OneDrive "Syncing files, 1 remaining" Fix

· Windows

This was a fun one! We use the OneDrive for Business client to sync files between our computers and Office 365. Every week, some employee would see the dreaded “Syncing files, 1 remaining” message when they clicked the OneDrive icon in the taskbar:

Background

The message is such a pain because WE DON’T KNOW WHICH FILE IS HAVING PROBLEMS SYNCING. You can’t hover over the OneDrive icon and see which file is syncing. No one is able to find a queue that tells us which file is syncing. I wasn’t able to even find a log that showed which file is currently syncing…and I tried a bunch of forensics techniques (all great programs by the way) which didn’t work:

  • Process Explorer - tried to find locked files
  • ProcessActivityView - tried to find files OneDrive was reading from and writing to
  • Opened up the OneDrive Microsoft Access database to look through all the sync files
  • Read through the logs files (that were not in plain text)

For some reason, files get stuck or jammed in this syncing stage where everything that would logically make sense to fix an issue like this does not work. Reboots don’t fix it either. To see the BEST solution, jump to Method 5.

Method 1 - OneDrive Repair

One of the suggestions from Microsoft is to right click on the OneDrive taskbar icon and click Repair. Unfortunately, it moves the libraries on the computer to a new location and then downloads all the files again from the server. This is fine for small libraries, but when every library is over 1GB, it can take a few hours to download those back to the computer. Try telling your CEO to not touch his files for a few hours.

Method 2 - Stop Syncing a Folder

The repair “feature” above will repair EVERY library that is connected through OneDrive. One method that worked for me a few times was to right click the OneDrive taskbar icon and click Stop syncing a folder…. If you only worked in a single library for a few days, and the issue started recently, you can stop syncing that library and then see if the syncing message goes away. If it does, then you can re-sync the folder. The CEO doesn’t like you doing this once a week on this files either.

Method 3 - Fix Invalid Characters in the File Paths

Hey! SharePoint doesn’t like certain characters so maybe one of these temporary Word files is causing the issue. I found this Microsoft article that provides a tool that scans all your file paths for invalid characters. The article is here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2933738. Unfortunately, this tool didn’t find any issues most of the time.

Method 4 - Pause and Move

You can view this article for the author’s suggestion: https://blog.jamesbayley.com/2015/06/24/how-to-fix-onedrive-for-business-1-file-remaining-issue-and-other-issues/. This method is similar to Method 1 and Method 2.

Method 5 - Restore the Icon Overlays for OneDrive

Wow, I can’t believe I didn’t find this sooner. When I installed Office 365, it installed OneDrive for Business for me. I never remember seeing any icon overlays so maybe there is an issue with the installation. Regardless, this wonderful article was the key to uncovering which files are not synced: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3079213. Just download the easy fix at the bottom of the article and once the overlay icons appear, you should be able to find the one with a red X. Just open up the file, make a quick change, save, and then BOOM - the file will sync and you should be good to go!

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About Joseph Spurrier

I'm passionate about building solutions to automate tasks and improve efficiency. I worked for a few companies in the digital healthcare space. My education is in forensics. Tech guy. Traveler. Runner. Guitar player. Scotch and beer enthusiast. GitHub LinkedIn Twitter Google+

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