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I often need to copy files, (later edit 1:) grouped as folders, between an app and OneDrive. I would wish to write the data straight to OneDrive so I can access it remotely, but that's not possible because the os doesn't allow apps to access data outside the app. Copying the files (later edit 1:) of a folder, from the app to OneDrive is an acceptable workaround for me. I have to use the os integrated Files app, as this is the only app Apple allows to access files of multiple apps, i.e. an app and OneDrive. Unfortunately, probably because Apple hates everything normal, the Files app is unable to copy and paste files by simply copying and pasting files. Instead, the Files app changes each and every file name by adding the date and time before the extension. So data_19990302.zip becomes data19990302 2024-01-01 12_03_04.zip after being copied to OneDrive.

Apple claims that this is typical behaviour because most users expect it, as most apps change file names when copying by adding a timestamp. Yet the Files app doesn't add any timestamp when copying to iCloud. I suppose that's how Apple designed iCloud to be different, by not changing file names on copy, hence why iCloud is better. Be that as it may, I have to use OneDrive and there seems to be no hope for this to be fixed from Apple side, so the question is what are the different options that can be used to simply copy a file from an ipad or an iphone to OneDrive?

Later edit1: My initial question refers to "files", and @Aivar Paalberg answer offers a great workaround for an individual file. I edited my question to clarify that I'm refering to files grouped in a folder. So I am interested in copying folders, from an app, to OneDrive, with all the files in them, and not an individual file, or multiple files one by one.

Later edit2:

Steps to reproduce the issue:

  1. In Files app, Go to On My iPad
  2. Create a new folder, it will be initially named untitled folder, you can leave it like that.
  3. Go inside that folder to create a file.
  4. One way to create a file is to long press anywhere in the empty space and select Scan Documents
  5. Take any picture by pressing the white button on the right. Touch the Keep Scan button on the bottom right. Touch the Save button on the bottom right. The Scanned Document.pdf file is created.
  6. Go one folder up and long press on untitled folder and click on copy
  7. From the left-hand menu in the Files app, go to OneDrive -> Files
  8. Long press anywhere and click on Paste
  9. Go inside the copied untitled folder and check the file inside. Expected behaviour: It is expected that the file is named Scanned Document.pdf Actual behaviour: The file is named Scanned Document 2024-01-07 15_42_54.pdf

I will update the question after I test with the latest version of OneDrive as suggested by @nohillside in the comments.

Later edit3:

I can confirm that unfortunately the issue is still present on the current latest version of OneDrive 15.3.2. Immediately after copying, the file appears with the same name, but seconds later the file is renamed with the added timestamp.

My current workaround is to zip compress the folder, copy that one to OneDrive, and then uncompress there. The zip file will get a timestamp, but at least all the file names inside are preserved. Not great, but a single rename beats multiple renames.

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  • The claim is not made by Apple, and if you scroll up in the linked page you‘ll find an entry describing this as a known bug. Anyway, can you please focus the question on what you want to accomplish, and leave out the speculation part?
    – nohillside
    Commented Jan 7 at 12:30
  • The claim is most surely made by Apple, as it is made by someone who is employed by Apple on a website that is maintained by Apple with Apple money. Why would you claim it is not made by Apple?
    – Andrei
    Commented Jan 7 at 15:16
  • The person who asked the question on that website reports that Microsoft describes it as a known bug with OneDrive, but this is clearly neither a bug, and not a OneDrive issue. Microsoft's claim is simply trying to soften the issue their users have on Apple devices, even if it is not under their control. Regardless, all of it is merely adjacent to my question.
    – Andrei
    Commented Jan 7 at 15:20
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    Here is my recording. Yes, I am connected from a PC as well, because that's where I need the files and the whole point of the copy-paste. I find it unlikely that there's a process on the PC making changes, but it's a fair question. I'll try it with the PC off and update this post later.
    – Andrei
    Commented Jan 8 at 8:23
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    @AivarPaalberg As far as I understand the first part of the question, the app used by the OP only can store data directly on the iPad (so Files is required afterwards to move that data to OneDrive). Also, my guess right now is that the renaming will also happen if an app writes directly to OneDrive.
    – nohillside
    Commented Jan 8 at 8:55

1 Answer 1

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I don’t have iPad but on iPhone:

  • From Files to OneDrive - browse to file within Files app, “Share” button in down left corner, in opening window locate OneDrive on apps row, in opening window navigate to desired folder and “Upload to OneDrive”. File copied to OneDrive with original name.

  • From within OneDrive - navigate to desired destination folder, plus icon on upper right corner, select “Upload”, select “Browse”, opens default folder, use upper left “Browse” to navigate to file location (if necessary), tap on file and it will be uploaded with original name.

EDIT: to address copying folders.

I observed inconsistency - sometimes files in folders are copied with their original names, sometimes with altered names. My observation was, that in the evening when I used OneDrive on my computer and iPhone names were altered, in the morning using OneDrive with only iPhone names were not altered (so it might or might not be related with some processes going on on OneDrive side):

  • In Files app navigate to folder to be moved, tap on down arrow next to folder name in top center, in drop-down menu tap on "Move", in opened window navigate to desired location and there tap on "Copy" in upper right corner (despite confusing Move and Copy original files are not actually moved but copied over).

  • Alternative workaround which for me always worked was to create folder in OneDrive with desired name and then in Files navigate to folder to be copied, tap on circle-with-three dots in upper right corner, in drop-down window tap on "Select", tap on "Select All" on upper left corner, tap on "Share" icon in down left corner, tap on "OneDrive" on apps row, in layover window navigate to folder created and then tap on "Upload to OneDrive".

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