When is a cloud not a cloud?

I believe the answer is when it is WD My Cloud.

My understanding of ‘The Cloud’ is that you can edit files on the cloud and the edits are then seen across all your devices. This is certainly the case with Skydrive, Google Documents, Dropbox etc. But not apparently with WD My Cloud.

I know this is a similar post to one I raised previously. But having not got to the bottom of it, I wanted to try again.

I would be extremely grateful if someone would confirm that if you edit any office document (doc, docx, xls, xlsx, etc.) on a mobile device and save the changes, that the edits do NOT get saved onto the My Book Live device itself. [e.g. Totally contrary to the apps like Dropbox]

Certainly if I try using any office application on my tablet (Nexus 7) or my smartphone (HTC Desire), the edits are only ‘saved’ locally on the device - actually within a temporary folder. The changes NEVER get uploaded back to My Cloud. In truth this wouldn’t be so bad if the WD My Cloud application informed the user of this. I had previously lost many edits as a result of this massive limitation.

This same limitation applies when I connect my Dropbox to the WD My Cloud app … edits are not saved back to the Dropbox cloud. (But at the risk of repeating myself … if I use the Dropbox app itself … no problem! Edits saved beautifully)

If Dropbox can do it with their app, surely WD can also?

But perhaps BOTH my devices are not working properly? But then why would it not even work with the connected Dropbox?

Therefore, again, I would be extremely grateful if others could confirm or otherwise that edits are not saved back to the WD My Cloud.

Many, many Thanks


PS. I did raise a support request to WD, but that seems to have dried up … they said they’d phone me, but never did.

Hi John159, please check your private messages. 

No need for anyone to test this now … WD support have confirmed that this limitation applies.

ie. If one edits a file using WD My Cloud, the edits will not be saved back to your drive.

Obviously, one can download the file, make the changes, then upload them again … but very time consuming!

The reply from WD Support indicates that he will pass this onto ‘our team’ to see if this will ever be possible … I do hope so! Without it, I feel that WD My Cloud is a very weak product. And certainly has all but no value to me.

(In truth, the WD Support reply was very polite, just very disappointing)

Any comments from anyone?

That doesn’t sound right.  I swear I’ve made edits on word documents and they were automatically saved back to the network (though I could be remembering wrong).

That was using wd2go app though on both apple and android devices - not mycloud.  If what you say is true, I think that’s a downgrade which I can’t imagine they wouldn’t fix.

Thank you for your feedback heehee62. I appreciate your feedback.

I origially used to use wd2go app as well - this is where I first saw the problem … on Android.

However, I’m very interested to hear what you say. It would be great if someone else could try it … please.

I assume I am allowed to repeat the words that the support guy put in his first email…

I am sorry to inform but this is not possible.
The reason of this is that the 3e party software that is able to edit the file can not use/see the path where the original file is located as this can only be mounted by the WD2Go as of security reasons.
So once this is edit you can only safe this to the local drive.
If you upload by using the upload functionality within the WD2go this will not override the original file.
However what i could do is use a file manager like Astro file manager and copy this file over regular network share and override this.
This is limited on local network only.


Then in his second email …


We apologize for the inconvenience but this is all due certain technicalities that this is not possible.
However i will forward this to our team to see if this is possible to implement.


Certainly it would seem from the above comments that the support guy believes editing, then saving file back to NAS drive will not work using the WD My Cloud app.


Trouble is when you edit using WD My Cloud, it all looks like file is being updated, especially as when you re-open the file (remotely) all edits are present. It is only when you open the file directly on local network that you see the edits are not present, If you then make changes on local network, then look at the file again remotely … any edits you made remotely are lost; instead you pick up the version that was edited on local network.


But if anyone finds anything different, then I’d be really interested. I’d also be very interested to know if anyone has a NAS drive, with cloud support, where true editing is possible … I think it would seem that the Buffalo product works properly … but I may be wrong.



The Zyxel NSA 310, 320, and 325 all use Polkast for accessing files on your NAS.  I was looking into that drive myself because Polkast can do video thumbnail previews on ALL devices which I really want.  Only thing was that although AVCHD movie files are compatible with the Zyxel NAS themselves, Polkast isn’t.

I think that that drive can do what you want but I’m not sure - seems everyone exaggerates their capabilities.  But you can check yourself by downloading the free Polkast program from their website and installing it on your laptop (have it as your “homebase” for testing instead of the NAS).  Or ask a zyxel forum.

