Windows Insiders Can Now Test OneDrive Files on Demand

Isaac Cain
June 14, 2017

Earlier today, Microsoft announced the availability of OneDrive Files On-Demand for Windows Insiders that are running PC build 16215.

You'll also notice a new status column, which tells you the status of each individual item in your OneDrive.

If you're not familiar, Files On-Demand is a replacement for the deprecated placeholder functionality that was in Windows 8.1. Do mind that you must have the latest Windows 10 Insider Build 16215.

We've thrown together a quick video which demonstrates how On-Demand Sync works, and why it's a better solution than the current way OneDrive handles documents. You'll be able to open online files from within desktop or Windows Store apps using the Windows file picker. Guess you'll have to wait a little bit longer. Have you managed to get OneDrive On-Demand placeholders working on your test device? To address this issue, Microsoft has added a new "Always keep on this device" option which will let you download a specific file or folder locally so that you can access them when you don't have an internet connection. The new sync client seems to crash a lot, and I was completely unable to use it to sync the screen recording.

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Available on this device. An outlined green checkmark means items are synced to a device and can be accessed offline, a solid green checkmark shows files manually synced for offline use, and a cloud outline shows files that are stored in the cloud and aren't on your device.

Available when online. The empty cloud icon next to the 2012 folder indicates that that item (and in this case, its contents) are all in the cloud. You can, of course, later right-click it and choose "Free up space" if you would prefer it to stay offline-only.

These icons appear next to any item, regardless of what view you're in.

Microsoft will be introducing On-Demand Sync with the Fall Creators Update later this year.

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