just wondering how it compares with competitors in the market. I'm more interested in hearing stories where the sync software had to handle a non-everyday scenario and how well it handled it.

The customer is running Office 365 on Win11, and they certainly had OneDrive set up at some point (likely by me when I helped them change computers, basically mirroring the old setup onto the new machine in line with the wisdom of what's likely familiar to the customer is best, and if it ain't broke don't fix it), but when I most recently visited them, OneDrive wasn't signed in. I signed OneDrive back in and it started trying to sync the files that the customer had been working on since whenever OD had gone offline; considering that the only person who should be accessing these files is the customer one would think that the OD sync should be simple: the files on the PC are newer so they should overwrite the cloud copies, right?

What ensued was weird. After processing x thousand files, it concluded that a handful of files were having sync issues. The OneDrive UI showed a list of problematic docs (all Word docs), and next to each one was an option to fix the problem. Fine, I'll click on that. However, all that did was open *a* Word document without telling me whether this was the one on the computer or the cloud copy and no other options. I concluded that the best thing to do was to try and open the respective doc in the Documents folder and visually compare the two, but there was still no option to disregard a particular version or anything. I tried a couple of courses of action like renaming one of the files (or deleting, or 'save as' in Word), and then OneDrive would download another copy of the file that I would then have to deal with. After something like a three-stage operation (saving as, deleting the dupe which would show up in the OneDrive docs folder but with a cloud symbol next to it, then likely deleting the newly downloaded copy) the OneDrive UI was then satisfied for that particular file.

I would have thought especially with two MS products "working together" that there would be a better way of handling it. A basic approach would be when the user clicks on 'fix issue' in OD, OD fires up an explorer-like prompt when the user is trying to copy files to a destination with matching file names and they're asked whether they want to overwrite, compare the dates/times/sizes of both copies, do they want to keep both or either, etc. Another basic approach would be if two copies of Word opened but with something obvious to tell the user which copy is the cloud copy and buttons to say keep / delete this version. A more advanced approach might only be suitable for users with track change / version control experience in Word.

I get that auto sync is potentially perilous which is why I don't like using it; I've seen iCloud tripling the number of iDevice contacts because of sync issues with 'iCloud (Outlook connector) for Windows' (the user in question had like ~15000 contacts to begin with so ending up with triple that really wasn't fun!), presumably because Apple doesn't like asking the user pertinent but potentially SCARY questions.


Platinum Member
Jan 8, 2013
.skp files get corrupted when syncing to any cloud service, or sometimes to a local network, if opened and saved to the service. If they are opened from a local drive, saved to a local drive then synced they are okay. This includes any external drives and USB products.