OneDrive is throttled and slow

OneDrive has a low speed cap for new files. Uploading new files is slow.

To test, I uploaded several GB of data with Google Drive and OneDrive. I used NetBalancer to monitor upload speeds. Over 10 minutes, I averaged these upload speeds:

  • Google Drive (googledrive.exe): 2.3 MB/s
  • OneDrive (skydrive.exe): 0.2 MB/s

That’s right, OneDrive’s upload speed is about one tenth of Google Drive’s! This test was done over an 802.11n wifi connection to an unthrottled corporate network that has at least a 1.5 Gb/s upload speed to the internet. Yes, there was upload activity the entire time, although OneDrive paused uploads between files or batches of files.

Others experience slow uploads.

Also, moving files into your OneDrive folder is slow. Instead of a move, it does a copy-and-delete operation. This is painful on spinning media, especially with a lot of files.

OneDrive isn’t good. It’s slow.

22 thoughts on “OneDrive is throttled and slow”

  1. Yeah. You are right. On the other hand, Google Drive Desktop Application will kill your network when it syncs the files. it just blocks the network and use it for the sync. This has been reported by many users.

    1. That’s only if you permit it to gobble all your upload bandwidth. You can control that, however. Click on the Google Drive icon, select the three vertical dots at top right, select Preferences, click the Advanced tab, then use Bandwidth settings area to limit the upload rate.

      Alternately, and possibly even better, see if your router has quality of service settings that can prevent any one machine from gobbling up all available upload bandwidth.

      I am focusing on upload bandwidth here because, generally, that’s what kills the entire user experience. Download pipes are fatter and generally do a better job sharing bandwidth across all users.

    1. For a complicated reason, likely exacerbated by a OneDrive bug (I’ll probably post about it later), many GBs of my OneDrive files became online-only. To move them to Google Drive, as part of the cut and paste operation, OneDrive is having to re-download all these files. Even on this same corporate network, I am getting lousy download speeds.

  2. Yep. Same here.
    I feel a bit cheated. I admit, the deal looked too good to be true (got it in a package with Microsoft Word, etc.
    As part of the deal I have licenses for 5 seats and one TB of cloud storage per seat.
    Well, guess what? I am trying to backup 900 GB of photos since… march. It is the end of May now. 155GB have uploaded.
    Needless to say, I have other cloud services active on the same machine, on the same network: Dropbox, Copy, Google Drive. All run circles around Microsoft’s worthless (albeit cheaper!) service. So, if one is into buying inexpensive nonsense… bingo.

    1. I am in this same trap now. I wanted to backup my photos to the Onedrive service and it is taking me for ever to get them to the cloud. I am thinking about getting a different service.

  3. If you are uploading any sensitive information, DO NOT USE GOOGLE DRIVE. I wouldn’t risk them having the ability to data-mine your documents. Use Dropbox instead. Fastest, and has been the most dependable and reliable. A breeze to use.

    OneDrive is the most convenient, however, on a PC, simply because it is by default integrated with the system and all you have to do is turn it on. I noticed that it does have some trouble spending a lot of time with numerous tiny files, implying their system takes a lot of time to put all of those files onto their storage. My upload speed varied between 20kb/s to 2Mb/s. Was not too slow, but what bothered me is the lame feedback on the upload process compared to the better interfaces of the other two.

    Otherwise I suggest Google Drive. Simply the easiest to use and very reliable (now). Integration with google docs is great as well. Very pleasant to use, but also the least trusted for sensitive information.

  4. I have figured out what make OneDrive so slow, every 1.44MB someone at Microsoft has so swap the floppy.

  5. Google drive WILL data mine your data, no question about it. At work (educational institution) they tell me they have an agreement with google not to data mine students files/information… We’ll see how that goes, I don’t trust them not to agreement or not. Fox guarding the henhouse.

    Onedrive, my forced introduction to that was with my windows phone. I wouldn’t call it a serious cloud storage service based on that. It is geared to phone users to dump their selfies to one at a time.

  6. I have a better idea. I am going to buy a very large external drive to store my videos on. I do not need to access them at other locations, but if i did, all i need to do is take the drive with me. Is that really an inconvenience to carry such a small drive? For some maybe, but not for me.

      1. Stuff happens. Your cloud account can be hacked, for instance. Your files could be corrupted there.

        If the info is that important, just use a 2nd external drive to back the important files on. This is also the best option if privacy is a concern. As has been seen with celebrity accounts being hacked, and their pictures they had stored on the cloud, being posted online for all to see. If what you are posting is valuable, don’t think that somebody won’t try to get it.

