Almost two years after users lost the ability to see the files in their personal OneDrive cloud storage whether they were synched to the local device or not, Microsoft is bringing back their replacement and it is called OneDrive Files On-Demand.
Today during the companies annual Build developer conference, Joe Belfiore demoed the new feature during the Day Two keynote. This feature is planned as part of the upcoming and newly dubbed Fall Creators Update for Windows 10 which we all know right now as Redstone 3 while it is in development.
This feature update is expected to be available in the September time frame.
OneDrive Files On-Demand will replace one of the most popular aspects of placeholders in that you will be able to once again see your entire OneDrive cloud storage file structure without needing those files synched locally taking up storage space on your device.
If you are connected online and select a file that is not synched locally it will be downloaded so you can use it and then those changes are synched back to the cloud.
In order to make sure you have access to any of your files that are just stored in the cloud and not locally then you will need to mark them so they will be tagged to Always keep on this device. That will give you full access to them for local use and any changes will be synched back to the cloud and other devices those files are marked for local storage.
Just like with placeholders, if you fail to mark these files for local storage and then are without an internet connection, they will not be accessible until you once again have connectivity.
The biggest benefit of OneDrive Files On-Demand is that you will once again see your entire collection of files in the cloud. Under the current OneDrive services on Windows 10 only those directories/files that are explicitly marked for local sync on that device are visible.
This is a positive move forward and expands our capabilities. For the most part it also returns the functionality we had with placeholders in Windows 8.1 and earlier.
Windows Insiders will see this feature in a preview build early this summer and as I mentioned earlier, it will be available publicly as part of the Fall Creators Update.
The gallery contains images from Microsoft that shows you some of the interface features for OneDrive Files On-Demand.