In a recent development, Microsoft has acknowledged a widespread issue affecting OneDrive users on both Windows and Mac platforms. Many customers have reported that their shared folders within OneDrive are no longer accessible as regular file folders in File Explorer or Finder. Instead, these folders are appearing as internet shortcuts, redirecting users to the OneDrive website when opened.

The problem, which seems to have emerged in June 2024, has caused significant disruption to workflows and file access for users worldwide. According to Microsoft’s official statement on their support forum, the issue is impacting the visibility of shared folders, synchronization processes, and offline access to files.

What’s going on?

Users across various online communities have expressed frustration with the sudden change. One user on Microsoft’s forum stated, “It really bothers me, because in that shared folder there is almost 1GB of data, much of it including scripts that need to be run from the computer directly.” I’ve added a screenshot of the full explanation below for reference (click/tap to view in full size):

onedrive-shared-folder-url-bug-explained

The problem appears to affect both personal and business OneDrive accounts, with users reporting similar experiences on Windows and Mac operating systems. On Macs, shared folders are reportedly not appearing in Finder, with some users noting that attempting to add a shortcut to their files results in the creation of a .url file instead of a proper folder. Even those with Windows 11 PCs claim that they can’t access shared folders without internet access (due to the folder opening up in the browser.)

Here’s a screenshot shared by user Denny Rosyadi on the MSFT forums:

onedrive-internet-shortcut

Microsoft’s explanation

A Microsoft agent has confirmed that the issue stems from an internal error affecting data synchronization and handling within the OneDrive service. They state that, “This issue may be due to an internal error affecting data synchronization and handling within the OneDrive service. Microsoft has acknowledged the problem and is actively working on a resolution.”

The tech giant is currently conducting a comprehensive analysis to determine the root cause, with preliminary findings suggesting a possible misconfiguration or recent update affecting shared folder handling and synchronization processes.

Potential workarounds

While Microsoft works on a permanent solution, you can try the following recommended workarounds:

  • Access shared folders directly through the OneDrive web interface at onedrive.live.com.
  • For Windows users, try right-clicking the .url file and selecting “Open file location” to access the actual folder contents.
  • Mac users can attempt to use the “Add shortcut to OneDrive” option from the web interface, though success rates vary.
  • Some users have reported success by unlinking and relinking their OneDrive account, though this should be done cautiously and with proper backups.

Microsoft has assured users that their engineering team is closely monitoring the service and implementing fixes to ensure stability and proper synchronization of shared folders. The company stated, “In upcoming updates, Internet shortcuts will gradually be restored to their original state.”

For those experiencing this issue, patience is advised as Microsoft works towards a resolution. In the meantime, utilizing the web interface or exploring the mentioned workarounds may help mitigate some of the inconvenience caused by this unexpected change in OneDrive’s functionality.

Himanshu Arora
256 Posts

I have been writing tech-focused articles since 2010. In my around 15 years of experience so far, I have written for many leading publications, including Computerworld, GSMArena, TechSpot, HowtoForge, LinuxJournal, and MakeTechEasier to name a few. I also co-founded PiunikaWeb, which went on to become a huge success within 5 years of its inception. Here at TechIssuesToday, I aim to offer you helpful information in a way that you won't find anywhere else easily.

Comments
Next article View Article

TIDAL to drop support for Samsung Smart TVs in July

Music streaming service TIDAL has announced it will discontinue support for Samsung Smart TVs starting July 8, 2024. This decision marks the end of a partnership that began in 2018...
Jun 26, 2024 2 Min Read