OneDrive Sync Issues, Too Many Files?

OneDrive Sync

Has OneDrive been taking too long to synchronise files or using too much memory?  The issue could be down to how many files it is syncing.

It is recommended that the total number of files for OneDrive to sync doesn’t exceed 100,000, as doing so will make syncing files slow and memory intensive. While it will still sync, there will be issues with performance and the high memory usage can result in other programs having issues or crashing altogether. 100,000 sounds like a lot of files but some projects and file types are saved as many files rather than one.  Over time, a surprising number of them can build up, easily exceeding 100,000 without reaching the limitations of storage space.

The immediate solution is to check which folders have been set to sync. Syncing files and folders makes them readily available on the computer but the computer must download and upload files to make them accessible, which takes up resources. Files not being synced must be accessed by going to the OneDrive website through a browser, which is slower but puts less of a load on the computer.

One way to think of it is to imagine a filing cabinet, with paperwork that needs to be sorted. The synced files are constantly being checked to keep them up to date. This can be made quicker by keeping files in binders and only checking the binder, or by only checking the most important files. This is one advantage to zip archives, which treat a series of files as a single file for easy transport, until it’s time to unpack and use the individual files.

We’re often reminded of limits of file sizes in computers. Remaining space on hard drives, removable media, and cloud storage is measured in the total amount of space that is used, but less is mentioned about the number of files. However, there is a difference in how long it takes for a computer to handle one large file as opposed to many small files.

In some cases, software has become more efficient by saving a project as one file, instead of many. Audacity (An open-source sound file editor) used to save projects as a file that pointed to many other files stored with it. More recent versions of Audacity now save projects as a single file, making them easier to manage, move, and sync.

If you have any questions or concerns about OneDrive or cloud storage in general, just get in touch.

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