Microsoft retires OneDrive's Fetch Files feature

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 14, 2020
File Sharing, Internet

Microsoft plans to remove the Fetch Files feature from its OneDrive desktop client at the end of July 2020. The feature allows OneDrive users to transfer files directly from another computer linked to the account from the OneDrive website.

The feature supports network locations and regular locations for the fetching of files, but requires that the PC hosting the data is online at the time of the request. Additionally, the PC needs to be connected to the Internet, OneDrive needs to be running on the device, and the Fetch Files feature needs to have been activated previously.

To activate the feature, users have to open the OneDrive Settings and check the "Let me use OneDrive to fetch any of my files on this PC" option.

Tip: check out OneDrive's Personal Vault feature.

onedrive fetch files

The support page of the Fetch Files feature has been updated recently. The update informs users that Microsoft will remove the Fetch Files feature from the OneDrive client.

After July 31, 2020, you will no longer be able to fetch files from your PC. However, you can sync files and folders to OneDrive and then access those files from your web browser or your phone. To automatically sync the Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders on your PC, you can turn on OneDrive PC folder backup.

Microsoft does not reveal why the feature is being removed; a possible explanation is that it is not popular. OneDrive users have to seek it out actively to enable it in the client's settings, and it is necessary that the PC is online when the feature is used.

Microsoft suggests that users sync all important files to the OneDrive cloud to access the files directly from the cloud using a web browser on a desktop system or a mobile device.

The problem with the suggestion is that users had that option all the time. It may not have been practicable for some, e.g. when the data on devices would exceed the available OneDrive storage limit, or when data that should not be stored in the cloud all the time needed to be accessed.

OneDrive users who use the feature won't be able to do so anymore after July 31, 2020.

Now You: Do you use a file synchronization service? (via Born)

Microsoft retires OneDrive's Fetch Files feature
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Microsoft retires OneDrive's Fetch Files feature
Microsoft plans to remove the Fetch Files feature from its OneDrive desktop client at the end of July 2020.
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  1. James said on December 29, 2022 at 2:24 am

    Nice Thanks for the service and you are doing well Martin

  2. Jeff said on July 15, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Remember Live Mesh? It had such a Fetch feature which carried over to OneDrive. Oh well you can just use Bittorrent protocol and forget Microsoft services for such things. uTorrent, qBitTorrent or the old now discontinued BitTorrent Sync all still work.

  3. Anon said on July 14, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    “Microsloth giveth….”

  4. h said on July 14, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    They definitely haven’t removed it so people pay for extra OneDrive storage ;-}

  5. chesscanoe said on July 14, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    Is a comparable Fetch File function available for Google Drive?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 14, 2020 at 1:30 pm

      I don’t use Google’s service actively but I don’t think that it supports such a feature.

  6. anona said on July 14, 2020 at 10:54 am

    I didn’t know this feature existed! It’s actually really cool. A shame they’re ending it.

    1. Harro Glööckler said on July 14, 2020 at 12:09 pm

      Same as with Groove Music’s Onedrive streaming of own mp3s…we always find out about cool features after they’re being killed off.

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