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May 11, 2017

OneDrive Files On-Demand will finally only download your files when you need them

by John_A

Microsoft is finally implementing a feature in OneDrive that could be forgiven for thinking existed already.

OneDrive Files On-Demand will store all of your data in the cloud and only download it when you actually want to use relevant files.

At present, your OneDrive cloud storage syncs files across your devices, meaning it stores a copy of each file or entire folder on every device you use to access them – clogging up storage space on your hardware.

You can choose which files and folders to sync and which to remain in the cloud, via the settings (or preferences on Mac), but you still have to have entire copies sat on your hard drive of those ticked.

While that’s great when you have the space and you want to access your stored content quickly – and offline – it’s a pain when you are a heavy file user.

With Files On-Demand you can choose to keep everything in the cloud with OneDrive only downloading the required data when needed. A new status icon will show whether a file is available locally or needs to be downloaded from the cloud first, in case you need to use the service offline.

The feature will be part of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, coming for developers in September. There will be several other new features too, which will be rolled out to full consumer versions of Windows 10 after.

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