Last Updated: 19-10-2018

Overview

You need to be running the Windows 10 Fall Creators update (v 1709) in order to have this feature.

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 device.

When you turn on Files On-Demand, you’ll see all your files in File Explorer and get new information about each file. New files created online or on another device appear as online-only files, which don’t take up space on your device. When you’re connected to the Internet, you’ll be able to use the files like every other file on your device.

This article will cover:

You can also read Microsoft's documentation Learn about OneDrive Files On-Demand if the information you require isn't covered by this article.

  

What's the difference between Locally Availbale Files and Always Available Files?

Microsoft explain about the different statuses fairly well in their Learn about OneDrive Files On-Demand article, but you might appreciate a little extra clarification of the difference between locally available files and always available files.

Your files will have these statuses in File Explorer:

Conceptual image of an online only file

Online-only files

Online-only files don’t take up space on your computer. You see a cloud icon for each online-only file in File Explorer, but the file doesn’t download to your device until you open it. You can’t open online-only files when your device isn’t connected to the Internet.

Conceptual image of a locally available file

Locally available files

When you open an online-only file, it downloads to your device and becomes a locally available file. You can open a locally available file anytime, even without Internet access.

That means it is cached and available offline, but it might be removed if free disk space gets low. Unless you have a computer that is particularly short of disk space, or you intend to sync a huge amount of files in the future, it is likely these files will remain always available offline for you. However, if you want to be certain the file will always be available offline, you can right click on the file and choose Always keep on this device from the drop-down menu.

If you need more space, you can change the file back to online only. Just right-click the file and select “Clear space.”

Conceptual image of an always available file

Always available files

Only files that you mark as "Always keep on this device" have the green circle with the white check mark. These files download to your device and take up space, but they’re always there for you even when you’re offline. This is similar to Locally Available Files, but you are guaranteed these files will always be available offline and won't be removed if disk space is low, or for any other reason.

You should mark files that you know you definitely want to be available always, online or offline, as Always keep on this device.

If you need more space, you can change the file back to online only. Just right-click the file and select “Clear space.”

 

How to turn the Files on Demand feature On or Off

 

Click the blue OneDrive cloud icon in your system tray area OneDrive Sync Client Icon
Click More > Settings OneDrive Sync Client Settings

To Turn Files on Demand Off

Select the Settings tab

If you want to turn off Files on Demand, clear the check box besides Save space and Download files as you use them.

You will receive a warning that "All OneDrive Files and Folders will be Download to this PC" Click OK

Click OK on the main settings dialog box

 

If this box is greyed out, then Files on Demand is being managed by your network administrator using Group Policy. You will need to speak to that person if you need to change the setting.

 Turn off files on demand

 To Turn Files on Demand On

Select the Settings tab

If you want to turn on Files on Demand, select the check box besides Save space and Download files as you use them.

Click OK on the main settings dialog box

You will now be able to chnage the availabilty status of your files as explained below. Please be aware that this now means that you may find some files are not available when you are offline.

 

If this box is greyed out, then Files on Demand is being managed by your network administrator using Group Policy. You will need to speak to that person if you need to change the setting.

 Turn on files on demand

  NOTE: Files On-Demand settings are unique to each device, so make sure you turn it on for each device where you want to use it.

 

 How to Change Whether a File or Folder is Available Offline 

Right-click a file or folder in your OneDrive

To mark a file as Online-only (Blue cloud icon) click on Clear Space

To mark a file as Always Available (solid green circle) click on Always keep on this device

 

Select if a file will be online only or always available

If you mark a file as Always Available (solid green circle), you will also see that there is a tick beside 'Always keep on this device' on the context menu. If you click Always keep on this device again it will clear that tick and the status will change to a clear green circle containing a green tick, meaning the file is 'locally available'. That means it is cached and available offline, but it might be removed if free disk space gets low. Always on device menu tick

  

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