If you look at the  http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/nas/nas-charts/view  you’ll notice both the zyxel and mybooklive drives ofter great bang (in terms of speed) for buck (filter search to 1 drive if you want to see single drive NASs).  Mybooklive even offers better bang for buck if you take into account it comes with harddrives while the zyxel doesn’t.

Buffalo is the cheapest I think.  But I don’t think the speed is as great (though I know little about this drive).  I think the mybooklive is the easiest to use though don’t quote me.   As you can see in the smallnetbuilder chart I linked earlier, the zyxel NSA325 is the fastest, faster than mycloud but I think it is also more expensive after the additional drives.  The zyxel NSA320 and NSA310 are cheaper though not as fast as the NSA325. 

When I get a chance, I’ll ask my sister who’s hooked up to my mybooklive to test out your issue since I’m very curious to know. May be a while though as she is very busy. It’s possible I’ve been not saving things I thought I was for the longest time too so I’ve very interested in your post.


As I read further about the zyxel drives, I still believe you can edit the files on NAS with no problem using Polkast.  But I think the way the Zyxel backs up your phone camera roll is through dropbox, which costs money after a certain amount of GB.

Don’t quote me though.  Looking for a NAS is so difficult cause they all seem to twist their advertising so it’s hard to know what they really do.

Anyway, you can always use bittorent sync with any of the NASs I mentioned to backup files on all your devices to the NAS.

But bittorent sync isn’t the simplest to install onto NASs.

Good luck.  I’d appreciate it if you could post what NAS you end up with.  I might get the same.

why not use a virtural ftp drive map-er to mount your naz local and write direct to the drive or to local location then auto sync to the mapped drive every 5/10 min? works great for me

I also assumed the web app would allow me more freedom to work on my files but i was wrong I also needed a work around.

luckly dnydns is around

I also got a false sense cloudness staples/wd display made the drives feature look like google drive, box or drop which is not the case.

Many thanks to both heehee62 & giosinfinity for your responses!

I appreciate the effort you’ve both put into giving useful information.

I think being a WD Support forum, it wouldn’t be fair to discuss the competition too much! But looking at the Zyxel and the polkast application, I would agree that the combination would seem to do exactly what I was hoping the WD would do. Polkast sounds very interesting! I will investigate further - although in truth, I’m not sure that I’ll get approval from ‘the boss’ at home to purchase another NAS! But if I do, I will update this post as to my success.

The article you’ve provided a link to also provides an interesting review of drives. I need to take longer to go through it, but again proves useful reading.

With regard to your suggestions of bittorent / virtual ftp … not sure I’m clever enough with these, but thanks for offering them as possible solutions.

I’d love to know how the test goes with your sister accessing the drive … although I’m now 100% certain that any edits done remotely will be discarded … my reason follows …

I received a phone call from WD Support yesterday. A massive 10/10 for WD support (particularly, bearing in mind I live in the UK with time differences & presumably increased phone costs).

The support guy was very pleasant, listened to my problem carefully, understood my problem and fully confirmed that the WD My Cloud application will not save any edits back to the NAS drive. He suggested the workaround of downloading & then uploading the file back. He indicated that WD My Cloud works this way to ensure the security of the document, i.e. that there is no chance of corruption returning the file back to the NAS drive - not convinced by the argument, but he was very polite in presenting the WD argument!

It’s probably obvious to all, but in case it helps other readers, the only way to edit a document (that I am aware of) using the download/upload method is: - download the document to be edited (using Save As to ensure it goes into a folder you can find again) - open the document from the folder where you saved the file (not from downloads tab within the application!) - edit the document & save - From WD My Cloud upload the document to desired folder … it will not overwrite the file, but will create a file with -1 affixed to the file name. - Again from within the WD My Cloud application - delete the original document, then rename the uploaded document to the original name.

Very time consuming but possible!

So in conclusion:

  • WD My Cloud does not save edits back to the drive

  • My guess is that there are many users out there who believe it does and are happily editing documents using WD My Cloud (or its predecessor WD2Go), and are under the belief that the edits are getting back to the NAS drive … cos’ until you directly access the drive locally, that is how it seems!

  • I’m going to have to use the long winded way of downloading document, editing & saving outside WD My Cloud, uploading the document back, deleting and renaming to get document back to correct name.

