Oops… Looks like Microsoft’s done it again… and by ‘it’ I mean added another pushy survey on users who try to close OneDrive. You read that right - just trying to close OneDrive in Windows 11 will prompt a survey window to pop up and ask why you’d even think of doing such a thing.
The pop-up window reads:
If you close OneDrive, files in your OneDrive folder won’t sync or back up to the cloud so you won’t see your changes across devices. “
You then get a dropdown box titled Select a reason for quitting OneDrive.
There are also two options: Cancel (and to exit out of the termination process, hence continuing to run OneDrive), or to Quit OneDrive which is grayed out until you pick a reason. Microsoft insists on an explanation before letting you quit the app.
Here are the possible reasons you can choose from:
- I don’t want OneDrive running all the time
- I don’t know what OneDrive is
- I don’t use OneDrive
- I’m trying to fix a problem with OneDrive
- I’m trying to speed up my computer
- I get too many notifications
If you’re actually serious about wanting to quit OneDrive, you’ll have to choose one of these. Oddly enough “Because I want to. What kind of question is this?” isn’t an option. Or you might just consider looking for a different cloud storage service altogether.
Trying to make sense of Microsoft's decisions
First spotted by Neowin, this dialog box appears every single time you try to quit OneDrive from your taskbar.
While this development is baffling, it’s not a huge difference from how annoying it was to close OneDrive before this update. The action was hidden as the confusing option of Pause syncing in the menu that appears when you right-click OneDrive in the taskbar.
Microsoft has been propping up OneDrive as the new default central location for file management, absorbing both the Documents and Pictures libraries and syncing them to Microsoft's cloud storage in Windows 11. If you haven’t set up OneDrive yet and this syncing hasn’t happened by default for some reason, Microsoft will continue to remind you to do so while you use Windows 11. For example, one such prompt appears when you try to change your desktop wallpaper.
Tsk tsk, Microsoft. I don’t know why you would think this was a good idea. The amount of feedback Microsoft might gather about this just doesn’t seem worth the bad will of users that increases with each development like this. Just a little while back, we wrote about how Microsoft persistently polled users who used Edge to try and download Chrome, demanding to know why they were making the switch. A sidebar window would literally display a poll right on the download page of Chrome.
Now, you need to justify your decision to close out OneDrive or you won’t be allowed to pause it.
Tom Warren of The Verge has a great tip if you want to circumvent this silliness altogether - you can open Task Manager, look for Microsoft OneDrive (or perform a search), and stop it running by ending the task. This is a little tedious, but it also allows you to bypass the Microsoft inquisition. Warren jests that we might see Microsoft put a poll ahead of us trying to shut down our Windows machines, asking why you’d even want to turn off your computer. With every story like this, a joke like that becomes all the easier to imagine.
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Kristina is a UK-based Computing Writer, and is interested in all things computing, software, tech, mathematics and science. Previously, she has written articles about popular culture, economics, and miscellaneous other topics.
She has a personal interest in the history of mathematics, science, and technology; in particular, she closely follows AI and philosophically-motivated discussions.