'files on demand'-feature causing lots of trouble

I have been bewildered by the fact that the files in my OneDrive folders
come with a loading bar wasting my time. When this was the case there was a little blue icon
in the status column next to the file name.
I thought, that with the recent reinstallation of Windows, that I would have not enabled a full sync

with the cloud. 

I right-clicked the OneDrive tray icon, went to 'Settings' and looked under

'Account' and checked in ' Choose Folders' that indeed everything was selected properly.
After googling around for a bit and not finding anything, I came to the conclusion that this was
some kind of yet undocumented syncing bug and thought, that this was going to be a headache.

It turns out that the newly introduced feature 'Files On-Demand' that I've never heard from before

just blatantly ignores the sync settings.
Now whilst I don't understand who would want this feature, as a high or even low-powered desktop computer or a Laptop that can only sync via WiFi or Lan anyway and thus would never waste traffic, as data plans
are unlimited (well, where I live, they are anyway) I do not know.
It's probably not meant for me.
That's why I am asking that this feature should not be enabled by default, especially on Microsoft accounts,

that are older than the feature, as people will likely be as confused and annoyed as I was.

Also the setting should not contradict the sync-settings, because that made it hard to realize what was

wrong in the first place.

I don't even understand the naming of the feature 'files on demand' and ask for it to be reconsidered.

Normally, when I click on a file, opening the file is my demand. It opens immediately. My demand was met.

Life is good.

Now when I click on a file it doesn't open.

It shows me a loading bar, which I did not demand and noone in their right mind would ever
want to demand. Then after about half a second has passed (proably a lot longer, if the internet is slow) it finally complies with my demand.

If my internet is down, I can demand all I want, but there are no files.
This goes against the spirit of 'files on demand'.

I don't even know what'll happen, when I right-click a file to see it's properties or try to do a context-menu
action. Or when I try to select locally available ones and 'on-demand'-ones together

and copy them to another hard drive. But it's probably worse and I don't want to find out.

When I upload a bunch of photos from my phone and want to go thru them with
a picture viewer and go thru the scans with the arrow keys, now each transition wastes time. 
To quote the legendary Adam Jensen: "I never asked for this!"

PS: I couldn't post this under the category "OneDrive" because the "Start a Discussion"-form tells me, that 'This forum has been locked'. As OneDrive installs with Windows, I feel that this is the next-most appropriate place for it.

 

Discussion Info


Last updated October 10, 2018 Views 39 Applies to:

Hi DavidGretzschel,

Welcome to the Microsoft community.

If you want online-only files then on the Settings tab under Files On-Demand you need to check Save space and download files as you use them?

When you click on an online-only file it downloads to your computer.   You can select view online instead and you will be taken to the file online instead of having to download the file.

If you want all your files to show on your computer with little cloud icons then you need to go to Account -> Choose folders -> Choose folders and check all folders.

What I have done to avoid the constant downloading is to check always keep on this device for all my files then I can leave Files On-Demand enabled and still have everything available on my PC.

Let me know if that helps.

When you click on an online-only file it downloads to your computer.   You can select view online instead and you will be taken to the file online instead of downloading the file.

Why would I want to view a file? Files aren't meant for viewing, they are meant for opening.

On the Settings tab under Files On-Demand did you check Save space and download files as you use them? 

did not check it. It was checked for me, when the feature was introduced, without telling me what was going on.  Figuring out that this setting even existed and what it does was hard. With the introduction of the feature, this shouldn't have been enabled by default, for at least the people who reinstalled Windows and didn't expect some obscure new feature ruining their day.

If you want all your files to show on your computer with little cloud icons then you need to go to Account -> Choose folders -> Choose folders and check all folders. 

Yes. You are right. This is actually a very good description of the setting, as it is now. However the option explicitly does not say: "Folders you choose will have little cloud icons." It says "Folders you choose will be available on this PC." Which is wrong, because the 'files on demand'-checkbox contradicts the availability when having slow or no internet.

What I have done to avoid the constant downloading is to check always keep on this device for all my files then I can leave Files On-Demand enabled and still have everything available on my PC.   I went through all my files to make sure they all had solid green check marks.

Files On-Demand is for those who have limited space available or for those who only occasionally need to open a file.

If you do this for all your files, though....what's the point of letting  'files on demand' enabled in the first place?

Not quite sure who could really benefit from the feature. OneDrive is only 1TB, and that's only if you max it out.

1TB isn't that much for a Windows machine. If you even have close to that much data, you probably do something important

with it, that requires opening and not waiting around (chances are the files would be very large to fill so much space).

I agree that it can be a pain at times.  Personally, I find that OneDrive does not work well if you do not have Files On-Demand enabled by default.

You can send feedback directly to Microsoft (type feedback hub in the start menu) or even contact OneDrive support directly at onedrive.com at the "?", upper right.

I agree that it can be a pain at times.  Personally, I find that OneDrive does not work well if you do not have Files On-Demand enabled by default.

You can send feedback directly to Microsoft (type feedback hub in the start menu) or even contact OneDrive support directly at onedrive.com at the "?", upper right.

Interesting, I'm not sure what you mean by that. I never noticed terrible things. Maybe I wasn't attentive enough.

This was posted as a discussion, not a question, though I suppose you read it as a question, which is probably good, as people can get the fix without having to read my wall of text.

I just hoped to save some people some work, by stating the problem, so that people

can find it online. And maybe to let off some steam, because it upset me.

Thank you for reminding me about the feedback hub. I'll press windows+f and write to them. They built a shortcut into Windows 10, so they probably actually value the feedback after all.

It can be a pain if you are not connected to the internet and you can't get to your files. 

It's inconvenient to have to download a file and then delete the file from your PC.  It more desirable just to have it available on your PC if possible.