OneDrive Files On-Demand is a cool feature available in Windows 10 to access your OneDrive account files without downloading them to your PC.
The Files On-Demand feature is a very useful feature, especially for users who have tens of GBs of data in their OneDrive cloud accounts but running out of space on their PCs.
With OneDrive Files On-Demand, you can see all these OneDrive files in Windows 10 File Explorer (OneDrive folder) without actually downloading them. However, the online-only files or OneDrive files that are not using space on your PC cannot be opened without an active internet connection.
You might be thinking how to recognize an online-only file? And online-only file shows a cloud icon on it as you can see in the picture above.
When you open an online-only file by double-clicking on it, it downloads to your PC. The online-only file becomes locally-available file now. This means that you can open or edit this locally-available file when your PC is offline as well. If you want to free up space by making this file online-only again, simply right-click on it and then click Free up space option.
In short, Files On-Demand feature avoids storing files on your PC but allows you access when required.
If you are wondering what happens when you delete a file, please remember that when you delete an online-only file from one of your devices, it will be removed from all of your devices. If you want to restore, you can restore deleted files from OneDrive’s recycle bin for up to 30 days (from the date of deletion). And when you delete a locally available file, it appears in your OneDrive recycle bin as well as Windows recycle bin.
Turn on or off OneDrive Files On-Demand in Windows 10
Here is how to enable or disable OneDrive Files On-Demand feature in Windows 10.
Step 1: Right-click on the OneDrive icon in the notification area of taskbar and then click Settings option. If you cannot see the OneDrive icon, click the small up arrow icon on the taskbar to see hidden icons.
Step 2: In the Microsoft OneDrive dialog, switch to the Settings tab by clicking on the same.
Step 3: Finally, select Save space and download files as you use them option checkbox. Click OK button to enable Files On-Demand feature on your PC.
To disable Files On-Demand, uncheck Save space and download files as you use them option. Click OK button.