OneDrive Files On-Demand For The Enterprise
Published Oct 17 2017 06:54 AM 295K Views

OneDrive Files On-Demand has been designed from the ground up for enterprises.  Files On-Demand leverages the Windows Fall Creators update to simplify the user experience with cloud storage and sync, bring the power of the cloud into Windows File Explorer, and dramatically limit the network impact of sync on your corporate network.


Files On-Demand works with your personal and work OneDrive, as well as your SharePoint Online team sites.   As people create and collaborate on more files, take more photos and work across multiple devices, it’s increasingly important to access your important content, both from your work and personal life—all in one place. You shouldn’t have to worry about whether there is enough storage on your device or if you can access your files on an airplane.


Files On-Demand works by allowing users to completely browse and manage their files in OneDrive and SharePoint Online team sites without having to pay the cost of disk space.  This is critical with team sites and any folder setup for collaboration, because your corporate network doesn’t have to pay the cost of thousands of PCs all downloading the same content. 




In addition to this, Files On-Demand ships with controls for enterprise admins to tailor the Files On-Demand experience to your tenant. 

  • All previous existing OneDrive policies continue to work the same with with Files On-Demand deployed. 
  • OneDrive sync supplies two group policies plus, there is a third built in Windows component to allow for scripting so admins can express control over specific content to require to be synced locally or free up space under when desired. 

You can read more about the group policies at OneDrive Group Policy Control.


Enable Files On-Demand

Enterprise Admins can choose how they want users to interact with sync.  Admins can force all users of Windows Fall Creators update to use the new Files On-Demand feature or they can also disable it and users will get the existing sync behavior that is uniform with Windows, 7, 8, earlier version of Windows 10 and Mac.  Enabling this policy means every single new user in your tenant to turn on OneDrive will default to online-only files.  Existing users who have content already synced local will now have the capability to make their files online-only.



Migrate Pre-existing Team sites

If your enterprise has already been using OneDrive syncs capability of syncing team sites, enabling this group policy allows you to convert all existing team sites from locally synced to online-only.  What this means is every subsequent file added or file updated in the team site will only generate a few bytes of data to each PC sync vs fully downloading the content.





Files On-Demand is designed for the flexible nature of enterprise content and scenarios.  The choice of whether a file is locally available or online-only is scriptable by admins.  This means admins can define a policy to automatically choose between a file taking up space and accessible with no network connection and file downloading when the user interacts with it.  This is possible because Files On-Demand uses the NTFS file system attributes as way for admins, applications, and users to express the state desired.  New filesystem attirbutes were added to NTFS to support this scenario and commands were added to Attrib.exe so the process is scriptable.


Attrib.exe enables 2 core scenarios.  “attrib -U +P /s”, makes a set of files or folders always available and “attrib +U -P /s”, makes a set of files or folders online only.  Because Attrib is directly accessible from PowerShell this means it can also be leveraged with tools like regular expression matching to apply to a set of documents important to your organization.  Below is an example of using “attrib -U +P /s” to automatically make benefits documentation available on the device for every user.




To learn more about the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, visit the Windows Blog here. For end users, check out our new video "Learn About Files On-Demand" here

Brass Contributor

This is great!  Any plans / timeline to support Windows 8 and Mac with this feature?  Thanks

Copper Contributor



will this be backported? My VDI infrastucture currently supports only 1703 CBB and this feature is a must for VDI, Thanks


FIles On-Demand will only work with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update as we have added features and functionality that requires engineering on the Windows side as well as the OneDrive side. For this reason, we won't be back porting this to earlier versions of Windows 7, 8 or 10. We are looking at bringing Files On-Demand to Mac. I encourage you to add this request to the OneDrive Uservoice page.

Bronze Contributor
hands down, one of the best features of 1709 :) also love the "preview" reg settings for auto-configure with SSO. I'll by trying this out asap. Question about the group policies. If I copy the new admx templates from the user folder and deploy it to our central store, will configuring the "enable on-demand feature" policy have any effect on current 1703 deployments? I expect not, but better sure than sorry :) The only thing missing for me then are to enable on-demand sync for predefined Sharepoint locations ;)
Copper Contributor

Seems that the "feature" where files from a library that has mandatory metadata columns are synced as read-only is still there. Or the latest version doesn't even start to sync anymore. Earlier it did but as read-only.

Am I missing something?

Copper Contributor

So a Mac release with files on demand will not be this month?

Great news !

Iron Contributor
Great. Cannot wait to start testing this out.
If you upgrade your Windows to the Creators Update, it's already available ! Windows Creators Update have the latest OneDrive also with files on-demand !
Iron Contributor

Are there any plans to support RDS environments with Server 2012R2 or Server 2016 in the future?

Steel Contributor

How can I enable the checkbox for File On-Demand of OneDrive setting menu ?

I does not have the checkbox for it.


Screenshot of OneDrive - Setting.
Windows 10 Pro = Version 1709,
OS Build = 16299.19
Microsoft OneDrive = Version 2016, Build 17.3.6998.0830


2017-10-18 (11).png

Iron Contributor
Steel Contributor

Hi, Trent, thank you for your reply.


