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One of the highlight features coming as part of the Windows 10 Falls Creators Update later this year is called OneDrive Files On-Demand. As its name implies, the feature lets you access all your files in the cloud without having to download them and use storage space on your device. All your files, whether offline or online, will be viewable in Windows 10’s File Explorer and will work just like every other file on your device. Coming to Windows Insiders “early this summer,” the functionality just so happens to be the most-requested OneDrive item on Microsoft’s UserVoice site.
Files On-Demand also allows you to open online files from within desktop and Windows Store apps using the Windows file picker. Selecting the file you want to open in file picker will automatically download and open it in your app. Furthermore, online files will automatically download and become locally available when you need them — just double-click a file in File Explorer or open it from within an app. File Explorer is also getting new status icons to show whether your files are locally available files or online files. You’ll also be able to make files or folders always available by right-clicking and selecting “Always keep on this device.”
The feature also extends to organizations and IT admins working with SharePoint Online team sites. When someone syncs a SharePoint Online team site today, files are re-downloaded on all synced devices whenever anyone makes a change. Files On-Demand will reduce network bandwidth by eliminating the need to continuously sync shared files on every synced device as teams collaborate.
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Next, OneDrive Offline Folders have arrived for Android users (Google Play) with an Office 365 Personal subscription, Office 365 Home subscription, or OneDrive business account. And iOS users will get offline folders “in the next few months.”
As you might expect, offline access lets you save folders to your mobile device and open them when you don’t have an internet connection (select a folder and tap the Parachute icon to make a folder and its contents available offline). Changes made to the files by other users while you’re offline will automatically be updated when you have an internet connection again.
Lastly, OneDrive for iMessage lets you share documents and photos with friends and family without leaving your iMessage conversation. Shared documents and photos can be previewed automatically. iOS users can try this now by getting the latest version of OneDrive from Apple’s App Store and enabling OneDrive for iMessage on their device.