OneDrive is the online document storage solution created by Microsoft which comes bundled as a free service with Windows 10. It can be used to store your documents and other data online in the cloud. It also offers synchronization of stored data across all your devices. "Files on-demand" is a feature of OneDrive which can display placeholder versions of online files in your local OneDrive directory even if they were not synchronized and downloaded. In recent Windows 10 versions, you can automatically make your downloaded files in OneDrive online-only if you haven’t used them for a certain number of days.
As you may already know, the Files On-Demand feature is not a part of the core operating system. It is a feature of the bundled OneDrive software in Windows 10. See the following article:
Once the Files on Demand feature is enabled, File Explorer will show the following overlay icons for files in the cloud.
These are online files only, which are not stored on your computer.
File placeholders will have the following icon.
When you open such a file, OneDrive will download it to your device and make it locally available. You can open a locally available file anytime, even without Internet access.
Finally, the following overlay icon will be used for always-available files.
Only the files that you mark as "Always keep on this device" have a green circle with a white check mark. These files will always be available even when you're offline. They are downloaded to your device and occupy space.
Automatically Make OneDrive Files On-Demand Online-Only in Windows 10
Starting in Windows 10 version 1809 (build 17692 and above), you can make certain OneDrive files on-demand online only. If you haven't used certain files for a certain number of days, OneDrive can remove their local copies, giving back more free space on your disk drive.
To automatically make OneDrive files on-demand online-only, do the following.
- Open the Settings app.
- Go to System -> Storage
- On the right, click on the link Change how we free up space automatically under Storage sense.
- On the next page, configure the option Files On-Demand. You can set it to Never, 1 day, 14 days, 30 days or 60 days.
You are done.
Alternatively, you can configure this option by applying a Registry tweak. Here is how.
Make OneDrive Files On-Demand Online-Only With a Registry Tweak
Before proceeding, find the SID value for your user account. Refer to the article View User Account Details in Windows 10 for All Users. In short, open a new command prompt and run the following command:
wmic useraccount list full
This will populate the full list of user accounts in Windows 10 with all their details.
Note the SID value for your account.
Now, do the following.
- Open the Registry Editor app.
- Go to the following Registry key.
Replace the OneDrive!S-1-5-21-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXXX portion with your actual SID value. Also, see how to go to a Registry key with one click.
- To set the feature to "Never", set both 02 and 128 32-bit DWORD values to 0 on the right.
- To set the feature to a number of days, set the 02 parameter to 1. Now, set the 128 parameter to the number of days. Supported values are 1, 14, 30 , or 60. Enter the new values in decimals.
- To make the changes done by the Registry tweak take effect, you need to sign out and sign in to your user account.
Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value. Create any missing value manually.