SharePoint/OneDrive Sync Issues

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When using SharePoint/OneDrive in a work environment where multiple people are updating shared files at the same time, conflicts can occur.


Files may not “sync” from the workstation to the SharePoint server and then onto other users if there are sync issues.

Sync issues are usually represent with a pop-up notification, but if missed may not be obvious


On a PC, you should see a white or blue OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar.

You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow The Show hidden icons button. next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon.

Windows taskbar showing hidden icons

If the icon doesn’t appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Select Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then select OneDrive in the search results.

A solid-blue or Solid white cloud is a sign all is well. If you see another symbol, it will idicate issues as highlighted below:


Beware of “Sync-Problems”

It is not guaranteed that all files will immediately sync, especially if you are “uploading” files to SharePoint or OneDrive from your local drive

Failing to address sync-issue may stop your computer updating other files so fixing the issue as soon as it occurs is imperative to ensure your workstation always contains the latest files and updates (if not using files-on-demand)

You may see a warning such as this

onedrive needs your attention

Clicking on the “X” opens another window that highlights the problems with the syncing. Clicking on the magnifier symbol takes you to the file or folder and allows you to correct them.

onedrive illegal characters in file names

Common OneDrive/SharePoint Sync problems include:

Names or Folders containing characters that are not allowed” such as:

  • Blank leading Characters
  • Blank Trailing Characters
  • ~ ” # % & * : < > ? / \ { | }.

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