Windows does not sync settings from Microsoft Account

by Volker Weber

Annotation 2018-12-22 102121

It's ridiculous.

Brand new machine. Clean setup, and Windows cannot sync bookmarks for Edge from the Microsoft Account. If you google for the issue, you will find a Microsoft troubleshooter that is supposed to fix the issue. Tried that. He says, it cannot connect to the sync service. Surface Pro, sitting right next to it, can. It's not a network problem, it's just Windows SNAFU.

Yes, I tried the full sing&dance:

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
SFC /scannow
Get-AppXPackage | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

I give up. Back to the iPad Pro.


I follow your Windows on Lenovo setup experience here quite closely. It seems like a lot of suffering. Is/was it worth it if you contrast that to iPad/Mac setup experience? (I guess you already answered that with this post.). Sometimes I want to like something but it doesn’t always work out.

Markus Dierker, 2018-12-22

I moved several services and users away from Microsoft to Google (and everybody else to Apple). Besides the business model, which is worse with Google, it is an eye opener. Mail just works and arrives in seconds instead of minutes (or never at all), things just get synced.
Whenever I need to touch any Microsoft Service (be it on Windows or Android) it just fails with something ridiculous.

From my personal perspective, Microsoft in it's current state is dysfunctional and done.

Hubert Stettner, 2018-12-22

The last product and service from Microsoft that i actually like to use are Xbox One X and Game Pass: amazing hardware, service & mobile app that go hand in hand and just work.

Everything that has to do with Windows, Office and OneDrive is broken, unusable and a cause for suffering.

Ralph Inselsbacher, 2018-12-22

As I luckily do not need MS-Office or any other software not available for Linux I can setup new machines literally within minutes, sync my data from Google Drive and off I go. Because of your positive Win 10 reviews I gave that a shot may be two years ago and was indeed impressed by the UI. However, after three months or so the update mess and general performance issues brought me back to Linux.

On the hardware side I sticked with Thinkpads for the last twenty years and never got disappointed. Now since two years I am on the Lenovo Yoga 3 pro and it's still going strong. If necessary I'd move up to an X1 Carbon but until now there is no need for this.

What Mac is for you is Linux on Thinkpads/Lenovo for me. It meets all my requirements for daily office tasks, image manipulation, sound editing and software development and "It just works".

Microsoft has a lot of smart people with great ideas. So I assume it's not because they don't know how to get it right but because cleaning up the Windows OS and it's ecosystem has become a complex challenge completely out of scale. It is relatively easy to build complex systems, the hard thing is to keep them simple. And cleaning up an already messed up system is almost impossible. May be a kind of reboot of the company and the software is the only option - but that's well to say from the outside.

Lucius Bobikiewicz, 2018-12-22

Lucius, which Linux distro are you using?

Philipp Klein, 2018-12-22

Ist es noch sinnvoll, jetzt auf Edge zu setzen, wo doch eine komplett neue Version von Edge auf Basis der Chrome Engine kommen wird?

Wolfgang Fey, 2018-12-22

@Philipp: On normal machines I use Ubuntu Gnome but that is just because it worked for me for long.

However, checking out different Linux distributions is unbelievable simple because they all offer what's called the live system option. Download the installation image, burn it to a USB drive and without applying any changes to your machine you'll get a fully operational test environment with Wifi, browser, music player etc. within a couple of minutes where you can check out the differences.

Lucius Bobikiewicz, 2018-12-22

That is what power users get. I consider these annoyances part of the deal. If you got 60 GB to sync you are likely a power users. It's a complex world and I've seen these distributed systems fail everywhere.

It's not like the grass is greener on the other side. I've been part of several Apple iCloud beta tests because my 1TB picture library just would not properly sync across 6 devices.... You know. Daily business.

Anyway: what divides the productive from the not-so-much productive power users is the ability to adapt to issues. Volker switched to something else and gets the job done.

Daniel Kirstenpfad, 2018-12-22

Wolfgang, Edge funktioniert für mich perfekt. Das setze ich bereits seit Jahren ein. Und der Sync macht ja noch viel mehr. Den brauche ich schon.

Volker Weber, 2018-12-22

Hi Volker, maybe pi.hole has some Microsoft services on its blocklist?

Bernhard Werner, 2018-12-23

Excellent idea, Bernhard. However, that was amongst the first thee options I checked.

1. Used my iPhone hotspot, directly connected to T-Mobile
2. Set DNS to router instead of Pi-Hole.
3. Check other Windows devices on same network.There are plenty.

Volker Weber, 2018-12-23

Ich habe zurzeit das Problem mit Edge auf meinem Surface Pro, das die Backspace Taste nicht mehr als zurück taste funktioniert, auch dies ist ein Problem das nicht nur bei mir auftritt, aber es scheint keine funktionierende Lösung dafür zu geben :(

Christian Ott, 2018-12-23

New hardware offers in the PC arena like Lenovo Yoga 930 seem to be very tempting even for an old fashioned Mac user, especially as the new MacBook Pro line causes some ambiguous feelings (I will stick to my 2015 MacBook Pro as long as possible).

However, my own experience on running some virtual machines (via Parallels) with Windows and by using Office 365: I have to fix predominantly Microsoft problems on a Mac.

So today, as one of my Windows 10 machines went into an infinite update loop (trying to install an update for more than 2 days). Using methods like „problem manager“ (see vowe screen to troubleshoot his sync issue) or disc commands did not help, I had to kill services and remove update folders and profiles: never experienced that on MacOS.
The most unstable programs/apps on the Mac are actually the MS office apps which sometimes enforce a reboot.
In comparison, Apple also has its issues - but I never had any problem updating my Mac (since 14 years!). Compared to Microsoft, the Apple problems are just „petitesses“.

In essence, I am spoiled by the reliability of the Mac eco system - the Windows and Office eco system with its obstacles keep me away from buying a PC.

Thomas Odorfer, 2018-12-23

I have never been happy with virtual Windows machines on a Mac. Only after I fully migrated to a Surface Pro two years ago, I experience Windows 10 as it is supposed to be run: around the clock, with updates at night. After an initial bad spell with an operating system installed by a Microsoft service provider I wiped the machine clean and have not had any issues anymore.

But indeed, the Mac user experience is less complicated and more user-friendly. Especially moving from one Mac to the next one is a breeze. With the downside that you are accumulating old junk along the way. Only after I started cleaning up with CleanMyMac I got back to a lean machine.

I think, software development on PC & Mac are on the decline. It's all moving to Web, Android and iOS. Even some of the newer Apple Mac apps are iOS ports, which are terrible.

Not much going on in terms of software development, unreliable and expensive hardware, not much innovation beyond the clamshell design, bolt-ons like the Touch Bar, all of that looks dead-end to me. Hence my interest in working on iPad Pro.

But for now, I have to use Windows once in a while. And I like the hardware innovation that Microsoft and Lenovo brought to the table. You can still go old-fashioned ThinkPad if you want reliability. Or you can be more bold with Surface or Yoga.

Volker Weber, 2018-12-24

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