Microsoft OneDrive logo official

Over the last weekend, Microsoft angered OneDrive users with an under-the-radar change. Specifically, an NTFS storage requirement for SD cards that left many users unable to access their data. The company has finally responded to the issue, telling ONMSFT in a statement that the restriction has always been in place:

“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.”

In other words, NTFS has always been a requirement, but the company forgot to tell users for years. Microsoft’s late response on the matter is easily explained by the long Holiday weekend in the US. However, the explanation is confusing at best and shows the company lying at worst.

That’s because users insist that the NTFS stipulation has not always been on OneDrive. Some still say it was introduced around a week ago, making it impossible for SD cards to make backups on the service unless formatted to NTFS.

Before last week, many report that they could use both exFAT and ReFS formats on the same drives. Now NTFS is a mandatory requirement and it has not always been the case.

Confusing Situation

There are certainly conflicting reports. I am also getting messages from some OneDrive users who say this NTFS restriction has always been in place. Indeed, one person even told me they did receive the warning message that Microsoft says was accidentally missing.

It is clear there is a confusing situation that Microsoft has not clarified properly. The company’s statement on the matter has not answered the full question and we expect a deeper explanation soon.

In the meantime, OneDrive users can work around this by formatting drives as NTFS. Of course, this means you will need to backup any data and restore it once the drive is reformatted.