6 Replies to “OneDrive photo backup: keywords vanish in the cloud…”

  1. Thank you for reporting this. I am embarking on a project to tag all my old photos and I don’t think I could bear it if I lost my hard work. I don’t have the attention span to redo it if they got corrupted. I barely have the attention span to do it in the first place. I am terrified of this happening. I wish someone smarter than me would develop a test suite to analyze whether a platform is “metadata safe.” I would pay decent money for such a tool.

    1. The thing is, even if a cloud storage system tests ‘safe’ today, it could change the next week.

      Storage services are competing on “features”, like organizing your photos and making them searchable. So they’re adding the ability to tag photos, and storing that data in the file itself as metadata. If they make any mistakes in preserving existing metadata, we won’t even know until it’s too late.

  2. Jim, thank you for posting about this issue. I work freelance as an image cataloger and also thought I was losing my mind watching all my metadata edits revert instead of update. I use a metadata palette and Adobe Bridge and could literally see the keywords disappearing after I had saved the data. After confirming the issue had nothing to do with the palette, or Bridge (though Bridge is certainly not foolproof) I tried pausing the OneDrive sync while working on cataloging. Perhaps that near-simultaneous sync was the issue. Nope. As soon as the sync was restarted, *poof!* files downloading again and metadata disappearing, as you’ve observed. I tried toggling off OneDrive’s tagging “feature” (so-called). No difference. I tried opening the file history and “restoring” a previous version and watched OneDrive restore (supposedly), upload, and the seconds later download the version without data changes again. It’s utterly insane. Like you found, the only current option, if you don’t want to see all your metadata work undone, is to shut off all or part of OneDrive. OneDrive limits your choice of what files to back up to three big “buckets” — desktop, documents, and pictures; it unfortunately won’t let you get more granular than that. So I’m now trying a work-around by shutting off the pictures bucket as this seems to be the part of OneDrive which is most borked. Keep us posted if you happen to hear about any further solutions to this glitch / bug.

    1. Heidi, I really appreciate the sanity check – and seeing that nothing has changed since I first hit this issue. I’ve given up on OneDrive – even if I found a workaround, I’d be afraid that they’d do some other crazy stuff in the future.

      I don’t even use cloud storage right now. All my saleable photos are on a POD and in a SmugMug gallery, so that’s adequate backup of my final JPGs, and I’ve quit worrying about the original raw files. I do my own backups to a removable flash drive, and I sleep soundly.

  3. I’ve caught OneDrive changing blank image orientation data settings to “Normal” and doing the same with blank color space data, setting it to sRGB.
    I’ve also seen it strip Keywords from the IPTC metadata.
    For me, it only seems to make these changes while I am logged in to OneDrive from a browser. The files it alters are not the same files I am accessing with the browser.
    I have disabled the auto tagging features in OneDrive and will see if that stops this behavior.

    1. Hi Bill – I’ve dropped OneDrive entirely – it scared me pretty bad.

      OneDrive started out as something that sounded great – it got morphed into an extension of Office – then they decided they needed to help people “organize their memories” or something – I got off the bus.

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