As announced by Microsoft at Build 2017 last month, OneDrive Placeholders are finally back. OneDrive Placeholders no longer have the same name, though — Microsoft is renaming them to OneDrive Files On-Demand which is honestly a much better and less confusing branding than OneDrive Placeholders. If you’re a Windows Insider in the Fast Ring, you can try it out right now in the latest build of Windows 10. Microsoft will roll out OneDrive Files On-Demand for the general public with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update later this year.
At the core, OneDrive Files On-Demand still works the same way as OneDrive Placeholders for the most part. Once you add your OneDrive account to your Windows 10 PC, OneDrive will show all of your files in the File Explorer — but it actually won’t download the file on your device, enabling you to save a lot of space. Instead, it will only download a file or folder once you actually open it which is very, very neat.
Now, of course, you don’t want all of your files to be online and you might want to save some files locally so that you can access them when you’re offline. To address this issue, Microsoft has added a new “Always keep on this device” option which will let you download a specific file or folder locally so that you can access them when you don’t have an internet connection. There’s also a useful column in the File Explorer where you can see the status of a certain folder or file which will let you easily identify whether a file/folder is downloaded locally or not.
OneDrive Files On-Demand is rolling out right now if you are a Windows Insider in the Fast Ring. It’ll be arriving for the public with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update this September.