Resolving OneDrive for Business Sync Issues Due to Files Name Issues

Sync issues suck.

There are few things that feel worse than seeing the warning message pop up alerting you that that your files aren’t syncing correctly. Data lose is scary, and data recovery is a headache. I’m lucky to be surrounded (literally) by a team of Technology Consultants who can assist if I run into trouble. The average end user does not. I always try to troubleshoot before I call in the “big guns” to help me out.


I popped opened up the list icons in my task bar (via the upward facing arrow) to take a look. Double clicking on the dark blue cloud icon opened up my SkyDrive Pro aka OneDrive for Business.

Why is my OneDrive for Business still called SkyDrive Pro? (Good question, but not one I’m going to address in this blog post.)

So yes, I quickly saw the folder that contained the offending file via the big red X icon.

It was peculiar that there was only a single file that was not syncing correctly.  I knew it wasn’t an issue of space, as I had added other files recently and they uploaded to the cloud without issue. There was a big clue staring me in the face, but it wasn’t until I opened the file that I realized what was going on.

Ah ha! Invalid characters!  An ampersand (&) is a special character, and has no place in a file name. (Tisk tisk Hubspot!)

Fortunately this is an easy fix. Right click on the file, then select Rename from the context menu, and finally replace the ampersand with a non-special character.



OneDrive for Business (SkyDrive Pro) will respond within seconds. Note the red X icon has changed to a blue sync icon.


There we go. A field of happy green checkmarks flowing across the screen, and no more warning messages to distract me from the task at hand.



4 responses to “Resolving OneDrive for Business Sync Issues Due to Files Name Issues

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  2. I am looking at switching from Dropbox to OneDrive. My problem is that I have been using Dropbox for so long that I have thousands of file names that are either too long or have invalid symbols.

    Is there a way to automatically change the file names so that they can be moved to OneDrive?

    Any help would be appreciated.


  3. I found that if you make system protected file and folders visible, then go into the onedrive folders with the red X’s you will find that there is either a thumbs.dll or a desktop.ini or some other protected system file. if you delete those files it should sync perfectly mine did. onedrive wont sync system or protected files.

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