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Files on-demand in Windows 10

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OneDrive Files On-Demand helps you access all your files in OneDrive without having to download all of them and use storage space on your Windows device. With Files On-Demand, files will be stored online, but you will browse through them and open them using File Explorer on your computer, exactly like you do now with the files on your hard drive

Your files will have these statuses in File Explorer:

Online-only files – This icon will indicate that the file is currently stored in the cloud and it will not consume any space on the local machine. Opening the file will download it from the cloud and the file will only be available if you are connected to the Internet.

Locally available files – once you have opened the file once, it will have this status. The latest version of the file will always be available on your device and the file will be able to be used without an internet connection. You can stop the file from being stored on your device and put it back in the Online-only status, by right-clicking on the file and select “Free up space”.

Always Available – This status can be used to ensure the latest copy of the file is always stored on your computer and can be used without an internet connection.

How to turn on Files on Demand

1. Select the white or blue OneDrive cloud icon in the Windows taskbar notification area. (Note: If you can’t see the icon, you can click on Show hidden icons or make sure that you are logged in to the OneDrive. Check Tips & Tricks # 30 Microsoft OneDrive)

2. Right click on OneDrive icon and select Settings.

3. There will be a window that will appear. Click on “Settings” tab. Make sure that “Files On-Demand” is checked.

Important: Files On-Demand settings are unique to each device, so you may need to do this on each device where you want to keep a folder hidden.

How to make files or folders available for offline use

Note: Assuming that OneDrive folder is open

1. Select and right click on the preferred file/folder. Select “always keep on this device”.

2. Notice that the status of the file is changed into a solid green circle with a check on it.

Free up space and remove local copies of files,

  1. If you want to free up your storage, select the preferred file/folder and right click on it. Select free up space.

2. Notice that the status of the file is changed into a blue cloud icon.


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