OneDrive and 0x80270113 error

Error 0x80270113 is yet another mysterious Windows error that Microsoft doesn’t explain well. First, some background:

OneDrive for Windows 8.1 supports online-only files. It’s a great idea: these files look normal, but they take up almost no space. That’s because they actually only exist in Microsoft’s cloud and are not on your hard drive.

If you right-click on an online-only file and select Properties, you’ll see that the Size on disk field is just a few bytes. It’s only a stub file. If you open the stub file, OneDrive transparently downloads the full copy.

In theory, online-only files are a great way to share files across multiple devices that may not have enough drive space to copy all of them locally. Strangely, Microsoft is ditching online-only files for Windows 10.

Error 0x80270113 happens when Windows doesn’t know how to open a OneDrive stub file. Here’s how it happened to me:

I am quitting OneDrive because it’s slow. I have several gigabytes of files in OneDrive. I need to move them out of OneDrive.

Normally, moving files is a fast cut and paste operation. Normally, the file itself isn’t moved. Rather, a few bytes of filesystem data is tweaked to tell Windows that the file is in a new folder.

This is like adjusting highway signs to tell people a new route to a city. The city is still in the same place; all that changed was the route you take to get to the city.

Moving files out of OneDrive is like moving the whole city! Even if you aren’t using online-only files, moving files in or out of your computer’s OneDrive folder is a pokey copy-and-delete operation. With this, a copy of the file is made in the destination location, then the file is deleted from its source location. This is exponentially slower than a move.

As I have many gigabytes of files to move, I got impatient on the long wait. I stopped the move, shut down OneDrive, and used PowerShell’s Move-Item command to do a classic file move operation.

Oops! Move-Item isn’t aware of OneDrive, so it happily moved the file stubs without downloading them first. Only when I tried to open the OneDrive stub files when they were outside of the OneDrive directory did I get the 0x80270113 error! The error probably means is that you have a stub file outside of its OneDrive directory, and Windows doesn’t know how to deal with it.

To make things worse, after I moved all these files out of OneDrive, the OneDrive agent synchronized my now empty OneDrive folder, which caused all the online copies of the files to be deleted. (That is actually correct behavior: if you get rid of a file locally, it should also be removed from the online drive.) This means I was left with only stub files on my hard drive and an empty OneDrive. Is my data gone?

Luckily, OneDrive has an online Recycle Bin. I restored everything from the online Recycle Bin back into OneDrive. My local OneDrive agent then set up online-only stubs of all these files. Now I can use the Windows Explorer’s cut and paste feature to move these files out of OneDrive. I’m pasting them in the same location where I moved the files using Move-Item. With this operation, I am telling Windows Explorer to overwrite the stub files in the destination. This overwrites the tiny stubs with actual data.

At this point, you may ask, “Why did you move your files using Move-Item if you had set them to be online-only?” Answer: I never set any files to be online-only on this PC! I don’t know why that happened. All I can guess is one of:

  • OneDrive does this intentionally for some files.
  • OneDrive bug.
  • I had the OneDrive client running on two other PCs, and on both those other PCs, I set them to use online-only file copies. Perhaps OneDrive somehow carried that setting over to my main computer?

Regardless of why, this is a pain to deal with. I’m very fortunate that OneDrive’s Recycle Bin actually works!

8 thoughts on “OneDrive and 0x80270113 error”

  1. Hi! Thanks for your very informative explanation regarding the 0x80270113 error. My question is: Can I delete these seemingly useless stubs from my hard drive (they appear in “blue” by the way; is that normal?) and still have them online on my One Drive? And do you know why my computer has 2 OneDrive’s in the file explorer (I didn’t do it and its super confusing)? I have 8.1. Thanks for any guidance you can give!

    Bridgette

  2. My symptoms were a bit different.

    I had a computer which bit the dust. I was able though to access my files on another computer. When i got the original box working again I had to do a complete reinstall from the bottom up, OS and all. Because I was using a vendor provided recovery disk I first had to install Win 8.0, upgrade it, then go to 8.1. As if by magic, all my One Drive files were there … except for that annoying little 0x80270113 detail. I could still access them from the other computer though.

    After reading your posts here and elsewhere (for which I thank you immensely!), I did see that all the files were marked Online. I right clicked on the OneDrive folder and changed it to Offline and … voila! So far so good. I usually find that as soon as find I’ve solved an issue like this and say so outloud, BOOM! Phase 2 of the problem arises, but so far … so good.

    I gather that MS thinks this isn’t a bug and that it works as designed. Well, WAD is just another word for another kind of bug. It’s a DESIGN BUG.

    Thanks again for your helpful information.

  3. thought it would be a good idea (NOT) to put my outlook .pst files on onedrive. It worked fine for a few days. Then after a 8.1 update on 21/07 my main pst (with my account details) can’t be opened in outlook. The pst on my local drive would 0x80270113 error trying to do anything with it (cut or copy, online or offline).

    I downloaded the pst from onedrive but was still getting the error(s). The pst was coming into my downloads folder and I noticed on properties, general tab, “this file came from another computer..” and was blocked. Selected unblock and now I can get the pst working again in outlook.

    Onedrive is ok for backup, but possibly thanks to the latest 8.1 update, some confusion or corruption resulted in my active pst being unusable on my local pc.

  4. Great thanks for this help. I experienced the same error today, when moving all my files out of OneDrive to a local drive. Used cut-and-paste within Windows 10 Explorer and it looked like the corrupted files had the original size.

  5. Beware that the OneDrive Recycle Bin only keeps your files for 2 weeks. So you’re lucky you caught this right away. I had a friend who recently had something screwy happen to his OneDrive and most of his data was deleted. It was actually MS’s fault (they finally admitted as much over the phone to him). But since the data was deleted over a month ago, it is no longer in the Recycle Bin, and thus gone forever. MS doesn’t even have a back up of it, which makes sense considering they can’t back up everyone’s data forever. Not unless they quadruple the price of OneDrive subscriptions.

    Long story short, OneDrive is not a backup solution. It is simply a cloud file synchronization solution.

  6. WOW..
    So helpful!!
    I found my problem that I changed the account of my computer and suddenly all of my files were not approachable!
    After I read this, I logged in to the Onedrive with my previous account and there were all my files alive! Thanks for your kind explanation!!

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