5 common mistakes to avoid when using Microsoft OneDrive with Apple devices

If you use OneDrive on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, avoid these common mistakes to make your workday smoother and more efficient.

Image: IB Photography/Adobe Stock

Microsoft One Drive provides businesses with a powerful cloud-based service that users frequently use to store, share, and sync files. Included in every Microsoft 365 home and business plan, the File Storage service isn’t just for Windows users. Microsoft also offers device-specific apps for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Make sure you use OneDrive as efficiently and productively as possible when using an Apple device by avoiding the following mistakes.

Mistake 1: Avoid Using Illegal Filenames and Characters

Professionals using OneDrive often depend on the file storage feature to enable access to commonly used documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDFs, photos, and other files across multiple devices. But problems arise when using folders or filenames that are incompatible with OneDrive.

Files – including white papers, datasheets, product specification brochures and the like – downloaded from vendors and websites sometimes contain illegal characters. Many folder and file names are also incompatible with OneDrive.

SEE: iCloud vs OneDrive: Which is better for Mac, iPad and iPhone users? (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The following illegal characters prevent synchronization of OneDrive files: ”, *, :, , ?, /, and |. Also, ~ only works correctly when it’s not the first character of a folder or filename.

Specific filenames can also cause problems. Avoid using AUX, PRN, NUL and CON, and COM and LPT with a digit – as in COM1, COM2, etc. or LPT 1, LPT2, etc. – because they cause OneDrive synchronization problems.

Mistake 2: Don’t forget to use the OneDrive device-specific local app

There’s an occasional temptation, especially when using a Mac, to just use Microsoft’s OneDrive web portal to access and store files. Loading the Mac-specific application and installing and configuring the iPhone and iPad-specific program (Figure A) on these devices greatly expands the use and capabilities of the file storage service.

Figure A

The OneDrive iPad app provides quick access to files and integrates with iPadOS to make it easy to share and transfer files and pictures.

With the OneDrive device-specific app loaded, the usefulness of the program increases. You can upload files directly to OneDrive and share OneDrive files with coworkers faster. You can more easily access Markup to edit OneDrive files, and you can also store files from third-party apps directly in OneDrive, providing additional protection against potential data loss in the event of device loss or system failure. its storage.

Third error: periodically check that it is working properly

This lesson applies to all cloud-based file storage and sync apps, not just OneDrive. I’ve learned from first-hand experience over many years that occasionally errors from file storage and sync vendors make this a legitimate step to prescribe: don’t assume OneDrive sync is working fine.

Periodically check the OneDrive directories on your different devices to make sure they’re the same. Confirm that there are no missing directories and that the total number of files stored in critical folders matches.

As mentioned earlier, sometimes files with illegal names or characters are downloaded or created; these files will not be synced or backed up to the cloud. In other cases, the service may be corrupted on the local device and even compatible files won’t sync, which sometimes requires uninstalling and reinstalling the OneDrive app.

Mistake 4: Carefully connect devices that have been inactive for a long time

This lesson I learned the hard way. Whenever you connect a long-inactive device with OneDrive and active account credentials, anomalies can occur. Beware and take a moment before launching long-ignored devices connected to your OneDrive account.

Although rare, I’ve come across instances where a laptop with a file storage and syncing app has been stored in an office for an extended period of time, then powered on and reconnected to the internet. The status of thousands of files had changed in the meantime and synchronization conflicts appeared. In the end, newer files were overwritten by outdated counterparts from legacy systems.

When recommissioning an old system, consider disconnecting its internet connection long enough to give you time to pause OneDrive syncing. Before turning sync back on, you may want to first review the device’s OneDrive status and confirm that there are hundreds of changes that won’t need to be synced, in which case it might be easier to uninstall the obsolete OneDrive app and its data and reinstalling the service. Costs. Be sure to back up the local OneDrive folder to an external hard drive or other directory first to protect any locally created files that may never be backed up to the cloud.

Fifth error: Make sure you are using the correct account

As it becomes increasingly common for a variety of factors, including families who exploit the power of Microsoft 365 consumer plans that include OneDrive, you may be signing into the wrong Microsoft account when prompted (Figure B). This risk is especially likely on an iPhone that is used for both work and personal purposes and on which you frequently take, transfer, and store images and videos.

Figure B

When you link a device to OneDrive, be sure to sign in to the correct Microsoft account, if you’re one of the many users who manage both work and personal accounts.

Make sure the highlights of your next vacation or night out on the town aren’t inadvertently shared with co-workers. It is always advisable to pay close attention to the OneDrive account you are logged into when saving and storing files, especially on your mobile devices.

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