Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
56,993
19,856


Earlier this week, MacRumors reported on a OneDrive for Mac update that has caused upset among users of the cloud storage service, partly due to alleged bugs it has introduced but mainly because the new version no longer allows users to opt out of its cloud-based Files On-Demand feature, which was previously an optional setting.

OneDrive-800x400.jpg

In an update to its original blog post introducing this aspect of its new "Files On-Demand Experience," Microsoft has now responded to these concerns by explaining that the first version of Files On-Demand is built on several pieces of technology that are now deprecated by Apple in macOS 12.3, currently still in beta.

Apple is deprecating the kernel extensions originally used by OneDrive's syncing features, so the Mac client is now using Apple's File Provider extensions instead. On the question of whether this has introduced a technical reason for why Files On-Demand must always be enabled, Microsoft touts the benefits of OneDrive's new dependency on Apple's File Provider platform, including the resolution of compatibility issues, and how that has factored into its controversial decision to enforce its Files On-Demand feature:
Files On-Demand has been available on Windows since 2017, and on macOS since 2018. In that time, we've progressed from the feature being opt-in only to being on by default for all users and have closely monitored how many users turn off Files On-Demand. Only a very small number of users disable Files On-Demand on both platforms, and there are two main reasons for that.

When Files On-Demand first shipped on Windows, some applications didn't work well with the way we stored files, or with anti-virus or other security software that was installed. Over time, we've fixed most of these problems. On macOS, we took a similarly cautious approach, but the application compatibility landscape is quite different and, in some ways, less complex. Still, there were a few cases where, due to the technology stack we were using on macOS, it made sense for certain users to disable Files On-Demand to preserve compatibility. With the File Provider platform, these problems have gone away, so application compatibility issues on macOS should be much less likely to occur. If you find something different with your setup, please reach out to your support contact so we can diagnose the issue.
Despite its rationale for enforcing Files On-Demand, Microsoft acknowledges that keeping all content locally on devices is "an important scenario for a small set of users," and says the best way to do this is to select Always Keep on This Device to mark content as pinned. "If you want all files synced on your device, you should pin the OneDrive folder," says Microsoft.

Users can do this by browsing to their OneDrive in Finder, changing the view to Icons view, and then right-clicking the blank space between icons and selecting Always Keep on This Device. "We're actively looking at ways to make this easier to configure on both macOS and Windows," adds Microsoft.

macOS-Pin-the-Root-2.gif

In addition, Microsoft offers an explanation for why some users have experienced slowdowns when browsing folders in OneDrive:
"To save space and system resources, the File Provider platform doesn't actually create the files OneDrive is managing until the first time you need them. The first time you open a OneDrive folder, macOS will create them on-demand. This can sometimes take a moment.

"To avoid this delay, you can force the system to pre-create all of these files and folders for you without downloading your content. To do this, open a Terminal window and type "ls -alR ~/OneDrive" (or the path to your OneDrive). This will ensure all of your files and folders are created, but not downloaded, before you browse.

"Finally, it is important to note that beginning in macOS 12.3, File Provider is the only Files On-Demand solution that is supported on macOS. Our prior solution is no longer supported."
Microsoft says it is aware of users experiencing issues with AutoSave when using the App Store version of the OneDrive app and it is actively working to resolve the issue in the next few days.

In the meantime, users who can't wait until then can move to the Standalone build of OneDrive by unlinking their account, uninstalling the App Store version, and reinstalling the Standalone version [Direct Link].

Are you happy with Microsoft's explanation for enforcing the Files On-Demand setting? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Update 2/4/22: Microsoft recently updated the blog to confirm the AutoSave issue has been fixed: "The fix for AutoSave for the App Store version was released in the Store today. It is fixed with 22.002.0201.0005."

Article Link: Microsoft Responds to OneDrive Mac User Criticism Following Decision to Enforce Files On-Demand Feature [Updated]
 
Last edited:

Derekuda

Suspended
Oct 2, 2004
354
1,283
For a bunch of Mac users who love to piss and moan about how they hate Microsoft and Windows, it's extremely satisfying to see them all crying when the thing they need doesn't work for them the way they want by the company they don't support.

