Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service lets you store files online, sync files between PCs, and share files with other users. Anyone can get 5GB of storage for free, and Microsoft offers paid options for folks who need more space than that.
But as of today, if you’re using OneDrive on a Windows PC there’s a new limitation: you can only use OneDrive with a hard drive formatted with the NTFS file system.
Users started to notice an error message this week when using OneDrive with drives formatted with the FAT32, exFAT, or ReFS file systems.
There a few really surprising things about this change:
- Microsoft has released a statement saying that OneDrive was never supposed to work on non-NTFS drives, and it was only an error that allowed it to do so. That error has been corrected, so OneDrive is now working exactly as intended.
- The company made the change without any warning, so it caught many users by surprise. That’s because it was never made clear that OneDrive required NTFS drives to function properly, and people have been using it with other file systems for years.
- It’s also weird that OneDrive for Windows doesn’t support other file systems, since Microsoft offers OneDrive apps for Android and iOS. Devices running those operating systems do not typically have NTFS storage.
So what do you do if you’ve got a storage device you want to sync with OneDrive that’s not using the NTFS file system? You can reformat or convert the drive’s file system (after backing up your data locally, of course), or switch to one of the many other online file storage services, like Dropbox or Box.
But the unannounced change will certainly make things more difficult for people who had been using OneDrive with SD cards or other removable storage devices, which often come formatted to FAT32 or exFAT.