Microsoft finds a new way to annoy users by forcing survey on users who attempt to close OneDrive app

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: 

“Quit OneDrive? 

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
  • Other

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.

Young woman with cat using laptop

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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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This Windows 10 version is officially dead – and Microsoft is now forcing upgrades

Windows 10 version 21H2 is no longer officially supported by Microsoft, so those still running that incarnation of the operating system need to act now.

As of yesterday, the last security update was released for Windows 10 21H2, namely the June cumulative update.

That’s the final bunch of fixes for vulnerabilities that’ll be provided to users still on 21H2, hence the need to upgrade in the next few weeks, before July’s round of patching happens (and you miss out if still on 21H2).

In a release health update, Microsoft informed us: “On June 13, 2023, Home, Pro, Pro Education and Pro for Workstations editions of Windows 10, version 21H2 will reach end of servicing. The upcoming June 2023 security update, to be released on June 13, 2023, will be the last update available for this version.”

At this point, PCs still running Windows 10 21H2 will have a forced update initiated before too long.

Microsoft explained: “Windows Update will automatically initiate a feature update for Windows 10 consumer devices and non-managed business devices that are at, or within several months of reaching end of servicing.”


Analysis: Enforced upgrades are a necessary evil

That forced update will push users to Windows 10 version 22H2, but of course, that has to happen. When the rug is pulled for support on an older version of Windows, and security updates are no longer provided, you shouldn’t keep the OS on your PC (unless you’re not going to connect to the internet at all).

Staying online with vulnerabilities present on your system (which is bound to happen in time, as new security flaws are discovered and not patched) is a foolish thing to do.

So, your choice is an upgrade to 22H2, or as Microsoft would prefer, you could make the leap to Windows 11. If, of course, your PC is capable of running Windows 11, which it may not be (if you have an older CPU, or your computer lacks TPM support – there may be ways around these problems, but such hardware upgrades can be fiddly, naturally).

As you may be aware, Windows 10 will not get any new features going forward – Microsoft is only supplying security updates now (and maybe the odd very minor feature tweak here and there, but nothing of any substance). All of this is part of Microsoft’s not-so-subtle pushing to get you to upgrade to Windows 11, an OS which has struggled with its pace of adoption compared to Windows 10.

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Microsoft to stop forcing Edge on Windows 11 users

Microsoft has changed the way Windows 11 handles switching default web browsers, thankfully, reversing an unpopular decision it made when the OS was still in pre-release testing (back in August).

A fresh preview (testing) version of Windows 11 (build 22509) now lets you switch the operating system’s default browser with a simple single click; which is just as it should be (and the scheme of things in Windows 10).

So, what currently happens in Windows 11? Well, Microsoft concocted a rather convoluted method in the guise of offering users more fine-tuned control over what browser opens what files, which was, as we observed at the time of its inception, basically a nightmare (and it remains so).

You get one chance to change your default browser away from Edge when you first install and fire up an alternative browser, like say Chrome or Firefox – and when you pick that alternative, you must remember to tick the ‘Always use this app’ box. If you don’t check the box, you won’t see this prompt again, and instead you’ll have to go into Settings yourself and manually change the default browser.

The problem is that currently with Windows 11, this involves having to stipulate Chrome (or whatever alternative you wish to use instead of the built-in Edge browser) for multiple file types: HTML, HTM, PDF, SHTML, WEBP, HTTP, HTTPS, and more. As we already noted, the theory pushed by Microsoft is that this allows for more granular control.

But what it really represents for the overwhelming majority is a lot of clicking and changing, but fortunately, as Rafael Rivera tweeted (via The Verge) to point out, in a new test build, Windows 11 now has a simple ‘Set default’ button for browsers, bringing things back in line with how Windows 10 works.

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Microsoft’s Aaron Woodman, VP of Windows marketing, told The Verge: “In the Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22509 released to the Dev Channel on Wednesday, we streamlined the ability for a Windows Insider to set the ‘default browser’ to apps that register for HTTP:, HTTPS:, .HTM, and .HTML.”