Why doesn't apple make their own onedrive service... or rent out more icloud storage on googles servers. God forbid a computer company spin up some servers for their users.
 

MacProFCP

Contributor
Jun 14, 2007
78
44
Michigan
I have found that iCloud Drive and Google Drive both do a HORRIBLE job of syncing files to the cloud. Both iCloud and Google share a problem where the files are mainly stored in the cloud, which creates issues of file sizing being larger than the drive space, thus limiting or making it impossible to move files. Additionally, it makes offline work difficult.

Alternatively, Dropbox has many customizations and you can easy select, down to each individual file, whether it is local or cloud based and you can easily change this.

Turning off iCloud Drive made things so much smoother and I just stopped using Google Drive. I simply store everything in DropBox and there are even settings for your user folders to be synced with DropBox.

I don't use Microsoft One Drive, but I suspect those who want the Files on Demand turned off do so for similar problems with iCloud and Google.
 

TheMacDaddy1

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2016
612
1,057
Merica!
It is a great feature, especially when lots of Mac owners end up buying Mac's with 256gig Hard Drives because the cost of a HD upgarde is crazy from Apple.

Between Apples forced changes, crazy high HD up-charges and NO WAY to upgrade the HD....it's Microsoft's fault? All cloud vendors on Mac's have to deal with this, not just Microsoft. I mean iCloud Drive DOES THE SAME THING.
 

saudor

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2011
1,215
1,365
I have found that iCloud Drive and Google Drive both do a HORRIBLE job of syncing files to the cloud. Both iCloud and Google share a problem where the files are mainly stored in the cloud, which creates issues of file sizing being larger than the drive space, thus limiting or making it impossible to move files. Additionally, it makes offline work difficult.

Alternatively, Dropbox has many customizations and you can easy select, down to each individual file, whether it is local or cloud based and you can easily change this.

Turning off iCloud Drive made things so much smoother and I just stopped using Google Drive. I simply store everything in DropBox and there are even settings for your user folders to be synced with DropBox.

I don't use Microsoft One Drive, but I suspect those who want the Files on Demand turned off do so for similar problems with iCloud and Google.

Yeah dropbox works most reliably for me. OneDrive's delta sync doesn't work too good and i see it constantly uploading the entire file im working throughout the entire day. iCloud glitches up and decides to download the same file over and over again, eating terabytes of bandwidth per day

Google drive is absolutely horrible when it comes to shared files. Folders randomly go missing and sometimes have to request clients to re-send that folder.

Pity though since it seems dropbox is going the way of onedrive/everything else soon.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tagbert

kemal

macrumors 68000
Dec 21, 2001
1,777
2,035
Nebraska
This is really going to impact my customers who must have 1TB+ of shared files stored locally.
 

BanjoDudeAhoy

macrumors regular
Aug 3, 2020
238
276
I didn’t notice this had changed. But then, I have always liked the on demand feature.
In fact, I sometimes felt that it kept too many files permanently on my devices xD
 

valdikor

macrumors 6502
Aug 21, 2012
359
170
Slovakia
Microsoft says it is aware of users experiencing issues with AutoSave when using the App Store version of the OneDrive app and it is actively working to resolve the issue in the next few days.

In the meantime, users who can't wait until then can move to the Standalone build of OneDrive by unlinking their account, uninstalling the App Store version, and reinstalling the Standalone version [Direct Link].
There was an update for the Mac App Store version yesterday (22.002.0201) and this fixed the AutoSave issues for both my wife and me. It seems there is no need to install the standalone version to fix this issue anymore, then.
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 65816
Dec 28, 2009
1,048
702
Files on demand is probably the worst, most exploitive idea ever. NEVER use files on demand. Why?

1. You no longer own your own files. You lease it from your cloud provider.
2. You are totally dependent on your cloud provider. If they have a technical problem, go out of business etc. you loose everything.
3. You have no backup of your files.
4. If you buy a HD that cannot hold all your files, it's very hard to move from one cloud provider to another.
5. You cannot use your files without an internet connection.
6. etc.