  • I may actually post the edit request to WD ‘Personal Cloud - New Ideas’ in the hope that they update the application

However, in the meantime why don’t others try the edit/save for themselves and give their results in this thread?


Two other drives you might want to consider are the lowest end models currently still offered by synology and qnap.  They are more expensive but not as expensive as I expected.  It’s crazy how much those drives can do and they have a virtual interface demo on their websites you can test out yourself. 

Also fyi, zyxel customer support is fast but very lacking in knowledge.  I couldn’t live without having automatic backup of photos from mobile devices - I’d have to set up bittorrent sync or it would be a dealbreaker.

Hope I’m not breaking forum policy here.  The wd drives are excellent and fantastic bang for buck.  It’s just about what your specific needs are. 

Finally, I don’t know how many GB of office documents you have but if it isn’t too much, doing a combination of skydrive and the mybooklive could solve your problems, I’m probably going to do this no matter what drive I have.  The mobile apps microsoft have for skydrive are by far the best mobile office programs I’ve ever used - they are near identical to the PC version of MS office except that you can’t run macros.  I have 5 users in my household - so I set up each of them with a free 7 GB account, totaling 49 free GB.  You can set up shared folders (and private ones too).  The shared folders can be viewed and edited by any of the users so it’s like you really got 49 GB free storage.  When I edit office documents, I edit them straight from skydrive as if I don’t even have a NAS.  I just use the NAS to backup my skydrive account.  You can use allwaysync on your PC to sync your skydrive folders to your NAS if you want a local copy too.  Allwaysync is free and pretty easy to use (much simplier than the methods we suggested earlier).  The only issue with that is the NAS is only backed up when your laptop is on.  I don’t find this a big deal as if everyone just edits the skydrive version, they’ll always be editing the most recent version.   Given your post you may care more but thought I’d suggest this anyway since you might not be able to buy a new drive.

Good luck.

Again … many thanks heehee62!

More good information!

I already use Allway Sync for other purpses - fantastic application!!! I actually paid for it 'cos I found it so useful!

So a combination of Skydrive, Dropbox and even WD My Cloud (!) could well work out well for me. I need to think exactly how I want to use them all!

The long and short of it is that I still find it hard to believe that WD My Cloud does not allow direct Edits - except on plain textual files.

Either I still feel they should make this obvious or make it work! Especially as it seems that ‘all’ other NAS drives support edits of all file types.

Many Thanks


   I’m curious about something.  You have said that your “Ideal” condition works fine with DropBox on iOS.

You say you can open up an office document in DropBox, make edits, and the edits are automatically saved back to dropbox?

I’m trying to figure out exactly how that can happen…   

I’ve done the same thing you’re describing.

I have an Excel file in my DropBox.   

I open the DropBox app on my iPad.

If I “Open” the Excel file in DropBox, all that happens is that it opens in a viewer – you cannot make changes.

So I “Open In” from DropBox to Numbers, and from there I can edit the spreadsheet.

However, my changes are most definitely NOT saved back to DropBox.

In order to get it back to DropBox, I have to (within Numbers) “Share & Print / Open In…” the file back to DropBox app, which then saves it back to the DropBox.

By this description, it works exactly the same way as the MyCloud app.

What am I missing?

On a separate note, if I access the files on the My Cloud NAS via the My Cloud desktop app, all files are immediately synced back to the NAS as soon as they’re closed.

My edits to the same spreadsheet are instantly saved back to the My Cloud, where I can view the changes on the iPad via the My Cloud iOS app.

John, got a hold of my sister with her android phone. No problems syncing an ms word doc back but maybe that’s cause it was all text.

What type of files were you having troubles with?

It’s android your having problems with right?

In response to the 2 latest posts from TonyPh12345 & heehee62

(Thanks for these!):


Sorry, perhaps didn’t make it clear. Everything I do is on Android (and Windows). I have no idea what does and does not work with iOS, So, it would seem that iOS operation is very different. Certainly with Dropbox on Android, I can open the Android Dropbox application, open an Excel file (In Docs2Go and/or Kingsoft Office), make edits, save them, and the modified file is saved back to DropBox … I have done this many times and can confirm that it works … in fact just repeated the test (edited on Android, edited mods immediately appeared on my Windows laptop DropBox application)

However, with WD My CLoud application, if I link my dropbox to it and try the same operation there … all edits are ‘lost’.

