OneDrive blocks all non-NTFS locations

OneDrive users who have picked a non-NTSF location as the file storage for Microsoft’s cloud synchronization and storage service OneDrive, receive notifications currently that using OneDrive on any non-NTFS location does not work anymore.

Users who have used OneDrive on Fat32 or REFS storage locations receive the following message when they start their PC or OneDrive:

“Drive” must be formatted with the NTFS system to work with OneDrive

OneDrive must be on a drive that is using the NTFS filesystem. To have OneDrive use a different location, click “Set up OneDrive” and point OneDrive to a NTFS drive. To use “drive” with OneDrive, you need to format it with NTFS and then click “try again” to configure your account.

onedrive no ntfs

A similar message is displayed to OneDrive users who pick a non-NTFS storage location during setup:

Your OneDrive folder can’t be created in the location you selected.

The location you were trying to create OneDrive folder belongs to a drive with an unsupported file system. To have OneDrive use a different location, click “Set up OneDrive” and point OneDrive to a NTFS drive. To use the existing location with OneDrive, you need to format it with NTFS and then click “Set up OneDrive” to configure your account.

The change came out of the blue, and it affects OneDrive users who store OneDrive files using Fat32 or exFAT, but also Microsoft’s “next” file system ReFS. The former group may include users who use SD cards for extra storage, for instance when using a Microsoft Surface device. The latter group uses ReFS because it has advantages that NTFS does not have. This includes, among other things integrity checking, protection against data degredation, and built-in handling of hard disk drive failure and redundancy.

In short, better for storing data, especially if the data is important.

Users affected by the change are left without option to sync local data with online data. While the stored files on the storage medium are accessible, OneDrive won’t sync them or provide users with any of its other functionality.

Convert to NTFS (from Fat32)

OneDrive users affected by the issue may find the convert command useful, as it may be used to convert the file system of the storage device to NTFS.

Doing so won’t affect the data, but there is no way of going back according to Microsoft’s Help page here.

The command is convert driveletter: /fs:ntfs, e.g. convert d: /fs:ntfs

This converts the Fat32 file system to NTFS.

Closing Words

The decision to make OneDrive accept NTFS storage online is a bad one in my opinion. First, because Microsoft did not communicate the change in advance, but simply flipped a switch to make it. All users affected by it are caught by surprise.

While it may make sense to stop support for FAT32 eventually, it is unclear why Microsoft does not support at the very least REFS as well.

Last but not least, the move affects free and paying OneDrive customers. While it is bad enough that free users are affected, paying customers are probably considering their options when it comes to file storage.

Now You: are you affected by the change?


Article Name

OneDrive blocks all non-NTFS locations


The most recent version of Microsoft OneDrive blocks all storage locations that are not formatted with the NTFS file system.


Martin Brinkmann


Ghacks Technology News


About Martin Brinkmann

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand.You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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