Category Archives: OneDrive for Business

OneDrive not starting up

Ok this was bizarre – we had a customer who had multiple machines where OneDrive for Business would not startup.

They swore that it was working fine. Never trust an end user.

The fix was to reverse a registry key which had disabled OneDrive, which in itself proves the users had no idea what they were talking about. Some administrator had rolled out a registry key to disable OneDrive, so there is no way it could have been working.

Always take what an end user tells you with a grain of salt. Like: a very very small grain.

Here was the fix to reverse the problem: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\OneDrive.DisableFileSyncNGSC set value to 0


You are welcome =)

OneDrive NGSC for SharePoint Team sites is now GA

Yesterday 1/24/17, Microsoft announced (here) that the OneDrive Next Generation Sync Client (NGSC) which replaces the older Groove.exe sync client now supports syncing SharePoint Online document libraries (sorry, no NGSC for on-premises SharePoint).

First verify that the build number is 17.3.6743.1212

It is supposed to automatically update but you can also download it from:

If you were previously participating in the preview build so that you could test out this feature, you previously had to deploy a registry key called “TeamSitesPreview” to enable syncing SharePoint Team sites.

Now, as long as you have the client build 17.3.6743.1212, then the registry key is no longer necessary.

However, if you don’t have the registry key then you will need to change a brand new setting that just appeared in the SharePoint Online Admin Center called Sync Client for SharePoint.
As you can see in the screen shot below, the setting for ‘Sync Client for SharePoint’ defaults to ‘start the old client’.

Important: This needs to be changed to ‘start the new client.’

So if you don’t have access to your SharePoint tenant to change the default sync client for SharePoint to use the new client, you can use the registry key to override it locally on your system.




Tip: If you are in there modifying the tenant, you might as well change the “OneDrive Sync Button” is set to “Start the new client.”

These changes take several hours to propagate. To check that they’ve propagated, go to a SharePoint Online site and click Sync. In the browser dialog box that confirms the request to open a program, the “Program” should appear as “Microsoft OneDrive” and the “Address” should start with “odopen://”


If you see either the OneDrive Setup Wizard or a dialog box asking “Which library do you want to sync?” after clicking “Allow” in Internet Explorer, then see Known issues for instructions on how to enable SharePoint site setup in Internet Explorer. There is a known issue that is actively being investigated by Microsoft: If you are using Windows 7 and your SharePoint Online site is still using the classic UI rather than the new modern UI, then you will need to use Edge, Chrome or Firefox until the integration issue with Internet Explorer is resolved.


On a Mac, you may find that you need to perform these additional steps:

  1. If you are currently using the OneDrive Mac Store app, you must first uninstall it before installing the latest build of the new OneDrive sync client.
    1. Open Finder and Search for “” or “” from “This Mac.”
    2. Move all returned items to the trash.
    3. Once you’ve removed the Mac Store app, you can install the preview build of the new OneDrive sync client.
  2. Exit the new OneDrive sync client by clicking on the OneDrive cloud icon in the Menu bar and selecting Quit OneDrive.
  3. Open a terminal window by using cmd+space and searching for “Terminal.”
  4. Run the following commands:
  5. Defaults write TeamSiteSyncPreview -bool True
  6. Defaults write Tier Team
  7. Killall cfprefsd
  8. Restart the sync client and log in again if prompted.


OneDrive Admin Center First Look

[Post Updated 12/19 to correct the statement on Device Access with MAM settings]

At the Ignite conference, Microsoft announced (Here) that a new OneDrive Admin Center was coming before the end of 2016. It’s here now!


Accessing the new Admin Center is available via the hyperlink below for Office 365 tenants configured for ‘First Release.’ It is currently in preview ‘aka Beta’ and will eventually get added into the Admin menu. Until then, you need to access it via direct URL:


Here are my first impressions of the new admin center.

  • Better visibility into some settings that were previously only available through PowerShell


  • Some new MDM capabilities that previously required an Intune license


  • Nicely summarized Compliance Page with links for Auditing, DLP, Retention, eDiscovery, and Alerting. (No new capabilities, but it’s informative, educational and convenient to have them all listed for OneDrive Admin)


  • Several new settings are available in the OneDrive Admin Center that were previously not exposed in the SharePoint Admin Center:
    • Default Storage (ability to increase from 1TB to 5TB) (was previously only available in PowerShell)
      • Days to retain files in OneDrive after a user account is marked for deletion (was previously only available in PowerShell)
      • NEW Features: Device Access
        • Control access based on network location (this was briefly available in the SharePoint Admin center but was subsequently removed, but still configurable in PowerShell).
        • Control access from apps that can’t enforce device-based restrictions
        • Mobile Application Management (Requires Intune License, as this uses the Intune API to change the Intune MAM settings).

