OneDrive Files on Demand

Lots of goodness is rolling out presently with the Windows Fall Creator Update. OneDrive support for Files on Demand is one of those features.

OneDrive Files on Demand allows you to see all the files in your OneDrive, while not having all of them synchronized to your local device. If you run multiple laptop or desktop computers, or if your primary machine is a little short on available local storage space, or if you simply feel, like me, that a local copy is overkill for most of your files, then this feature is perfect for you.

As good as selective folder synchronization was/is, the downside was that once you chose which folders to synchronize, you tended to forget what else was already stored in the online version of OneDrive. I tended to think of my local OneDrive and my online OneDrive storage as two separate file stores, both of which needed some level of management and organizational overhead. This bothered me. In fact, from time to time I found myself duplicating a file because I was moving too quickly to double check to see if I had it already stored in an online OneDrive folder that I simply wasn’t selectively synchronizing to my laptop.

Well, OneDrive Files on Demand fixes that, as it allows me to see all of my OneDrive folders, regardless of whether I’ve selected them for local synchronization. It also allows me to choose which files within a folder are synchronized. And, if I ever need a file, it is available to me via instant download (as long as I am connected to the cloud).

So, how do you know if a file is stored locally, or whether it can be downloaded On-Demand? Check the handy icon in the windows explorer list. (see below)

OneDrive Files On-Demand requires

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 16299.15 or later) and

OneDrive build 17.3.7064.1005 or later.

First, you need to enable OneDrive Files on Demand. Right-click on your OneDrive cloud icon (you will need to do this for each OneDrive account you are using and for which you’d like to have Files on Demand enabled), and select Settings. In the Settings tab, check the box for Files On-Demand.


For an example of the file status icons, check the clouds and checkboxes below.


If you are a site administrator,

be sure to scan the blog entry here: (It’s so good, that I’ve listed it a second time in the resources list at the end).

While the above instructions are for a single individual to enable OneDrive Files on Demand for their own installation, it can also be enabled across the enterprise using Group Policy. The default (unconfigured) option is to allow each user to turn on Files on Demand. However, an Administrator can apply a Group Policy to enable Files on Demand across the board by default, or to turn it off and not allow it to be enabled.

The file modification script tool, attrib.exe, has been updated with options to enable the Freeing up of space, or the always store locally options.

I also like the available option of setting existing document libraries to support Files on Demand so that new files added to the team site document libraries are stored as on demand files by default.

Enjoy access to your OneDrive Files on Demand.

Awesome links to keep in mind:

Uservoice announcement of feature complete!

Support page describing OneDrive Files on Demand

Stephen Rose’s blog about how to Enable/Deploy OneDrive Files on Demand Across the Enterprise


Feel free to comment on this blog or contact the #O365Toolman at @owenallen with any related questions.


Categories: Administration, OneDrive

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