We're unable to find the SkyDrive folder" Because You Have Too Many Files

Lately the interest in cloud storage has captivated me. Google offering G Drive, Microsoft pushing SkyDrive more, DropBox offering more space when you get a friend to sign up (hurry you can still sign up can get an extra 500MB at DropBox), etc. Like most people I have not really leveraged all my Gigabytes in the sky till the past week. I raced to claim my 25GB SkyDrive space before it was permanently reduced to 7GB. And I decided it was time to start storing things in the cloud.

When you install the SkyDrive application is creates a SkyDrive folder under your personal folder, C:\Users\{username}\SkyDrive. When you add a file to this folder it will automatically sync it with your SkyDrive storage. Pretty nice, that is until you get a message saying "We're unable to find the SkyDrive folder". I get this message every time I reboot now and of course my files are not syncing up with the cloud.

Searching for the cause I came across this Microsoft Answers page about the SkyDrive issue. After about a week and uploading some logs to Microsoft they responded saying the problem was too many files. Say What???? Evidently you can only have up to 150,000 files in SkyDrive. After that SkyDrive will simply not work.

While 150,000 files may sound like a lot it isn't. Especially if you have opted for a paid plan with even more storage. With additional options above and beyond the free storage that can take you up to 125GB of storage ($50/year for the extra 100GB) this file limit can easily be reached. Doing some quick math in my head that gives me roughly 149,999 files that average 667 Kb. Since I imagine most files will be Office documents and photos it could become fairly easy to max out. In my case I actually moved a folder to SkyDrive that contained a public database containing over 140,000 tiny text files. After deleting that folder from SkyDrive my problem went away.

Error messages like this are problematic. Clear communication with the end user is crucial, especially for a commercial application like SkyDrive. Customers want to know what is going on and not have to search for solutions to an issue. In this case, instead of displaying a message indicating it could not locate the folder, give the user a message about having too many files and the 150k limit. This helps the user understand the issue and make the needed adjustments.

So if you are getting the "We're unable to find the SkyDrive folder" error message check the number of files you currently have mapped to your SkyDrive folder and eliminate files you no longer need or no longer find necessary to store in the cloud

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