      • Allowing syncing only on PC’s joined to specific domains (was previously only available in PowerShell) here is a TechNet article on how to enumerate domain guids.
        • Block sync on Mac OSX (was previously only available in PowerShell)
      • Block syncing of specific file types (was previously only available in PowerShell)
  • Eleven OneDrive settings are not yet available in the OneDrive Admin Center (use the SharePoint Admin Center to manage these OneDrive settings)
    • External users must accept sharing invites using the same account that the invites were sent to
    • custom link expiration dates
    • Configuring the OneDrive experience (New or Classic)
    • Controlling whether all users or only specific users will get OneDrive sites created when a SharePoint license is assigned
    • Notifications (external sharing, or mobile push)
    • Show/Hide OneDrive Button
    • Script Setting that controls whether or not the ‘Copy to SharePoint’ button will appear in OneDrive
    • Ability to enable/disable IRM for OneDrive Globally
    • Ability to enable/disable IRM for individual OneDrive Sites
    • My Site Cleanup Access Delegation
    • My Site Cleanup Secondary Owner
    • My Site Secondary Admin
  • The following OneDrive settings are still only available in PowerShell and have not yet been surfaced in the SharePoint or OneDrive web admin interfaces:
    • Get-SPOTenant | ft ProvisionSharedWithEveryoneFolder
    • Get-SPOTenant | ft ShowEveryoneExceptExternalUsersClaim
    • Get-SPOTenant | ft ShowEveryoneClaim
    • Get-SPOTenant | ft ShowAllUsersClaim
    • Get-SPOTenantSyncClientRestriction | ft OptOutOfGrooveBlock
    • Get-SPOTenantSyncClientRestriction | ft OptOutOfGrooveSoftBlock
    • Get-SPOExternalUser



Here is a side-by-side comparison with the settings available in the existing SharePoint Admin Center (that apply to OneDrive)

Setting SharePoint Admin Center OneDrive Admin Center
Sharing outside your organization Same Capabilities
Anonymous Links Expiration Setting Unable to specify custom expiration date
Default Link Type Same Capabilities
Limit External sharing using domains Checkbox Same Capabilities
Prevent external users from sharing files they don’t own Checkbox Same Capabilities
External users must accept sharing invites using the same account that the invites were sent to Checkbox [Not Available]
Notifications [Not Available]
Show or Hide Options [Not Available]
OneDrive for Business experience [Not Available]
OneDrive Sync Button Same
Mobile Push Notifications – OneDrive for Business [Not Available]
Custom Scripts (determines whether or not the ‘Copy to SharePoint’ feature will be available in OneDrive) [Not Available]
Enable/Disable IRM for OneDrive [Not Available]
My Site Cleanup Access Delegation [Not Available]
My Site Cleanup Secondary Owner [Not Available]
My Site Secondary Admin [Not Available]
Controlling whether all users or only specific users will get OneDrive sites created when a SharePoint license is assigned [Not Available]
Delegating access to a OneDrive Site SharePoint Admin Center > User Profiles > User Profiles > Find the profile

Right Click > Manage site collection owners

This is not available in the OneDrive Admin Center, however, it was recently added to the main ‘Active Users’ options

Crawl OneDrive Sites to report usage information

I just uploaded a PowerShell script to the Microsoft Technet ScriptCenter that provides reporting information on OneDrive usage, with a CSV output of each user’s usage.


The script can be downloaded from here: Crawl all OneDrive Folders

This is helpful because the two built-in reports available in the Office 365 Admin Portal do not provide details on per-usage usage. They provide high level aggregate data only.


Need help with your next Office 365 Project? We can help you deploy any or all of the 21 features Included in Office 365 for a flat rate per month.  Contact us at [email protected].

Troubleshooting OneDrive for Business Synchronization Problems

The current ODFB synchronization engine is based on groove.exe and msosync.exe.   If you see OneDrive.exe in your task manager, that is the consumer edition synchronization engine for Onedrive.


