Sigurd said:
Oh dear - at 81 maybe I should give up trying to download!

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Well, I've given up - life's too short!
I have a reasonably good backup routine on a backup local disc so I was able to go to that and ensure I had up to date copies of important files. Anything which wasn't up to date I looked for on cloud OneDrive and downloaded that. There weren't too many and it took me maybe an hour or so. A damn site faster that using OneDrive's download. In fact I found it faster to open the file and re-save it on a local disc. A bit tedious but faster that what I was trying to do - basically stop using OneDrive as an automatic backup. Now I only have a couple of folders on it - ones with files I might need at a meeting and need to access via my laptop.

So my advice, at the end of this lengthy thread, to anyone interested in using OneDrive is - don't use it for anymore than you have to ie Only use it for files you may need to access when away from home. Reason? If you ever want to stop using it it will be a bit of a nightmare!

My thanks to all who took part in the thread, especially TomCat.
I'm glad to see you're sorted. That is a very good point, though. OneDrive is not intended, and never was, to be a "Backup" system. Simply (?) a synced file cloud service for use on the go with multiple devices. It was engineered that way.