Microsoft says NTFS requirement for OneDrive is nothing new, but forgot to tell users


Yesterday we reported about Microsoft's sudden change to OneDrive that requires the use of NTFS drives. The change not only caught people off-guard when they discovered that they couldn’t access their files, but also caused a great deal of annoyance about the lack of communication.

While FAT32 has largely been replaced by NTFS, cross-compatibility with Linux and macOS is one of various reasons many people choose the format for SD cards and external drives. Despite the fact OneDrive users are now seeing warning messages about the need to format drives using NTFS, Microsoft insists that "nothing has changed" and it merely forgot to display a warning message until now.

It's not clear how many people were affected by the nothing-has-changed-change, but there are certainly a lot of vocal complaints online about the issue. Microsoft's insistence that it's business as usual seems a little odd, and is in stark contrast to the experience of those who lost access to their data.

In a statement issued to OnMSFT, Microsoft said:

Microsoft OneDrive wants to ensure users have the best possible sync experience on Windows, which is why OneDrive maintains the industry standard of support for NTFS. Microsoft discovered a warning message that should have existed was missing when a user attempted to store their OneDrive folder on a non-NTFS filesystem -- which was immediately remedied. Nothing has changed in terms of official support and all OneDrive folders will continue to need to be located on a drive with the NTFS filesystem.

So not only has nothing changed, but the company realized that a warning message that should previously have been displayed was notable by its absence. This explanation is unlikely to please OneDrive users. Microsoft may insist that the NTFS requirement "will continue," but many people have been using FAT32, ReFS and exFAT perfectly happily until very recently.

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