Currently, after install the latest fully released windows version of the new OneDrive sync client to my Windows 10 PC,

Still Version 2016 / Build 17.3.6998.0830, and DON'T appear the checkbox for File On-Demand, on Setting tab of OneDrive sync client.

which NOT Build 17.3.7046.1005 even install NOW.


and Uninstall OneDrive sync client, Install new one, the version is same 17.3.6998.0830, and also DON'T appear the checkbox for File On-Demand.


I continue how can I use File On-Demand of OneDrive.


Yoshihiro Kawabata


Not applicable

Try using to download client, it's what I used. 

Iron Contributor
I was able to update my home PC (Windows 10 Pro with Fall update) with the latest OneDrive client that allows me to enable the On-Demand feature, it works very well. However, I took that same installer to work and tried to update OneDrive on my work computer (Windows 10 Enterprise) and it's still on 17.3.7073.1013 and won't let me use the On-Demand feature. I guess the Enterprise gets it later, only after the Fall Update hits.
Not applicable

Yeah, Creators Fall update (1709) is required OS update before you can get On-Demand regardless of having latest OneDrive client since it's a prerequisite. But 1709 for Enterprise is out, it's just a matter of your Admin's releasing it for you guys to get updated :p. 

Steel Contributor

WoW, I can use OneDrive File-OnDemand now at Oct 19, 2017.

OneDrive sync client updated, next day of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
Thank you.

Steel Contributor

Awesome, I can use SharePoint documents Files On-Demand, too.

Copper Contributor

I'm really happy to see this feature now in place. I was wondering though if it's possible to restrict this so that no files get stored locally. I'm running into a situation where I have a SharePoint document library sync'd and when I open a file it downloads it and will only remove it once I click and select "Free up space".


I'm looking at this from a loss prevention point of view. Really I just want users to be able to add the document libraries they're delegated access to, and not be able to keep anything locally.

Iron Contributor

You can restrict OneDrive to only work only sync to domain-joined PCs and use Conditional Access & Rights Management to prevent data loss.

Copper Contributor

I'm on Sync client: 



Windows version: 1709


I don't have those options in gpedit. Is there an ADMX file to download somewhere?

Bronze Contributor

yes, you need to copy the admx file from a windows 10 1709 machine from the %userprofiles%. The correct path is somewhere in the OneDrive NGSC documentation.

Copper Contributor

I found this:

I'll see if i can find anything in the %userprofile% folder as well.

Copper Contributor

To administer OneDrive with Group Policy, install OneDrive and copy the OneDrive.admx and OneDrive.adml files from %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\BuildNumber\adm\ to your Group Policy central store.

Copper Contributor

@Stephen Rose Please tell me that this is going to be released for Server 2016 soon?




At this time, the plan from Windows engineering is to only bring it to Windows.

Not applicable

We are waiting for the Server 2016 release of this options. Can you please confirm if this in the road Map ?

Not applicable

How can we implement this feature if using Microsoft 365 as it does not have the option to implement Group policies?


Copper Contributor

Exactly Rahul. Not making this available for Non-legacy AD users is lame.

Silver Contributor
A non-optimal workaround could be to configure it as a local Group Policy on every machine. Of course, it is feasible only if you have very few machines...
Not applicable

Doesn't Microsoft 365 include intune? Intune is your replacement for GPO and can apply some of these items that way. You will just need to add all the registry edits in.  




Only some SKU's of Office 365 include Intune.

Copper Contributor

I was hoping to phase out some file servers and move them to Sharepoint online but unfortunately some of the users also use a 2016 terminal server so they need to be able to access their files from there too. Fingers crossed MS brings this to 2016 RDS too as there are a lot of people in the same situation. My other alternative is looking at phasing out RDS as this would then free up file servers and RDS servers.

Not applicable

@Stephen Rose But he said Microsoft 365 not Office :) which does include Intune! 

Copper Contributor

So is there any difference between the attrib command and using explorer to either clear space or always keep on device?


It doesnt seem like it is really online only because as soon as you open the file it syncs to your computer.

Not applicable

No different between the two methods. 

Copper Contributor

I'm on Win 10 Pro v1709 but when I go to the Group Policy Editor as shown in your article, I see all your other displayed entries but none for One Drive ?!?

What must I do to see it?


Copper Contributor

Having issues with a customer running Windows 7, assuming this is due to compatibility?

Copper Contributor

“Having issues with a customer running Windows 7”

You need Windows 10 for OneDrive Files On-Demand feature.

Copper Contributor

I've noticed that Enterprise keeps getting mentioned. Are these group policies available to Win 10 Enterprise only or would I be able to use this in a 10 Pro environment?

Copper Contributor

Will I have to add new adml and admx, to the Central Store, with each OneDrive build/client update?

Iron Contributor

Nope, only if new admx are released

Copper Contributor

Any thoughts on bringing these policies to MDM? We are a primary school (education) with almost no local technical recources. As such we have decide to completely move to "cloud services" and have no longer a working Windows Domain. Everything now is AzureAD, ready for the future! Though for some reason "policies" are most often provided "the old way" through GPO's instead of MDM, even for new/improved products like OneDrive For Business.