So, of course cloud providers love files on demand. But for users it's a disaster. It's like peeing in your pants: at first it's nice warm (you save money on local HDD), but in the end it will become a disaster.
 

TheMacDaddy1

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2016
612
1,057
Merica!
I didn’t notice this had changed. But then, I have always liked the on demand feature.
In fact, I sometimes felt that it kept too many files permanently on my devices xD
Agreed I did not even notice.

I have on some computers kept all of my OneDrive files local, so I can back them up. This is a great way to do this to either a local drive (USB Drive/Time machine on a Mac) or using something like BackBlaze. Because OneDrive creates a dedicated folder you can easily find it/files in your backups, unlike iCloud that buries the local copies of files deep down and harder to find on backup media.

That said OneDrive has "Previous Versions" something that all other cloud vendors except for ......iCloud...has. This a fantastic feature and helps protect against ransomware, by allowing you to roll back to the previous version, even at a folder level before the ransomware hit you.

Apple is so far behind in the cloud game it is sad.
 

Uln4321

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2011
211
20
I believe Google Drive switched to an all or nothing approach recently which I hate. You used to be able to select certain folders. With OneDrive, I had been storing locally all my work files so I would have a backup but now that seems like not an option unless I manually download each file/folder.

The iCloud method seems the best where I can right click and download / remove download on demand. But that's only an option on Mac. On iOS you have to download and it stays there. Plus with my video files in google drive I can watch them without downloading like they are a YouTube video and it's easy to share it that way too. With iCloud you literally have to download the videos.

Why is there no perfect solution.
 

Uln4321

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2011
211
20
Files on demand is probably the worst, most exploitive idea ever. NEVER use files on demand. Why?

1. You no longer own your own files. You lease it from your cloud provider.
2. You are totally dependent on your cloud provider. If they have a technical problem, go out of business etc. you loose everything.
3. You have no backup of your files.
4. If you buy a HD that cannot hold all your files, it's very hard to move from one cloud provider to another.
5. You cannot use your files without an internet connection.
6. etc.

So, of course cloud providers love files on demand. But for users it's a disaster. It's like peeing in your pants: at first it's nice warm (you save money on local HDD), but in the end it will become a disaster.

This! ^ backing up files on external drives is nearly impossible with all these on demand options.

Edit: Looks like its a little easer than I thought. You can select all and download all at once. The only issue I have is new files added on other computers are going to have to be manually downloaded each time.
 
Last edited:

TheMacDaddy1

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2016
612
1,057
Merica!
Files on demand is probably the worst, most exploitive idea ever. NEVER use files on demand. Why?

1. You no longer own your own files. You lease it from your cloud provider.
2. You are totally dependent on your cloud provider. If they have a technical problem, go out of business etc. you loose everything.
3. You have no backup of your files.
4. If you buy a HD that cannot hold all your files, it's very hard to move from one cloud provider to another.
5. You cannot use your files without an internet connection.
6. etc.

So, of course cloud providers love files on demand. But for users it's a disaster. It's like peeing in your pants: at first it's nice warm (you save money on local HDD), but in the end it will become a disaster.
Or you can just tell it to keep all the files local, which is still an option, and you back them up. All cloud vendors have this option now...including iCloud.

Seriously Mac owners need "Files on demand" more than PC owners because Apple charges a small fortune for HD upgrades and since you have to do it at purchase time, they got you if you want 1TB in your new Mac.
 

TriBruin

macrumors 6502
Jul 28, 2008
339
718
Not sure why people are getting mad at Microsoft. This is directly because of a change that Apple made.
Because it is a little unclear if this is a direct result of Apple's change or not.

Microsoft has never come out and directly said that Files on Demand is a requirement of the new APIs. So either (a) they don't want to throw Apple under the bus or (b) This is a design decision that Microsoft chose to make at the same time they moved to the new APIs.

I suspect that (a) is more likely than (b), since Windows still retains the option to off FoD, but either is a reasonable response.
 