With regard to the My Cloud Desktop App - I was unaware of this application until recently. So in the past I have tried (unsuccessfully) to edit Office documents via the WD2Go web access … which fails abysmally … get challenged with the security login problem that WD2Go has with Office documents. So I tried the My Cloud desktop application for the first time yesterday … it would appear that this only works with the new My Cloud NAS drive and not with the older My Book Live NAS drive (which I have) - the application would not recognise my drive. Therefore, I can’t say how it works with the MyCloud desktop app - shame!


Many thanks for testing access with your sister’s android phone.

My tests (perhaps not made clear in my earlier posts) showed no problem with textual files (they are immediately uploaded by WD2Go/WD My Cloud). But all office document changes are ‘discarded’.

I guess it comes down to the fact that textual changes are made directly within the folder, whereas Office document changes are in another folder that WD2Go/WD My Cloud does not handle.

So in summary - textual files no problem; office docs (e.g. .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx) edits ‘lost’

And all my testing is on Android.


For interest?

I’ve been looking into moving all my Office type files onto Skydrive (but could be any). Then using boxcryptor to encrypt the files.

The benefits are : Boxcryptor app ensures none of the files leave my laptop/android devices without being encrypted first, Skydrive retains all files in an encrypted state on the cloud, the files are available to me on any device where I have installed boxcryptor. And ‘free’ applications exist for boxcryptor on Windows & Android (& iOS I believe) - provided you only link to 1 cloud; paid version exists otherwise.

I can then open any file and the edits are sent back to the encrypted drive automatically when the file is saved.

As a ‘backup’ / convenience I also sync the results back to my laptop (but could be NAS drive) from the unencrypted virtual drive that boxcryptor creates when it is opened - this provides me with the confidence that if Skydrive goes down (why should it?!) or boxcryptor stops working (again why should it?!) that I have all files on my laptop/NAS drive anyway as a backup.

I may decide this is more than I need! But it seemed worth investigating! May be of interest to others?


John159 wrote:

it would appear that this only works with the new My Cloud NAS drive and not with the older My Book Live NAS drive (which I have) - the application would not recognise my drive. 

I’m guessing then, that you posted this in the wrong place?  This forum is, after all, for the My Cloud NAS… :slight_smile:

Interestingly enough I originally posted this thread to WD Mobile Threads forum … but it was moved by someone (?) … guess the forum moderator? But that’s why it’s in this forum. :smiley:

John159 wrote:

it would appear that this only works with the new My Cloud NAS drive and not with the older My Book Live NAS drive (which I have) - the application would not recognise my drive. 

It works OK with my book live / mybookduo.

Hi richUK

This is embarassing … just tried again to install WD My Cloud & WD Photos on my (Gingerbread) phone

Neither needed new access code … original authorisation continued to work for both.

So what did I do different this time? No idea!

But thanks for your feedback otherwise I probably wouldn’t have tried again!


That’s odd OP.  It was a Microsoft Word document I edited with my sister’s phone which synced fine.  She has a galaxy s4 phone.

I’ll try excel next time I see her though that will be a while.  The wdcloud app let me pick another app to open the file with - I’ll look up that app name too.

It looked like the free version of allwaysync has an encryption option too.  Is it not as good as boxcryptor?  If this is the case, I’m very curious cause I may very well switch to the skydrive/MBL combo.  It’s not about your issue for me, it’s my love of the MS webapps.

Though I’m in love with the Synology mobile apps now (but don’t know if I can bring myself to spend the money).

Hi heehee62

Beginning to get confused now with results - really don’t understand how it worked for you/sister … just confirmed myself that it does not work with a Word doc file.

Be interested to know what app your sister used for office files - I’ve tried both Docs2Go and Kingsoft Office. Both fail to automatically upload changes. I’m sure you realise that you have to check the results on the NAS drive itself/another device to confirm edits have been uploaded - opening the files on the same device indicate all changes saved … that’s what is so ‘dangerous’.

And all the time I keep reminding myself that WD Support themselves stated that editing Office files will not work … he said you have to download/save to a specific location, make edits, then upload files again.

With regard to allwaysync … had not realised that it supported encryption! Whoops! But a benefit I see of Boxcryptor is it provides such an easy to use interface in both Windows & Android.

Anyway, probably better not go down that route in this discussion, since it’s a bit off topic.

Main purpose of this thread was to identify whether there is/is not a major limitation with WD My Cloud and ideally pressurise WD to make it fully functional.