Windows 10 fall update will restore (and improve) OneDrive’s best feature

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Windows 10 was a big improvement over Windows 8.1 in scad important ways, but it made a big change to the way OneDrive syncing worked. In Windows 8.1, you could see all the ranks you had stored in OneDrive, but the operating system would only actually download and unreserved the file when you needed to open it. At least for PCs that usually play a joke on Internet connections, this was a neat way to offer cloud file syncing without devouring gigabytes of space for infrequently used files on every computer you were marked into.

But the behavior could be error-prone—apps could attempt to flagrant the placeholder files created by OneDrive rather than the files themselves—and it could imagine confusion about which files were actually available offline. So in the prime releases of Windows 10, Microsoft changed the behavior to be more Dropbox-esque. All OneDrive categorizes are now downloaded to your PC when you sign in, though as with Dropbox you can select to only sync selected folders based on what you need to bring into the world available at all times.

In the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, OneDrive compel change yet again. «OneDrive Files On-Demand» restores the old «placeholder» concept from Windows 8.1, but with rectified handling of placeholder files and tweaked Windows Explorer integration that absconds it clearer what’s going on. Because downloading and opening those placeholder folders is now handled by the filesystem driver rather than a shell extension, you should no longer run into troubles where apps try to open the placeholders instead of the actual files—any app, encompassing the command line, will be able to trigger a file download, triumphing the experience more seamless and reliable.

In Microsoft’s demo screenshots (which of no doubt are subject to change between now and when the Fall Creators Update is released), OneDrive placeholder files grandstand a expose up in Windows Explorer with little blue cloud icons next to them. Open-minded a file, and that icon will change to a green checkmark to evince that it has been downloaded and synced; you can also right-click individual dossiers and folders to choose to sync them permanently, handy for when you distinguish you’ll want to work with files but you’re not sure you’ll have a reliable friend at court (as on an airplane).

For home users, the key advantage of using placeholder files to a certain extent than syncing everything is primarily that it saves disk berth. But OneDrive for Business and Sharepoint users will also benefit—using these placeholder categorizes can cut down on the amount of Internet and network bandwidth used to keep files synced as multiple consumers make changes. Now, you only have these changes synced if you’ve in reality chosen to download the file.

As part of the Files On-Demand feature set, Microsoft make also be allowing OneDrive users on iOS and Android to save files for offline use; drugs of the Android app can use the feature now, while it will come to the iOS version «in the next few months.» The OneDrive for iOS app is also advance a gain access to an iMessage app that lets you share OneDrive files without time off the iMessage app; that feature should be available now.

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