RalfTheDog

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2010
1,730
730
Lagrange Point
For a bunch of Mac users who love to piss and moan about how they hate Microsoft and Windows, it's extremely satisfying to see them all crying when the thing they need doesn't work for them the way they want by the company they don't support.

Why doesn't apple make their own onedrive service... or rent out more icloud storage on googles servers. God forbid a computer company spin up some servers for their users.
Some people are forced to connect to corporate servers that operate in a Windows environment. Luckily for us, we got rid of all the Microsoft products on all our networks. We are 100% Mac on all our desktops and 100% Linux on all our servers. (We were all 100% CentOS, but after Red Hat purchased them and ruined their products, we are now Ubuntu. Switching everything to a BSD base was not fun, but it makes are servers much closer to our Mac desktops.)

Disclaimer: I do have several Ubuntu desktops in my office. I am the only one in the company. I have been thinking about running Windows 11 in a virtual box, but only to play games.

One more thing: iCloud is fantastic. If we needed a network virtual drive we would use it. For security reasons, we don't run virtual drives.
 

tritian

macrumors member
Jul 19, 2008
66
185
Short version:

"We changed a default setting awhile ago. Most people either
A) Hated it but were too lazy to see if the behavior could be changed
B) Didn't know how to change it
C) Didn't notice

So we are keeping it because most of our users are too dumb to understand what we are doing to them. Smart vocal users are the minority so we can do whatever we want."
 

827538

Cancelled
Jul 3, 2013
2,323
2,829
I was under the impression this was always how Onedrive worked and that's fine by me. Most of my iCloud and Onedrive files are stuff I'm happy to leave in the cloud.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rookie_macuser!

GMShadow

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2021
333
1,258
I didn’t notice this had changed. But then, I have always liked the on demand feature.
In fact, I sometimes felt that it kept too many files permanently on my devices xD

I've always used OD as a secondary backup for critical documents that I don't want to lose in the event of a house fire (which could potentially kill my Macs + Time Machine setup), so having the files only be in the cloud doesn't bother me in the slightest.
 

TheMacDaddy1

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2016
612
1,057
Merica!
Some people are forced to connect to corporate servers that operate in a Windows environment. Luckily for us, we got rid of all the Microsoft products on all our networks. We are 100% Mac on all our desktops and 100% Linux on all our servers. (We were all 100% CentOS, but after Red Hat purchased them and ruined their products, we are now Ubuntu. Switching everything to a BSD base was not fun, but it makes are servers much closer to our Mac desktops.)

Disclaimer: I do have several Ubuntu desktops in my office. I am the only one in the company. I have been thinking about running Windows 11 in a virtual box, but only to play games.

One more thing: iCloud is fantastic. If we needed a network virtual drive we would use it. For security reasons, we don't run virtual drives.
Sounds like a lot of switching, and more switching (CentOS) only to get away from vendors you do not like??? Work harder not smarter??

iCloud is anything but fantastic IMHO.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nebojsak

macguru212

Contributor
Apr 17, 2009
637
4,036
AZ/NYC/Tokyo
Relying on these technologies from a desktop to sync to the cloud always made me a bit uneasy - I've witnessed a lot of disasters from these solutions usually due to improper settings (iCloud & OneDrive I'm talking to you!) Particularly people's computers in an enterprise environment syncing simultaneously terabytes of data across 3 or 4 computers to and from the cloud.

It was a scene, man. But of course an extreme example...

Inexperienced users need to learn and understand before they use this stuff. There are great benefits but also problems.
 
  • Love
Reactions: foliovision

TheMacDaddy1

macrumors 6502a
Aug 17, 2016
612
1,057
Merica!
I've always used OD as a secondary backup for critical documents that I don't want to lose in the event of a house fire (which could potentially kill my Macs + Time Machine setup), so having the files only be in the cloud doesn't bother me in the slightest.
Having a backup offsite is CRITICAL. If you get hit by ransomware, it will encrypt your Mac and time machine drive in seconds. It will also sync those encrypted files to the cloud. If your cloud vendor supports "previous versions" that will allow you to role back. If not, you are having a bad day.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tagbert
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.