Stop Sync should actually stop syncing (both upload and download) at the folder-level

Stop Sync’s behavior is completely unintuitive. I was absolutely certain the way it works now is a bug so I was extremely surprised to find out that it works as intended. Apparently I’m not the only one who finds this behavior confusing. (I tried to link to additional relevant threads on this forum, but apparently I can only add two links…)

When I tell odrive to stop syncing something, I don’t mean “stop uploading” or “stop downloading” or “stop for thirty seconds”. I mean stop everything you’re doing in this folder.

I’ve read the explanations for this behavior in the linked threads. I obviously can’t argue with “selectively stopping it [uploads] would introduce quite a few complexities” because that’s a technical issue that I know nothing about.

But I do know that odrive isn’t doing what I expect it to do, and that what it’s doing makes it very difficult to work with. My opinion is that you should solve that technical issue and find a way to overcome those “complexities”.

You also say: “If you were to selectively stop folders from syncing up it will become a nightmare to remember and manage, since uploading is a background operation and not directly initiated by the user.” Although it is a background operation and not directly initiated by the user, selectively stopping folders from syncing should in no way “become a nightmare to remember and manage”, at least not for the user. Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox and probably others all do this and it looks pretty simple from a user’s perspective. There’s a dialog box that shows the folder tree and lets you choose the folders you want to sync or exclude. It’s very easy to manage and the user doesn’t even have to remember. Better status icons also help.

The recommendation to move the big files out of odrive temporarily is not only bizarre, it’s a Really Bad Idea. That’s a nightmare to remember and manage. Where did I put those files again? And where did I intend to put them? Maybe if you have one or two of those, it’s not a big deal, but when you work with a lot of little files and a lot of big files and you have to start juggling files all over the place, that’s a HUGE mess.

And it can cause real damage. A lot of big files are part of a project that’s located in a cloud folder. You CAN’T just move it out of there because you won’t be able to work on the project. And if you move the whole folder with the project out of odrive to be able to work on it, what’s the point of having odrive?

If I tell odrive to stop syncing a folder, it’s because I know my own priorities. When you say that “getting your data up is one of our highest priorities”, that sounds pretty good, but the problem is that apparently odrive and I have different priorities. When I’m working with big files, it’s far more important to me to be able to prioritize which data gets uploaded first.

And the terminology is not so much confusing as just plainly wrong.

  • Nobody thinks the word “synchronize” means to go in one direction. And odrive actually does synchronize properly: it uploads and it downloads. So why would “Stop Sync” mean “stop just one direction”? That makes absolutely no sense.
  • And nobody thinks the word “stop” means “pause now because I told you to and then immediately resume because you feel like it”. That’s enough to get you shot in some countries. Maybe odrive does that to push some files to the end of the queue or something like that, but if that’s the case, odrive should use different words.
  • And why would it mean “stop only the current active transfers in this folder but please start other transfers in this very same folder”? If that’s what I wanted, I would right-click that file and tell it to Stop (though there’s no guarantee that “Stop” in the context menu would actually do what I want it to do because it seems there’s a problem with definitions here).

I urge you to reconsider the “Stop Sync” behavior. Please don’t just rename things and please don’t leave them the way they are. Stop Sync should actually stop syncing!

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Thanks for the extensive feedback @noam!

Advanced, selective sync behavior is something the product team is considering as part of an advanced sync offering. I have pointed them to your comments for reference.

I have a very full computer and have also been confused about how to pause synching or to re-voke the sync on my desktop to free up space… I am worried about deleting files completely.

Hi @jeni.walters,
The proper way to free up space on your system while leaving all of the files in the cloud is to use the unsync feature. This is a Premium feature. You can find out more about it here: