Restrictions and limitations when you sync files and folders

Introduction

This article contains information about the restrictions and limitations that apply when you use OneDrive Desktop App (onedrive.exe) or OneDrive Desktop App for Mac OS X to sync SharePoint Online OneDrive libraries to your computer. 

NOTE: To determine which OneDrive sync client you're using, see Which OneDrive sync client am I using?


If you're looking for restrictions and limitations that apply to the earlier version of OneDrive for Business (groove.exe), see Restrictions and limitations when you sync SharePoint libraries to your computer through OneDrive for Business.

What's New

21 August 2018 — Updated OneNote section. 

9 July 2018 — Added .PST file sync guidance.

More Information

Supported libraries

OneDrive for Business can sync both OneDrive for Business libraries as well as SharePoint Online document libraries from team sites. For more information about this functionality and how to set up team site sync using OneDrive for Business, see Let users sync SharePoint files with the new OneDrive sync client.

If you want to sync from SharePoint on-premises environments or sync another user’s OneDrive library, you should use the previous OneDrive for Business application (groove.exe).

Both the onedrive.exe and groove.exe clients can run at the same time.


Limitations

Invalid characters – These characters in file names aren't supported when you sync OneDrive for Business

<, >, :, ", |, ?, *, /, \

These file names aren't supported when you sync OneDrive for Business

Icon
.lock
CON
PRN
AUX
NUL
COM1
COM2
COM3
COM4
COM5
COM6
COM7
COM8
COM9
LPT1
LPT2
LPT3
LPT4
LPT5
LPT6
LPT7
LPT8
LPT9
Any filename starting with ~$
desktop.ini
_vti_    (Note: "_vti_" cannot appear anywhere in a file name)

These folder names aren't supported in OneDrive for Business

_t
_w
_vti_    (Note: "_vti_" cannot appear anywhere in a folder name)

This folder name isn't supported when the folder is at the root level for a library

forms

Number of items that can be synced

Although SharePoint Online can store 30 million documents per library, for optimum performance we recommend syncing no more than 300,000 files across all document libraries. Additionally, the same performance issues can occur if you have 300,000 items or more across all libraries you are syncing, even if you are not syncing all items in those libraries.
 
This is a suggested limit that is reliant on the length of file paths and hardware specifications of the device running the OneDrive desktop app. Many customers are able to sync more files without experiencing any issues. 
 
NOTE: If you are uploading, downloading, or moving a large number of files at once, you may need to wait an extended period of time before the sync process can complete. The client showing “syncing” icon or displaying "processing changes" during this period is not necessarily an indication of a problem. You can always click the OneDrive taskbar icon to see the status of content that is in the process of syncing. To help reduce sync times, we recommend reviewing and possibly modifying your bandwidth settings before starting your upload or download. You can also read how to Choose which OneDrive folders to sync to your computer.

There are other limits on viewing a document library using the web that may affect how you structure your files in OneDrive.
 
We encourage feedback as we are always working to optimize OneDrive to better handle libraries with a large number of files.

Size limit for syncing files

There's a 15-gigabyte (GB) file size limit for each file that's uploaded to the OneDrive library.

In SharePoint Online, file name paths can have up to 400 characters. The limit may be less than 400 characters in some scenarios, especially if you have a very long URL path for the library.  

 
NOTE: Some older Office version may have a lower limit, see KB 326039 for details.

Sync folder location set to a network drive

You can't add a network or mapped drive as your OneDrive sync location.

Shared with Me

You can't synchronize the Shared with Me view grouping of files from a OneDrive for Business site.

Syncing with an external or guest account

Synchronizing content using an external or guest user is currently not supported by OneDrive.

Libraries with Information Rights Management enabled

Libraries can be synchronized as read/write with OneDrive desktop app for Windows build 17.3.7294.0108 or later, or OneDrive for Mac build 18.111.0603.0002 or higher.

Elevated privileges    

Elevated privileges    OneDrive can’t be run with elevated privileges.

Differential sync

Differential sync is only possible for Microsoft Office files in the new file format, .docx, .pptx, .xlsx. OneNote files are not included.

This is part Office Integration and requires:

  • Office 2016 Click To Run (version 16.0.6741.2027 or higher). You must also have OneDrive (version 17.3.6386.0412 or higher).

  • Office 2016 MSI and have the following update installed: October 4, 2016, update for Office 2016 (KB3118262). You must also have OneDrive (version 17.3.6386.0412 or higher).

  • You must have Office Integration turned on in the Office tab of OneDrive settings (PC) or OneDrive Preferences (Mac).

Authenticated proxies

Authenticated proxies aren’t supported with the OneDrive desktop app.