When OneDrive for Business is healthy, the icon in the task tray will not display a useful troubleshooting option “View synchronization problems”


However, as soon as you have a file that will not synchronize, this icon will indicate a yellow exclamation point.


The first troubleshooting step is to right-click this icon and select ‘View sync problems…’


This will usually tell you why the file will not synchronize. In this case, it was because the file name contained an unsupported character “#”. As of 9/15/2015, here is the list of unsupported characters: \ , / , : , * , ? , ” , < , > , | , # , %  (Reference MS KB 2933738). Also, files cannot begin with a period “.” or a “tilde “~”.  Note: In the MS KB article linked above, there is a “Fix it tool” that can rename invalid filenames automatically.
Note: Microsoft’s roadmap site,, lists that the # and % characters will eventually be supported. 


Another reason why a file may not migrate is if it exceeds 2GB, which is the current maximum file size. This is also on the roadmap to eventually increase to 10GB per file.

Other limitations:

  • File names must be less than 256 characters
  • Folder names must be less than 250 characters
  • The combination of the Folder + Filename must be less than 250 characters
  • The total number of files synchronized must be less than 20,000. Note: Microsoft has publically stated that they are working on increasing this in the next generation synchronization engine (currently in beta as of 9/15/2015).
Outlook PST files

Whereas PST files aren’t actively blocked by OneDrive for Business, syncing PST files that are in an open state isn’t supported. If you decide to sync PST files (for example, an archive PST file that you don’t load or view in Outlook), they can’t be in an open state at any time by any application while they’re in the OneDrive for Business sync folder. A PST file that’s connected to Outlook will be updated regularly and therefore if synchronized, can result in too much network traffic and growth of the Office File Cache on your local drive.

OneNote notebooks

Because OneNote notebooks have their own sync mechanism, they aren’t synced by the OneDrive for Business sync client. You can upload OneNote notebooks to a SharePoint Online page. However, they won’t sync with through the OneDrive for Business sync client application. Additionally, if you add a OneNote notebook to a local folder that syncs with SharePoint Online, the notebook won’t sync with the SharePoint site and may cause other sync errors within the local folder.


Open Files

This is a big one. If you create a file in your OneDrive synchronization library, and attempt to open that file before it finishes synchronizing, you will get an error message within the application.

Other Gotchas

If you plan on migrating user file shares to OneDrive for Business (using 3rd party software) then keep in mind that the total file share size for each individual user should be less than the available hard disk space on the end-user’s computer. Otherwise, when they attempt to synchronize it, then they will fail.   For example, the user may have a 32GB SSD drive on their Surface Pro tablet, and they may have 100GB of files on their file share. If that file share is migrated to ODFB, and the user clicks the Sync button in their ODFB folder, they will fill up their hard disk and synchronization will fail. It gets worse – I have observed behavior where you attempt to remove these files from the local hard drive, only to replicate that as a deletion task in ODFB. Fortunately, the files should be able to be recovered in the ODFB recycle bin.  For now, just be aware of this issue and wait for the next generation synchronization engine, which may have the ‘selective sync’ option where the end-user can select which folders to synchronize.

Troubleshooting Methodology

1. Check the ‘View synchronization errors’ first to see if the problem is simple to resolve

2. Self-help articles that solve common problems like those explained above are found (here) and (here). If it is not simple, then the next step is to clean the cache with this command:

“Groove.exe /clean ”

Note: DO NOT use the /ALL command as described in this article (here). This is pretty destructive as described in this article here:

3. Navigate to the hidden cache folder and shift-delete all the files inside this folder (delete the files inside this folder but leave the OfficeFileCache folder intact)


Follow this forum post:

as it lists which processes to stop and then delete the contents of this folder:


Last resort method

If the above does not fix it, here is the last resort method of fixing synchronization problems: 

1. Remove Office 2013 completely from the computer by using the fix it tool in the article: Then, the cache data and registry information can be removed automatically.

2. Clear all related windows credentials by running the following command in Command Prompt:

rundll32.exe keymgr.dll, KRShowKeyMgr

3. Reinstall the latest version of Office.


I’m optimistic that many synchronization problems will be alleviated in the next generation synchronization engine due out in Q4 2015. Until then, hopefully the steps above will be helpful. Please note: this post is provided without warranty, and is for educational purposes only (use at your own risk –> always backup your files before performing any of these steps).