So, you’ve just (or about to) upgraded to the fall edition of Windows 10 Creators Update and you’ve got the all new version of OneDrive. This new version allows you to view all the files within a document library without the need to sync them to your PC. What this means is that a document library in OneDrive will now appear like a more traditional network drive where you can see all the files, not just the ones you’ve chosen to sync. It is worth noting that if you want to view files when you don’t have an internet connection you’ll still need to sync them down to your PC beforehand.
After the Windows 10 Upgrade
It’s worth noting at this stage the syncing of your files is exactly the same as it was before the update.
Once you’ve completed the upgrade you’ll need to check that the new version of OneDrive has been installed. Click on the “OneDrive” icon and click the “Settings” cog.
Click on the “Settings” tab and check that the “Files on Demand” option is available and ticked
If you don’t see the “Files on Demand” option, you’ll need to download and install the new version of OneDrive. Click on this link – https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?linkid=851311 to download the installation file. Once downloaded run the file and OneDrive will install.
Opening OneDrive from within the “File Explorer” you’ll notice some changes as there is now a new column called “Status” and the green globes on the files have now gone.
The “Status” column is populated with one of the following icons:
Online-only files don’t take up space on your computer. You see a cloud icon for each online-only file in File Explorer, but the file doesn’t download to your device until you open it. You can’t open online-only files when your device isn’t connected to the Internet
When you open an online-only file, it downloads to your device and becomes a locally available file. You can open a locally available file anytime, even without Internet access. If you need more space, you can change the file back to online. Just right-click the file and select “Free up space.”
Only files that you mark as “Always keep on this device” have the green circle with the white check mark. These files download to your device and take up space, but they’re always there for you even when you’re offline.
Making all the files in a document library visible within OneDrive
Now suppose that one of the document libraries you’re syncing has a lot more folders and files in it and you want to make them all visible within OneDrive.
Click on the “OneDrive” icon in the task bar and click on the “Setting” cog
Select “Choose Folders” on the document library you wish to change.
Select “Make all files available” and click “OK”
Open “File Explorer” up and navigate to your OneDrive. When you expand the folder, you will now see the entire document library contents shown but the difference is all the new content has the blue cloud icon in the status column which shows that data is held online.
All the data you previously had sync’d is still sync’d and identified by a green icon in the status column
Working with the files
You are now able to interact with these folders and files as if they were a network share, so long as you have an internet connection you can access all the files that are visible within OneDrive.
If the files have a green icon (either type) this shows that the file is sync’d locally which of course means that it will be accessible to you when don’t have an internet connection.
Files with the blue cloud are based online only, this doesn’t stop you opening them but does mean you need a working internet connection to open them. If you have an internet connection then clicking on a file with a blue cloud icon will automatically sync the file down to your PC and its icon will change to a green tick. Once sync’d the file will always be available when your off line.
Syncing files to your PC
To sync a file or folder to your PC simply click on the item you’d like to sync and right click it.
Select “Always keep on this device”
You’ll notice the status icon on the file/folder will change to a blue circle while the sync is taking place.
Once the sync is complete the status icon will change to a solid green circle with a white tick.
Removing sync’d file to recover disk space
If you are running out of disk space you might want to un-sync some files. Again, this is a very simple process.
Open OneDrive and locate the file or folder you’d like to un-sync.
Right click on it and then select “Clear Space”
Depending on the size of the data it will take a few seconds to process the change and then the status icon will change to a blue cloud signalling that the data is now online only.
Sharing documents from OneDrive
The new OneDrive allows you to share documents direct from “File Explorer”, a few simple clicks and your document is shared with a colleague.
Open “File Explorer” and navigate to OneDrive and find the file that you wish to share.
Right click the file and select “Share”
You’ll then be presented with the familiar sharing dialogue that you’d normally see when sharing when using the browser. Select the type of link you’d like to create and enter the email address of the recipient and click “Send”
Frequently Asked Questions
If I create a new file or folder on my PC will it get sync’d to OneDrive/SharePoint?
Yes, any files/folders created locally will get synced up to OneDrive/SharePoint. Files created locally will also remain sync’d to the local PC so they will be available offline.
How do I access these files from my Office applications i.e. Outlook, Work, Excel?
The new version of OneDrive eliminates that annoying gap between the Office applications and OneDrive. No more messing around with cut ‘n paste URLs or copying files to other locations before adding them to SharePoint.
When saving a document simply navigate to the OneDrive folder. OneDrive displays the entire document library contents you can drill down to the folder you want to save your file to. The experience is exactly the same as if you were saving files to your local hard disk.
It is the same process for saving email attachments or adding attachments to an email.
Are new files and folders created by other people automatically sync’d with my PC?
Yes, any new files that are created by other users in the document libraries that you are connected to will automatically show up in the file list within OneDrive.
If the new files are within folders that you have sync’d with your PC then these new files will automatically sync down to your PC so you’ll have an offline copy of them.
If the new files/folders are created within folders you’ve not sync’d down to your PC they will still appear but will have a status of online (blue cloud icon)