We have a definitive need for "Files On-Demand". Our staff uses Windows 10 on "shared" devices. We don't want any stuff locally stored and disabling OneDrive brings (still) several disadvantages. "Files On-Demand" is definite needs!

Steel Contributor

I agree @Wim van Wieren. I also work with many education institutions. Many of them are considering or using AzureAD and would want to have to back track!

They love the idea of the contents of OneDrive visible and accessible via File Explorer etc. but don't want to download Files as they are often on shared devices. Is this supported?




It's something that other users have put into UserVoice. We are actively discussing it. I recommend heading over to our page and upvoting it!

Copper Contributor

Ok so I have a bit of experience with this feature and as it appears that it still isn't hugely used I thought I would share my 2c.

  • GP Settings - for those wondering what to do about pushing out settings, this can be done with a typical AD environment. you can just copy & paste the admx files onto the dc's policy folders, wait for it to copy around the DC's and away you go. you can get the admx files from any windows 10 computer where you have it running.
    For those running Azure AD & MDM you can just push out the registry settings as that is what we are starting to do.
  • File sync limitation SUCKS!!!! - I read a bunch of stuff saying things like "OneDrive Files On-Demand For The Enterprise" and thought,.. "well if it's for the enterprise than it should be more than enough for us who are more like a small business (30 odd staff)" and all I can say is that it works,.. ok,..ish if you sync less than about 60,000 files. and that is not per document library, thats total. You'll read things saying 100,000 per document library but that simply isn't true.
    This honestly should be in bright red lettering on any file on demand page really warning ppl about this, I've seen a 4x person small business have sync issues because they had 80,000 files. I wouldn't call this enterprise at all, more like team ready.
  • RDS Server - For those people wanting the server end client all I can say is what we ended up doing to get around this is enable the RDS server to get back to the client and then setup shortcuts for users that goto \\tsclient\c\users\%USERNAME%\Desktop for example.
    Didn't always work for us because local username wasn't always the same as the remote one & is slow as balls but it was better than nothing.

Word of warning for anyone that wants to roll this feature out as well, make sure that you do it *very* slowly, mainly for 2x reasons

  1.  Should go without saying but it'll smash your internet connection if everyone is trying to sync everything.
  2.  If a bunch of computers start to sync at once you'll start to see computers getting confused where they are and start to duplicate files so for example if you have some-file.docx you'll start to get some-file-computer1.docx, some-file-computer2.docx, some-file-computer3.docx!
    VERY VERY ANNOYING! and pretty much nothing you can do about it & I'm in two minds about what is causing it either 
    a. OneDrive on the client computers cant keep up with the changes and just starts to create backup files or b. SharePoint online cant keep up and thus can get the message to OneDrive so the clients start to duplicate files
    This will also smash bandwidth as all your computers will start to upload duplicate files and all the other clients will download references to those files

And lastly, end users are interesting people so just keep on repeating "it's just like a normal file share, if you delete something than it will delete for everyone".
We had 1 user say to themselves "Ohh what are these 90,000 files doing on my PC, ctrl+a,.. delete" This told Sharepoint to remove the files and they disappeared from everyone's view. Luckily they were just in the SharePoint recycle bin so that was fine, but you cant restore that many files without logging a call with Microsoft Support and that took 2 days to resolve. I've found scripts after the fact where I could have potentially done it myself but at the time users were without files for 2x days.

Thats all I can think of, off the top of my head. if anyone has any questions feel free to reply to this and i'll do my best to answer.

Copper Contributor

Thanks, I have spent a long time on google to find the attrib functionality. GREAT!

Copper Contributor

@Stephen Rose wrote:




Attrib.exe enables 2 core scenarios.  “attrib -U +P /s”, makes a set of files or folders always available and “attrib +U -P /s”, makes a set of files or folders online only.  Because Attrib is directly accessible from PowerShell this means it can also be leveraged with tools like regular expression matching to apply to a set of documents important to your organization.


This is helpful information - thank you.  What attributes should I see for folders/files in a locally available state?

Copper Contributor

It's interesting that Fall Creators (1709) update is required for this OneDrive feature when other competitors (Google Drive, Box Drive) have the same exact feature working without requiring Fall Creators update.



@Mario Veras


Thanks for the feedback Mario.


The reason for the 1609 requirement is that Files On-Demand is actually built into the Windows operating system. It's not a shell on top of the OS. This means you can use command line commands to manage, hydrate/dehydrate files. In addition, we have announced that Storage Sense in W10 will be managing disk space. Something that none of our competitors can do as they are not integrated into the operating system. In addition, companies like Box are only now (after a full year of beta) letting you take your files offline. With Google, the feature is only available to their paid enterprise customers. We offer this functionality for free for all Windows 10 consumers and business customers running 1609 or higher.

Version history
Last update:
‎Oct 17 2017 07:38 AM
Updated by: