How to Set Up OneDrive Files On Demand

OneDrive Files On-Demand, in the words of Microsoft, allows users to access all their files on the cloud without having to download them and use storage space on their device. All files, online and offline, are viewed in File Explorer similar to other files on your computer.

This feature was made available to Windows Insiders on Build 16215, so if you are running an earlier build, you may want to perform an update to ensure that this feature is available to you. In this guide, we will describe the steps to set up and use OneDrive Files On-Demand.

Enable Files On-Demand
1. Click on the OneDrive cloud icon in the Windows notification area at the bottom right of the Desktop.

2. Select the Settings (Gear) icon.

3. In the Microsoft OneDrive dialog box, click on the settings tab then tick the “Save space and download files as you use them” checkbox.

Now that Files On-Demand files is enabled, you will begin to see status icons next to your OneDrive or SharePoint files in File Explorer.

Online-only files - Online-only files are stored in the cloud and will not utilize your device’s local storage until you download the file to open it. These files are only available when your device is connected to the internet.

Locally available files - When you double-click an Online-only file it will download to your device and become a Locally available file. Locally available files are available offline and will take up storage space.

Always available files – These files, similar to Locally available files, are always available offline and take up local storage space as well.

Make Files Available Online
You can make files available online by either
1. Double-clicking an Online-only file to download it to your device, making it a Locally available file or
2. Changing the status to an Always available file by right-clicking one or more files and selecting “Always keep on this device” from the list of options.

Make Files Available Offline
If you desire to free up space, you can change the files to Online-only files by right-clicking one or more files and selecting “Free up space” from the list of options.

The files will now be marked with the cloud icon and still be visible in File Explorer. However, you will need an internet connection to open them.