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Microsoft’s Next Surprise; OneDrive Backups Automatically Enabled

Expect Panicked Calls From Relatives Asking About Green Checkmarks

Microsoft is giving their users plenty of surprises this week.  Yesterday it was hiding how to use a local account instead of Microsoft account and today it is secretly enabling OneDrive on all machines.  In both cases there was absolutely no communications sent to customers, Microsoft chose to implement the changes secretly.  In most cases people are not going to notice as they already use OneDrive but for those not familiar with the product they may well be a little upset.  Waking up to find your desktop folder empty except for a file telling you your files have all been moved may not be well received, nor the strange new look of all the icons on their desktop.

It’s not just the aesthetics however, as many people may suddenly be getting emails notifying they’ve used up most or all of the 5GB of storage Microsoft provides for free.  If they ignore those messages, they may find they are no longer able to save any documents and after six months they may find every single file is gone.  Microsoft will delete all files in an over quota OneDrive, not just enough to bring you below your storage limit.  This is not something most users will be aware of, nor that those emails telling them to pay for more storage are legitimate.

The fun is even greater for those that use Outlook and Teams on their personal machines.  Once you hit your storage limit you will no longer be able to send nor receive emails, indeed any emails sent to them will be returned to sender.  Teams will offer similar behaviour, only letting you send or receive messages without any files.

Last, certainly not least, is the fact that many people might store files in their Documents that should never be uploaded to the Cloud.  Think how happy hackers will be when they find tax filings, bank information and a gigantic trove of personal data just begging to be used for identity theft.

You might want to triple check what Microsoft just uploaded for you.

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