Starting in November 2020 we will be rolling out two new features in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows designed to help users upload files to OneDrive. The first feature prevents duplicate copies of documents uploaded to OneDrive while the second will provide an upload to OneDrive prompt that helps users take advantage of features like AutoSave and real-time collaboration. This article is going to answer some of the common questions that administrators have about this new experience.  

Moving a file on upload

We have heard from users that the current upload to OneDrive experience, which uploads a copy of a file to OneDrive, causes confusion since both a local and OneDrive version of the file can be opened later. We will now allow a file to be moved when uploading from a non-OneDrive location to OneDrive so users will only have to manage one copy of the file by default. Users can uncheck the "Remove the local file after upload" checkbox if they want to keep two copies.  

Prompting to upload files to OneDrive 

When users receive files from email attachments, or other read-only sources, they’re temporarily stored locally. In some instances where users make edits to these files the user may be prompted to upload the file to OneDrive to save their changes. 

What happens if my organization, or the user, doesn't use OneDrive?  

These changes are only applicable when the user has connected their OneDrive account to Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. If the user hasn’t connected their OneDrive accounts, or existing policy disables OneDrive in these apps, they won't see these features. 

Will the new feature overwrite the policies set by organizations?   

No, existing admin configurations and organizational policies will still be in force and respected. 

Can users change these behaviors? 

No, but if they decline the upload prompt it won't ask again for a period of time. 

What if my organization, or the user, syncs files to OneDrive and another sync service?   

When using Office with both OneDrive and a 3rd party sync provider it may be desirable to disable these features. We've provided two registry keys that 3rd party sync clients can set to disable them. If your organization uses a 3rd party sync provider they may have already implemented the changes described below which disable one or both of the features.

The two registry keys that disable these features  are under [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\FileIO]

  • UploadToCloudDeleteOptionSuppressedTimeStamp 

    – This registry key removes the “Remove the local file after upload.” checkbox from the upload dialog. All uploads completed through this dialog will be performed as a copy, leaving the original file on the device.

  • UploadToCloudPromptSuppressedTimeStamp 

    – This registry key prevents the user from being prompted to upload files to OneDrive. Users can still upload files to OneDrive as usual if they are signed in and connected to OneDrive.

Both registry keys are a QWORD and should specify a time value in 100 nanosecond intervals since January 1, 1601 (UTC). See the FILETIME structure for more information. The value should be set with the current time when writing the reg key. When the value of either reg key falls within the last 30 days the corresponding features will be disabled.

Important: A time stamp that represents a date or time in the future will not be honored. 

As an example, the time stamp below represents September 10, 2020 11:23:30 PM and will cause the prompt to be disabled when evaluated on or after that date and time until October 10, 2020 11:23:30 PM:

UploadToCloudPromptSuppressedTimeStamp=hex(b): 80,5a,f5,f0,84,86,3f,b7

While an individual organization could set these keys, it's expected that they will be set regularly as a “heartbeat value” by 3rd party file sync services to prevent conflicts when an organization runs a hybrid environment, syncing files to OneDrive and other sync services. The details described here can be shared with your 3rd party sync provider as needed to disable the features.

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