Folks who have been using OneDrive for years should remember when it had a neat placeholder feature. For some odd reason, Microsoft took it away, but that’s not a problem anymore because it’s coming back via the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
Well, it can be used right now for those who are part of the latest Windows 10 Insider Build version. The official new name is Files On-Demand, and it works well so far, but there needs to be more testing to make sure it’s ready for prime time when the Fall Creators Update comes around.
OneDrive Files On-Demand feature
You’ll need to wait for Windows 10 Creators Update or install the latest Windows 10 Insider Build. To do this, go to Settings, Update & security, then Windows Insider Program. After updating to the latest build from either the Slow Ring or the Fast Ring.
Now that you’re on the right version of Windows 10 let’s talk about using the Files On Demand feature. Bear in mind; it’s not activated by default, so you’ll have to right-click on the OneDrive icon via the Windows taskbar, and click on Settings.
If the Settings tab is not selected by default, simply switch to it. Now then, it’s time to locate the Files On-Demand feature. It sits below Notifications, so you’ll need to tick the box, then select OK and move on from there.
The change goes active right away, which means, Microsoft OneDrive will no longer download files if the service is currently transferring data to the computer. From here on, OneDrive will display files and folders from your account in a placeholder setting on the computer.
Basically, the folders and files are visible but are of no use since they are not on the computer.
To download these files and folders to the PC, double-click on the file and it will automatically download itself to the local system.
Icons you need to know about
There are three overlay icons that you need to know about. A file with the cloud icon indicates the file is not available on the local computer. To get it on the computer, double-click the file, and that’s it. The next icon is a green check mark, which means, the file is stored on the computer and can be accessed even without an Internet connection. The final icon is a white check mark, which indicates the file is saved locally and is set to “always keep on this device.” Additionally, these files can also be accessed without connecting to the web.
To be able to use this features, you will have to wait for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update to be offered to you on October 17th.