Turn local OneDrive files to on-demand files automatically
Microsoft plans to launch a new OneDrive storage feature in the next feature update for Windows 10, out September/October 2018, that turns local OneDrive files to on-demand files automatically when the files are not accessed for a set period of time.
The company launched OneDrive's files on-demand feature just last year; it is the classic placeholder feature that displays all files hosted on OneDrive locally even if the files are not available locally.
A placeholder image takes up little space and visualizes to the user which files are available. Windows indicates whether files are locally available or online, and will download any file that is only available on OneDrive servers when the user requests them.
The new option to remove local OneDrive files automatically to replace them with placeholder icons has been added to the storage options on Windows 10. The feature is available only in recent Insider Builds and not stable versions of Windows 10. Microsoft plans to integrate it in the next version of Windows 10, version 1809, though.
While that is no guarantee that the feature will indeed be a part of the next feature update, chance is high right now that it will be.
Note: the feature is enabled by default and set to 30 days. Whether that is the case only during testing or will be part of the stable release as well remains to be seen.
Here is how you configure the feature:
- Use the keyboard shortcut Windows-I to open the Settings application.
- Select System > Storage in the app.
- Locate "Change how we free up space automatically" and click on the link. You find it under Storage sense.
- Scroll down to the Files On-Demand section on the page that opens and click on the field.
- You can set the interval to never, 1 day, 14 days, 30 days, or 60 days.
If you don't want the feature to kick in at all, meaning you want all local OneDrive files to remain available, then you should set it to never as this blocks the automatic conversion from local to on-demand files.
Any local OneDrive file that is not accessed for the selected time period is turned into an on-demand file otherwise.
The feature could use an option to exclude folders from the cleanup. A whitelist of sorts that keeps files that reside in selected folders always on the local drive even if they are not accessed within the cleanup period.
Microsoft announced other new features for OneDrive back in 2017.
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