OneDrive blocks all non-NTFS locations

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 3, 2017
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Microsoft

OneDrive users who have picked a non-NTFS 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.

Update: Microsoft responded to an inquiry of OnMSFT stating the following:

“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.”

This does not explain the fact that OneDrive did work on non-NTFS storage devices up until a week ago, and stopped working suddenly.

Now You: are you affected by the change?

OneDrive blocks all non-NTFS locations
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.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. GrammarNazi said on July 9, 2017 at 5:51 am


    A typo in your article: “NTSF”

  2. find out said on July 6, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    NO the fault is all you gys. Finally you guys find out back in 95 you cant multitask in true real time adn its dos based ..the hardware hasnt changed one bit PERIOD. With VGA source. Ah but you have been fooled.Now with the clould name ..good grief cloud is the Internet. Still 8bit systems The fault lies in you they convince you to use a new system each time .you have your chance each time to leave yet you refuse to do so .So the problem is YOU .PERIOD. YOu had True 64bit PS3 .ITANIUM AMIGA you denounce all of them .Heck Amiga had it all and still does .Still cant be beat.Still u cant handle the Truth ,and even go worse , and lie about the information on the Amiga, and go to bed with apple. such a sad shame. Wake up ,and no if Linux where that great it woulndn’t copy windows with the dumbing down of society of flat clip artish icons. .Plus it wounldnt be 600 to 1.23 gig big.. Lite doesnt mean less programs. Dual boot doesn’t means Il boot this or that either. More to the point Every linux distro should work on every motherboard ,but its doesnt .I can have get any mac os and every windows to run on an Amiga smoothly with megs of ram not gigs MEGS .. at the exact sametime with macos and windows and amiga os. ITS been done ,and then switch back and forth. Then drop files or programs back and forth ,between oses .. its NOT VM ware either. You can do So much more with the Amiga .So yeah the pos / pc=mac and everything with it software / hardware is so arcane its not even funny,and now the website are arcane .That is all to blame on you guys.NOT even following the SCORM standard.;

    1. Clairvaux said on July 6, 2017 at 10:16 pm

      That was funny. Usually, we get Firefox fanboys or Linux fanboys berating everybody else for not using their pet product (or for using it, I don’t remember which), now we get an Amiga fanboy lashing out at the world because — imagine that — not everybody uses an Amiga to do his taxes, get updated on Islamic misbehavings or write grandma.

      Nominated for most original piece of trolling of the year. Also, most off-topic.

  3. Clairvaux said on July 4, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    This smacks of incompetence, rather than malevolence, like many things at Microsoft these days.

    Offer a potentially useful service, then proceed to cripple it. Yeah, that sounds like a recipe for success.

  4. GL1zdA said on July 4, 2017 at 8:40 am

    There must be a reason MS doesn’t allow OneDrive on ReFS because the same is true for WorkFolders. But I have yet to find an answer why – I’ve asked this question over a year ago: . I guess it might be related to the COW feature of the FS but this is just a guess.

  5. Eli B said on July 4, 2017 at 6:32 am

    My guess is this has something to do with the new implementation of the ‘Files On Demand’ feature.

  6. dmacleo said on July 4, 2017 at 1:48 am

    so…no storing source on many nas units then.

  7. Richard Steven Hack said on July 4, 2017 at 1:27 am

    External USB hard drives are usually formatted in FAT32 out of the box, and presumably a fair number of people synch these drives to OneDrive. So this is particularly insensitive of Microsoft.

    A lot of their decisions seem to be taken by lower-level management without regard to customer reactions.

    1. kevin said on July 4, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      Really? Shipping USB disks to users preformatted as FAT32 means that you can’t put files larger than 4GB on the drive. And in 2017, a lot of users have files bigger than that. These users will not understand why the drive tells them that there is no room left, even though there are still thousands of free gigabytes (this is the error you get if you try to copy files larger than 4GB to an FAT32 partition.

      1. Jeff said on July 5, 2017 at 10:40 pm

        Have you heard of exFAT? It is not supported either which makes OneDrive a non-starter for removable storage.

  8. zeuz said on July 3, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Dont forget about forced Skype/Microsoft account merge (was there any article about it on the web?)
    After that I said bye to Skype, bye to OneDrive and One Note, and at the very end I even uninstalled SwiftKey.
    Nice one, Microsoft, keep continue to annoy your users.

  9. Jeff said on July 3, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    LOL what another idiot move. First the privacy fiasco. Then the going back on the promise of unlimited space fiasco. Then placeholders removed fiasco. Now this.

    1. Cloud User said on July 3, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      What was the privacy fiasco?

      1. Jeff said on July 4, 2017 at 8:08 am

        They ran a huge advertising campaign trashing Google and how they spy on you: Gmail, Google Drive etc. It was hypocritical because later they did the same thing with OneDrive (which was SkyDrive at the time). People thought they were safe and uploaded their porn and other private stuff and later their accounts got suspended. If you are uploading your private data to any cloud service, it’s no longer private. They will snoop on it. But their claim that they offer more privacy than Google is BS. Just look at Windows 10 and the amount of data it collects to “improve” your experience.

      2. Gary said on July 3, 2017 at 8:44 pm

        I believe the privacy fiasco they are referring to is Windows 10 practice of sending data on what you do in Windows 10 to Microsoft.

  10. Alan Robertson said on July 3, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Well I guess that’s one way of forcing everyone to use cloud services – stop supporting external media. I wonder how long it will be until flash media isn’t supported at all? The cloud: Store your stuff on someone else’s computer and then get locked in to their ecosystem as they remove the ability to store anything locally.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.