How To Use Files On-Demand Feature In OneDrive

The Files On-Demand feature in OneDrive can free up local space occupied by files and also help in prioritize storing of essential files.

Here is how to use it :

Right click on OneDrive icon from system tray and click Settings.

OneDrive settings option

Next, go to Settings tab and enable the option Save space and download files as you use them.

enabling Files On-Demand in OneDrive

Once enabled, there will be a Status column next to all the OneDrive files with 3 different types of icons.

files status after enabling Files On-Demand

Let’s take a look at how this works. The 3 icons indicate that files are any of the following categories:

Online-only : These files are marked with a cloud icon.

online-only files in OneDrive


They are files that are created online (not on local device that is currently used to access OneDrive) or on other devices. Accessing these Online-only files would require Internet connectivity. Once these files are downloaded, they will become locally available.

online-only files in OneDrive

Locally available : These are marked with a green tick in a circle.

locally available files in OneDrive

Any of the files which are either accessed locally or created locally come in this category.

files that are marked as locally available in OneDrive

So a file that is online-only and is opened on the current device becomes a locally available file which can be accessed anytime.

To remove these files from device, right click on them and select Free up space.

remove locally stored OneDrive files

These would then be again converted to Online-only.

Always available : These files are marked with a solid green tick in a dark circle.

always available files in OneDrive

Such files are available anytime on local device and take up disk space. They too can be accessed without Internet.

To make any of the files Always available, right click on them and select Always keep on this device.

making a file as always available in OneDrive

To stop making them Always available, uncheck it and they would be converted back to locally available.

converting always available files to locally available

Folders too can be marked the same way. However, individual files in folder can be of a different type than the folder. So, even if  a folder is marked as Online-only, the files in it can be locally available or always available. Important files can be marked as Always Available so that they are stored locally and can be accessed anytime from devices while the remaining can either be Online-only or Locally Available.

Overall this is a good feature to have in OneDrive as it allows a granular control in managing files.

Happy marking.

Comments are closed.