        I remember when it was the common thing to do…back up your hard drive. Desktop HDDs are cheap these days. So are the external versions. Back up the files, then keep them in your car. What are the odds of both car and house burning up at the same time?

  7. I am DOWNLOADING my files from OneDrive onto my new 1 TB hard drive. After about 20 hours, I have only reached 33.9 GB out of 100.2 GB. My internet is via ethernet cable. A speed check shows my Comcast provider giving me 90.13 Mbps. My settings have no limit on download rate. My power saver is set to always-on. My browsers seem fine, as fast as ever.
    I am more displeased with Microsoft than I usually am, which is saying a lot.

    1. Mine downloaded fast until i did a computer reset, after that it dosnt seem to want to go fast again, think i got maybe 200-300gb the first day, now its crawling again. (was not a full refresh, just moved onedrive inside my own computer, and did some extra file moves).

  8. Hi Aren,

    I just upgraded to Microsoft 10 Creator’s Build and with that upgrade came a whopping and massive downgrade in speed with OneDrive. I was used to getting around 2-5 Mb/s download and the about the same upload. I have 40Mb/s Down and 20 Mb/s Up from my provider.

    Microsoft wants to tell you it is your machine or your network or your provider, but I extensively researched and tried testing my machine and my network, similar to what you have done and found that it is not machine or my network. Finally, I worked with my provider to try and find an issue with my provider’s settings regarding large file upload and download, but alas, no such animal could be found. Going back to Microsoft with this information gets you nowhere because they have outsourced their customer service to India where those poor customer service reps only have access to a list of answers to give to placate customers on this issue (which I am pretty convinced they know about and just don’t care about).

    Now I would love to switch to another provider. I am not that much of a die hard Microsoft fan. But the problem is that any time I try and download more data than, say, 7 MB, the network shuts down and the download fails. Apparently they want you to download single files only. No big dumps allowed (as if 7MB is big, lol). This means that my data is effectively held hostage at Microsoft. The sync function they “highly recommend” is a joke. I get a whopping .1KB/s download and upload simply will not start. I have been stuck at .1Kb/s since the Creator’s Build Update.

    Sad. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

    Not sure what if anything I can do about getting my data off of OneDrive. I have about 148GB of data on there. Have any suggestions? I have tried all the cloud sync providers out there and they also experience the network fail issue. The only way I can get my stuff is to recreate the folder structure and download every single file (currently 650,000 of them) one at a time!

    What a major shit storm for them!

    I wonder why this is not in the mainstream tech magazines and why there is no uproar on YouTube, Google, etc. The actual stuff I can dig up is pretty tame, lame and not very numerous. Could there be censoring? I would think not, that Google would seek to promote this issue like gangbusters to get the biz from MSFT.

    Oh, well, another one bites the dust…MSFT.

  9. I’m in Germany and I have a line with > 50 Mb download and > 10 Mb upload speed.

    Uploads to OneDrive occupy the whole capacity and I have no problem this direction.

    But downloads are < 500 Kb when I download my pictures (.jpg and .dng). They are zipped by MS and downloading these .zip files is with 50 Mb.

    I got the idea when MS zips files they put it on another server with a slow connection. Very strange.

  10. Some more information:

    I uploaded the (slowly) downloaded zip file and downloaded it again.

    The first time it downloaded with varying speed, average about 15 Mb. The second time it did with full speed > 50 Mb.

    Very, very strange! Isn’t it?

  11. I stumbled on this post trying to see if Onedrive had a speed limit or something. I’m migrating about 7TB of data out of 8 onedrive accounts (about 900GB each). I’m uploading it to Azure Blob storage since I can archive most of it at the cost of $.002 / GB / Month. This puts my cost at about $14.34 per month for 7TB. Anything i’m not putting in the archive tier will cost about $.01 / GB / Month. I don’t need any of it in hot tier.

    I was hoping to find some way to temporarily get a higher speed – you can do this when migrating mailboxes to O365 by opening a support ticket with MS. I have a very fast connection, but my downloads from Onedrive maxed out at about 1.2 Gbps for the first couple TB but now its hanging around 350Mbps. This might seem stupid to complain about those speeds, but my upload speeds to Azure Blob storage has been a steady 3.3Gbps – about 10x as fast as the download.

    I’m down to my last 900GB to download now so I guess i’m almost done…

  12. Microsoft employees should have similar problem if they have used the same software. Otherwise this problem is specify to people outside of Microsoft.

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