OneDrive On-Demand placeholders now work in Windows 10 build 16215, here’s how

Arif Bacchus

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Back at Build 2017, Microsoft announced the return of OneDrive file placeholders in Windows 10 with OneDrive On-Demand. While the company originally said that the feature would be coming in preview “this summer,” Windows Insiders running Windows 10 build 16215 can now finally test out OneDrive On-Demand for themselves (via

If you don’t want to wait for the feature to roll out, to get started with OneDrive On-Demand, you first need to head to this link and download the latest version of OneDrive for Windows 10. Again, this version only works on Windows 10 build 16215, so be aware of this before you proceed. As a reminder, Microsoft details the full functionality of OneDrive On-Demand here, but we’ve included a small snippet for you below.

At Microsoft Build 2017, Joe Belfiore announced that the new OneDrive Files On-Demand feature will be delivered with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. With Files On-Demand, you can access all your files in the cloud without having to download them and use storage space on your device. You don’t have to change the way you work, because all your files—even online files—can be seen in File Explorer and work just like every other file on your device.

OneDrive FIles On-Demand Message

Once you’ve installed the latest version of OneDrive, you should see a screen similar to the one above, which notifies you that Files On-Demand is now enabled. You can dive further into these settings by right clicking on the OneDrive Icon in the system tray, and then clicking on settings. You can then find additional settings for Files On-Demand, and enable the option to save space and download files as you use them.

OneDrive Settings

Once you’ve checked that out, you should give OneDrive some time to sync your content from the cloud to your PC. After a while, you will end up seeing all your OneDrive folders in the File Explorer, similar to how it was in Windows 8.1.

You’ll also notice a new status column, which tells you the status of each individual item in your OneDrive. The status column will have different icons for different types of status, all of which can be accessed by right-clicking on a file, and selecting status (we’ve bolded the statuses below) from the menu. The different types of status will be seen in the bottom of the file explorer when you click on a file, but we’ve also explained them for you below.

  • Green checkmark icon: This item or folder is synced to your PC, and will be available on this device regardless if you’re connected to the internet or not
  • Solid checkmark icon: This item or folder has been manually marked as always available offline
  • Empty white cloud with blue outline: This item or folded is still in your OneDrive cloud, and has not been synced yet and is available when online
  • Refresh arrows: This item or folder is about to be synced. Sync is pending and item or folder will soon be available offline

OneDrive Files on Demand in File Explorer

Lastly, you also should notice that when you navigate to a folder within your OneDrive, you will see a status icon next to the file and folder name. This shows up regardless of which type of view style you’re using, and gives you an extra piece of mind in knowing that everything you want to be synced or downloaded is right where it is supposed to be.

OneDrive Sync Status

While this feature is set to go mainstream to non-insiders in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, it’s very assuring to see that Windows Insiders are able to test it out ahead of time. Have you managed to get OneDrive On-Demand placeholders working on your test device? Let us know your thoughts below.