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How exactly does the built-in OneDrive service sync the local drive with the remote drive?

How does the service know whether the server drive or the local drive has priority?

For example: What happens if a file on my local drive is missing? How does the service distinguish if I deleted the file intentionally (and then it deletes the file on the server), or if it is just missing (and then it should be restored on the local drive) ?

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migrated from Jan 6 at 11:25

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

Since this question is about drive-to-cloud synchronization and not the Web interface, this question is better suited to Super User. – Al E. Jan 6 at 13:00
Hmmmm, it was migrated from SU to here. – Vidar S. Ramdal Jan 6 at 13:15
Ehem, I WROTE it to Superuser, who has moved it here ? – SQLPolice Jan 8 at 11:07
Who migrated this question and why? Can you please move it back to superuser ? – SQLPolice Jan 8 at 11:09

1 Answer 1

OneDrive is based upon a Microsoft SharePoint backend (well, Onedrive for Business certainly is at least - we've just finished a pilot study to implement it for an entire University). I'm not entirely sure how the connection works but I believe it is WebDAV so the folder can be opened within Windows directly (in SharePoint web interface there is a button labelled "Open in Explorer" which opens the folder as if it were a normal folder).

There are "apps" available to access OneDrive files natively on some devices (obviously Windows versions have full functionality) but (at present) there is no Mac application nor, I believe, Linux either.

If you delete a file on the "local" side then the OneDrive agent will mark the file as deleted but it will move into your OneDrive "Deleted Items" folder. To recover the file, yes, you have to go to the web version of OneDrive and recover the file from this folder - a very simple process and useful to make sure your files aren't easily permanently deleted!

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The consumer version of OneDrive does not seem to be based on SharePoint: That dreaded syncing feeling: Will Microsoft EVER fix OneDrive? (The Register) – Vidar S. Ramdal Jan 6 at 11:52
Onedrive PRO (!) is Sharepoint based. But perhaps this is also true for the normal OneDrive. In the UI, it doesn't seem like that, but I don't know what's going on below the surface. – SQLPolice Jan 8 at 11:10
There is no such thing as OneDrive Pro... it's OneDrive and OneDrive for Business. The two (seemingly) are very different beasts ;) – Big Chris Jan 8 at 13:09

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