Libraries with Checkout, Required or Validation columns or metadata, or when Draft Item Security is set to either Only users who can edit or Only users who can approve items in Version Settings of the library.

For SharePoint document libraries, these items will be synchronized as read-only.

For OneDrive libraries, OneDrive will show a padlock icon () next to the sync status and the user will not be able to synchronize the library until the mentioned settings have been removed.

Learn how to manage Data and lists in SharePoint.

OneNote Notebooks

See below

Open Files

See below

Lookup columns in a library

See below

Office Integration

See below

Windows specific restrictions and limitations

See below

Mac OS X specific restrictions and limitations

See below

SharePoint Server on-premises

The onedrive.exe OneDrive desktop app doesn’t support synchronization of SharePoint on-premises data. If you want to sync from SharePoint on-premises environments, you should use the previous OneDrive for Business application (groove.exe).

Symbolic or soft links

OneDrive doesn't support symbolic links where the Link and Target are both located in the same library location.

Having two different paths to the same set of files in the target folder may lead to performance and stability issues. Symbolic links provide an alternate path to an existing folder and are typically created using the mklink command.

.PST files

Whereas .PST files aren’t actively blocked by OneDrive, .PST files will be synced every time you close Outlook, even if no change was made to the .PST file. This can result in high network traffic, which may result in .PST file throttling.

To avoid excessive resyncing, .PST files that are in active use shouldn't be syncing to a OneDrive sync folder.

For more information about .PST file locations, read an Introduction to Outlook Data Files.

OneNote notebooks

OneNote notebooks have their own sync mechanism outside of the OneDrive client. If you plan on sharing a OneNote notebook—with yourself or others—it's best to create it on OneDrive right from the start. Moving an existing OneNote notebook into a folder synced by the OneDrive sync client without going through the OneNote application is not currently supported. See here for the steps to move a notebook to OneDrive if you’ve created it on your computer. Once a OneNote notebook is saved in OneDrive, if you are syncing the folder that contains the notebook, you will find a stub .url file, which will open the notebook on the website.

Open files can't be synced

A file that’s currently opened by an application can't be synced by the OneDrive desktop app. To sync the file, close any application where the file is currently being used, and then sync the file.

This limitation doesn’t apply to co-authoring scenarios when you use the Microsoft Office applications described in the "Office integration" section.

Lookup columns in a library

A OneDrive library can't exceed the lookup column threshold. For more information, go to "We couldn’t sync this library" error when you use the OneDrive desktop app.

Office integration

The OneDrive desktop app for Windows supports co-authoring and in-app sharing when you use Office 2016 Click 2 Run (version 16.0.6741.2027 or higher). You must also have OneDrive (version 17.3.6386.0412 or higher).

The OneDrive desktop app for Windows supports co-authoring and in-app sharing when you use Office 2016 MSI and have the following update installed:
 
October 4, 2016, update for Office 2016 (KB3118262)

Windows specific restrictions and limitations

  • Windows Explorer displays the first 35 characters of a site library’s name and site name combination for a library that you have synchronized. This doesn’t affect the ability to sync these items within the limits that are described in this article.

  • Roaming, Mandatory and Temporary Windows profiles aren't supported. The OneDrive desktop app only supports users who can write to OneDrive for Business application directories.

    Additionally, the OneDrive for Business desktop app doesn’t support client sessions that are hosted on Windows 2008 Terminal Services, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2016 Remote Desktop Services (RDS). This includes non-persistent Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Persistent VDI is supported by the OneDrive desktop app.

    For the OneDrive for Business desktop app to work as designed, the following requirements must be met:

    • The application must be installed on the local computer.

    • The user must be able to write to the user profile.

    • Data that's written to the user profile must be saved to the local hard disk and be available without a network connection.

  • OneDrive Files On-Demand is only supported on Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and later versions.

Mac OS X specific restrictions and limitations

  • Case-sensitive formatted disk volume isn't supported.

  • OneDrive Files On-Demand isn't supported.

  • Syncing IRM-protected libraries isn't yet supported.

  • Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant for Office 365

The Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant for Office 365 is a tool which can diagnose and fix many common Office 365 problems. The OneDrive option I’m having a problem with OneDrive now scans for the following issues:

  • Checks the option to manually or automatically update the NGSC+B to its latest version.

  • Reports all files that have sizes exceeding the limit.

  • Reports all files that have invalid characters in the names.

  • Reports all folders that have invalid characters or strings in the names.

  • Reports all paths exceeding the limit and provides a link to this KB article.

The tool is available from http://diagnostics.outlook.com. When you run this tool, the initial page will display several options, including the option for OneDrive - I'm having a problem with OneDrive. 

More Information

Still need help? Go to the Microsoft Community.

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×