Sign in with Microsoft
Sign in or create an account.
Save disk space with OneDrive Files On-Demand for Windows

OneDrive Files On-Demand helps you access all the files in your cloud storage in OneDrive without having to download them and use storage space on your computer.

When you turn on Files On-Demand, you’ll still see all your files as online-only files in File Explorer, but they won't take up space. When you’re connected to the Internet, you’ll be able to use the files like every other file on your device.

You can also select files and folders to be always available, even if you're offline. OneDrive will download them, and they'll take up space on your PC.

With OneDrive Files On-Demand, you can:

  • Save space on your device by making files online only

  • Set files and folders to be always available locally on your device

  • See important information about files, such as whether they are shared

  • See thumbnails of over 300 different file types even if you don’t have the required application installed to open it

Your files will have these statuses in File Explorer:

Blue cloud icon indicating an online-only OneDrive file

A blue cloud icon next to a OneDrive file or folder indicates that the file is only available online. Online-only files don’t take up space on your computer. You see a cloud icon for each online-only file in File Explorer, but the file doesn’t download to your device until you open it. You can’t open online-only files when your device isn’t connected to the Internet.

Green check icon indicating a locally available OneDrive file

When you open an online-only file, it downloads to your device and becomes a locally available file. You can open a locally available file anytime, even without Internet access. If you need more space, you can change the file back to online only. Just right-click the file and select “Free up space.”

With Storage Sense turned on, these files will become online-only files after the time period you've selected.

Green circle icon indicating an always-available OneDrive file

Only files that you mark as "Always keep on this device" have the green circle with the white check mark. These always available files download to your device and take up space, but they’re always there for you even when you’re offline.

Make sure you’re signed in to OneDrive on your device. Files On-Demand settings are unique to each device, so make sure you turn it on for each device where you want to use it.

Open OneDrive settings (select the OneDrive cloud icon in your notification area, and then select the OneDrive Help and Settings icon then Settings.)

Note: An update to OneDrive Settings is gradually rolling out to users, starting in September 2022. Learn more.

  1. Select Save space and download files as you use them box.

  1. Select Sync and back up, then Advanced settings,

  2. Then choose how you want to access your files.

  1. Right-click a file or folder.

  2. Select Always keep on this device or Free up space.

    Conceptual image of menu of options when you right-click a OneDrive file from File Explorer

Notes: 

  • New files or folders created online or on another device appear as online-only to save maximum space. However, if you mark a folder as "Always keep on this device," new files in that folder download to your device as always available files.

  • If a folder is online-only, you can still mark individual files within that folder as always available.

  • Desktop search can search for online-only files by name, but it cannot search the contents within online-only files because they aren't stored on the device.

Frequently asked questions

Files On-Demand requires version Windows 10 1709 or later, or Windows Server 2019, and OneDrive build 17.3.7064.1005 or later.

Files On-Demand might not be compatible with some third-party antivirus solutions.

Files On-Demand is not yet supported when WIP is enabled.

Files On-Demand works with all your personal and work files from OneDrive, SharePoint in Microsoft 365, and SharePoint Server 2019 team sites.

Yes, you can move online-only files within your OneDrive folder for that OneDrive account. When you move files outside that OneDrive folder, the files download to the new folder and are removed from your OneDrive. 

With your files and folders in the OneDrive cloud backup, if you accidentally delete something, you can restore them from your OneDrive recycle bin.

When you delete an online-only file from your device, you delete it from your OneDrive on all devices and online. You can restore deleted files and folders from your OneDrive recycle bin on the web for up to 30 days for items stored in OneDrive personal (when you're signed in with a Microsoft account), or for up to 93 days for items stored in OneDrive for work or school or SharePoint in Microsoft 365 (when you're signed in with a work or school account). If you delete a locally available file, it also appears in your device recycle bin.

If you want to hide a folder on your device, see Choose a folder to hide on your device.

No, changing a file to online-only doesn't delete it from your OneDrive. The file no longer takes up space on your device, and you will still be able to see the file from OneDrive mobile apps or on the website.

First, make sure you don't have Windows Information Protection (WIP), previously known as enterprise data protection (EDP) configured on your computer. Files On-Demand is not yet supported when WIP is enabled.

If you aren't seeing the Files On-Demand options, the latest version of OneDrive hasn't rolled out to you yet. Here's how to get the latest version of OneDrive.

  1. Make sure you're running Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 16299.15 or later).

  2. Download and install the latest version of OneDrive that's rolling out with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

  3. Restart your computer.

  4. After your computer restarts, select the Start button, search for “OneDrive”, and then select the OneDrive desktop app.

  5. When OneDrive Setup starts, enter your personal account, or your work or school account, and then select Sign in.

  6. Follow the instructions to Turn on Files On-Demand.

Learn more

Need more help?

Contact support icon

Contact Support
For help with your Microsoft account and subscriptions, visit Account & Billing Help.

For technical support, go to Contact Microsoft Support, enter your problem and select Get Help. If you still need help, select Contact Support to be routed to the best support option.

Work or school badge

Admins
Admins should view Help for OneDrive Admins, the OneDrive Tech Community or contact Microsoft 365 for business support.

Tip: IT Admin should read OneDrive Files On-Demand for Enterprise. 

Need more help?

Expand your skills
Explore Training
Get new features first
Join Microsoft Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Thank you for your feedback!

×