Microsoft said it has fixed a bug in its Windows Live FolderShare online file storage and sharing service after users reported that the service was deleting files without user authorisation.

Microsoft sent an email to users on Friday alerting them that it has fixed a bug that may have "accidentally moved" user files from their original folders into the FolderShare Trash folder, and that users should not delete files in Trash until they ensure they were meant to be deleted. It also advised users how to retrieve deleted files from the Trash folder.

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A copy of the information sent to users has been posted on the FolderShare website.

Microsoft said it is working to assist users who have lost files on how to retrieve them. It also said that another online storage service that is also in beta, Windows Live SkyDrive, had not been affected by the bug.

Windows Live FolderShare, which allows users to store files online and then download and synchronise files to and between different devices and computers, is currently available in beta release.

Prior to being notified by Microsoft, users had been posting about the strange behaviour of Windows Live FolderShare on a Microsoft online discussion board last week.

Microsoft also sent out a notification via the discussion board to let users know about the problem and how to handle it.

Even after Microsoft said the problem with moving files to the Trash had been fixed, users on the discussion board still were reporting buggy behaviour from the service. Users noted that they were having trouble synchronising files between computers and locating directories when using the service on Windows Vista.