Analysis: This should never have happened in the first place

Remember, this new scheme is only in testing now, but with any luck, the change should come to the full version of Windows 11 eventually. As we touched on above, Microsoft’s argument about giving more fine-tuned control for default settings based on user feedback doesn’t wash, at all. Clearly, this was – well, still is for the time being – a way of making sure Edge keeps getting pushed to the forefront.

Along with all the various ads for Edge, which as we saw earlier this week, have reached new lows in terms of anti-Chrome pop-ups (including ‘that browser is so 2008!’).

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Microsoft, you aren’t going to nag people into using your browser (or anything else), it’ll just annoy them and likely have the opposite effect, if anything. Nobody would be too bothered about the occasional pop-up, perhaps, but the amount of promotional activity, combined with software changes like this whole debacle around defaults, is dangerous territory to be treading.

At least this Windows 11 default browser decision has now been reversed, and we hope that the change comes through sooner rather than later.

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By forcing Bing on Chrome users, Microsoft is back to its bad old ways

Come on Microsoft. You must know that no one likes Bing. Cramming it into a Spider-Man film in a bid to make it appear cool didn’t work – mainly because in a film involving radioactive spiders, superheroes and lizard people, the idea of anyone willingly using Bing rather than Google was the most unrealistic aspect.

In fact, I have a sneaky suspicion that the most searched-for term in Bing is “How to download Chrome”, as people use Microsoft’s Edge browser, which comes with Windows 10 and has Bing as the default search engine, to download Google’s Chrome browser.

I'd even wager that the user numbers for Bing compared to Google must be so small, they are practically an anomaly. More of a blip than a bing.

And Microsoft must know this. Which is why the company has been trying to foist its unloved search engine on us. Not only does Edge default to Bing, but using the search box in Windows 10 brings up Bing results when you search the internet, with no easy way to change it.

And even worse, it’s now emerged that Microsoft is planning to include a “Bing extension for Chrome” that will be automatically installed alongside a forthcoming update to Microsoft Office 356 ProPlus.

This will change the default search engine of Chrome from Google (or any other search engine) to Bing. Quite why Microsoft thinks that anyone using Microsoft Office 356 ProPlus would also want to have their search engine changed to Bing is beyond me. It’s come up with some old excuse about needing to use Microsoft search or whatever, but to be blunt, that’s no reason to forcibly change people’s search engines.

Microsoft Bing

With great power comes great responsibility

Instead, Microsoft wants people to use Bing not through choice, but through force. And while many people will change back to Google as soon as they’ve noticed that their search queries bring back Bing results, I’m sure Microsoft is banking on enough people not realising, or just sticking with it, victims of digital Stockholm syndrome.

In my view, this is a move that hearkens back to Microsoft’s shadier past where it has tried to force its products on users. Anyone who has used a fresh version of Windows 10 will know that if you use Edge (and Bing) to search from Chrome to download, you used to get messages popping up trying to dissuade you from doing so, and instead stick with Edge.

Not only was this annoying (and a bit desperate), but it was using an unfair advantage of having Edge being pre-installed in Windows 10.

Now, those little pop-ups and messages seemed to have calmed down a bit lately, and I was hoping that maybe Microsoft has learned its lesson. But if it does go ahead with changing people’s default search engines when they update Microsoft Office 356 ProPlus, then I fear the company hasn’t learned anything.

The bottom line is if Microsoft wants more people to use products like Edge and Bing, then rather than forcing people to use them, instead Microsoft should work hard to make those products better than the completion – so people willingly use those products, rather than being held hostage.

Microsoft has done better with its updates to Edge – but it’ll take a lot more to make me consider using Bing.

But tampering with my choices in an unrelated program just because I use another Microsoft product? I believe Spider-Man would agree that that goes against everything Uncle Ben stood for.

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