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October 18, 2017

OneDrive – Happy Files On Demand Day

What is OneDrive Files On Demand?

It’s finally here and we could not be happier.  OneDrive Files on Demand is the return of a feature that OneDrive once had but didn’t quite work out.  Since then OneDrive has undergone major changes, and it’s only gotten better, glad to see this feature back. This feature allows someone to have all the OneDrive files showing up as placeholders on their computer, without occupying all the disk space. You can pick and choose what files you want on your computer and which you just want placeholders for.  We say placeholders, but if you were to browse the files and folders in Windows Explorer, you would not know which are stored locally and which are stored only in the cloud, it’s that seamless. This means you can browse all your files stored on OneDrive, but not take up the space on your local hard drive.  Once you open a file it automatically downloads it for you.

How do you get this new functionality for OneDrive?

To get OneDrive Files on Demand you need at least Windows 10 OS build 16299.19 that Microsoft started rolling out today.  The OneDrive client version 2017 (Build 17.3.7073.1013) and of course a OneDrive account, either Personal or Business.

How to get the Fall Creator’s Update if you do not see it in your windows update?

You can get the fall creator’s update from this Microsoft site https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10.
You will need to click on the update button as show here:


then go through the steps of updating:

  • Click “Yes” to Do you want to allow this app to make changes…
  • Click “Update Now” to Update to the latest version of Windows 10
  • Windows will check for minimum requirements, CPU, Memory and Disk space, If all checks pass, click next
  • Next your computer will begin the update, this will take some time
  • After the update completes, either wait 30 mins for the reboot or click Restart

Fall Creator Update Installed be no OneDrive Files on Demand?

Ok the Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update is installed but no Files on Demand? What gives? After installing the Windows Fall Creator’s Update you may not see Files On Demand available yet.  You may still need to install the latest OneDrive client which is not the one posted on the OneDrive download page.  Instead you can download it from Microsoft here . Can you just install the new client without the fall creator update?  No it will not work, you need Windows 10 OS build 16299.19 or newer.

Turn on Files On Demand

To turn Files On Demand on, open up OneDrive.  If you have not added an account you will be prompted to do so by signing in. You can add one Personal Account and multiple Work Accounts, to ensure you do not download all your files locally, uncheck all your files when you are asked which files to sync. After you have done this, right click the OneDrive icon and click settings, then go to the “settings” tab, now check “save space and download files as you use them” click ok.  If you do not see this option, either your version of Windows 10 is not correct or your version of OneDrive is not correct.  Please double check the versions in section “How do you get this new functionality for OneDrive?”.  After clicking ok all your files will show up in windows explorer under OneDrive.

If you do not see the below option, you do not have the right versions of Windows 10 or OneDrive installed.

 

What Problems does OneDrive Files on Demand aim to solve?

In short local disk space. Nowadays with laptops and surface devices, your typical internal hard drive is usually around 250 gigs, good size, but not if you are working with large files, photos, videos etc.  With internal hard drives, there is always a risk your drive will get corrupted, damaged or you lose your device.

With OneDrive Files on Demand, you can save all your files to the cloud (OneDrive) then access them with Windows Explorer like you would with any local files.  The experience once the client is installed is the same.  OneDrive allows for 1 TB of disk space, this is a lot and as indicated most laptops do not have this much internal storage.  You interact with your files via Windows Explorer, you will see what files are saved locally by a green checkbox icon and which are not with a cloud icon.  Simply right click any file(s) or folder to either keep them locally (Clicking always keep on this device) or keep them in the cloud only (Clicking free up disk space). Opening any file from windows explorer will automatically download the file locally.

Prior to OneDrive Files on Demand, if you wanted to browse all your files stored on OneDrive without downloading them, you had to map your OneDrive. For any of us who have done this, it’s not the best of experiences, especially if you have multiple work accounts.  Another option was to browse them via the web.

Another problem OneDrive aims to solve is doing away with file servers for user’s files in the corporate world. Microsoft recently introduced ways to deploy a Window 10 computer to a new employee that will automatically configure OneDrive Files On Demand and map that user’s My Documents to OneDrive. I will dig deeper into this on a future blog.

Below we see the options for right clicking on a file. As well under status, you can green checkbox for files stored locally and a cloud icon for files stored only on the cloud.

What Operating Systems are Supported?

Only Windows 10 with the Fall Creator Update.

Is SharePoint Supported?

SharePoint online is supported for OneDrive Files on Demand, but SharePoint Server (SharePoint on premises) is not. SharePoint Server 2019 will support this, so it will be some time.

Enjoy OneDrive Files On Demand, we know we do:)

If you have any questions, leave us a comment or contact us via our contact form. We’d love to hear from you.

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About Robby Garon

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