OneDrive has just gotten better with the addition of "OneDrive Files On-Demand." This is a great feature that I’m extremely excited about and love using. It allows you to see your entire OneDrive, and access all the files and folders you store there, directly from File Explorer. However, this functionality used to be standard in Windows 8 (then called "Place Holders"), but for whatever reason and without warning, Microsoft took it away from us and in its place implemented a selective folder sync capability which was nowhere even close to comparable.
Now that it’s back, this new version, called Files On-Demand, Microsoft claims to have fixed all the issues that apparently plagued Place Holders (though I never experienced them) and it’s supposed to work better and faster than ever.
Here’s how to get started:
- Select the OneDrive icon in the system tray, open the application and click on settings
- Enable the option "Save space and download files as you use them."
- After enabling the function, OneDrive will require a bit of time to sync your complete cloud-based file listing to your computer. But after its done, you can go to OneDrive in File Explorer to see all the OneDrive folders you’ve chosen to sync to your computer available offline. Also, there’s a new Status column, available in the OneDrive folders, which indicates whether each file or folder is "available when online," "available on this device," or "sync pending."
If you’re a OneDrive user (if not, you should be!), there’s no good reason not to be using this feature. So, do yourself a favor and start using it now!