On-Demand Sync feature, any news?

Brass Contributor


Im getting often questions from customers around the "placeholder" functionality in ODfB. I think it was mentioned in Ignite 2016 sessions that "it will come as On Demand Sync" but I cant find any newer information on that subject. 


Anyone have some insights to this? 


PS: I mean the functionality where cloud-based files only are shown as placeholders in local onedrive folder and double click triggers sync.


thanks in advance 




24 Replies

If I remember correctly this feature is going to be part of the Windows 10 "Creators" update package, next april.

Hopefully we will be getting more info soon because we are also looking forward to this, especcialy when its available to connect to SPO libraries.

Unfortunately i cant see any of it in my Insider Preview (15025) so hopefully its still coming!

anyone else who has any idea if and where MS hid this option in the preview?

Well, this is more a feature of NGSC rather than Windows 10 right??

I don't think this is related to the question.


Also, I don't think that the thread subject is not what the thread starter was asking, since I would seperate those two:

  • On Demand Sync 
    • where you choose the folders that you want to sync locally (=consume real local storage)
    • this is already possible with NGSC
  • Placeholder Sync
    • this is were you sync the "whole" (or part of the library) and you manually choose which folders are really synced locally, and which folders are just "placeholders" (=no local storage consumed), but you can still browse them with the Windows Explorer. 
    • this feature is not yet available, I'm also not aware of any offical announcement, though it has been requested mulitple times


Placeholder Sync with On Demand Sync would be the best of both worlds, especially for users with small hard drives (e.g. SSDs). You'd be able to still "sync" (though sync is not the correct word for this) the full document library, but only consume local storage for those folders that you want to, while still allow local browsing of that document library, but being redirected to the online storage location.

You're right but I think at Ignite MS was talking about this, and showing this screenshot 17.png


which covers the Placeholder sync functionality.

They called it "On-demand syn" tho...so there's the confusion.


Anyway...lets wait and see

now that you mention it, I believe my so called "on demand sync" is referenced as "selective sync".

No confusion at all.

"On demand sync" is the new name for the old "placeholders" feature.

See for example http://www.windowscentral.com/onedrive-placeholders-return-demand-sync


This makes sense, however no sign of this feature in Fast Track Roadmap for ODB 



Maybe we need some insight from MVP, @Roman Nedzelský, can you help us and shed some light into this subject? 

Mmm, bummer or maybe its not an OneDrive update but just a W10 update and therefore its not on the OneDrive roadmap.


anyway, im pleased to see the differential sync

In the recent OneDrive AMA, @Stephen Rose said about placeholders: "We will have more to share later this year". Please see https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/OneDrive-AMA/Placeholders-returning/m-p/43055#M90

Finally, september should give us the on demand feature back with the Fall Creators update.

Why its part of Windows Update thats a mystery to me and again trouble. If it will be an NGSC update its easy to deploy, but because its windows update and I need it in corporate env it will be delayed a lot just by nature of patching process which dont deploye all new features imidiately....

The "Files on Demand" feature will be included in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, scheduled for Semptember 2017.

The implementation has a big impact on Windows itself, hence it is necessary to release it as a Windows update and not as an NGSC update.



looks like Microsoft will offer on demand cloud file access with Windows 10 later this year. But in the time beeing there's already a great tool on the market: https://konnekt.io. It's not only bring back placeholders to Windows 10, it's also working with earlier versions of Windows and - best of all - Citrix and Terminal Server. In addition it supports UNC connectivity and drive letter mapping based on a native network provider for Office 365. 


Integrated into Windows Explorer the tool makes the whole Office 365 (Sharepoint Online, Groups, Onedrive) world browseable like folder shares and structures on file servers. 


Disclaimer: I am working for the company behind the tool and I am happy to personally answer questions or send a trial to anyone intersted.


Best regards,




That is correct.
Background is: this feature is built in in Windows Explorer (so thats Windows).
The sync engine (NGSC) is only for syncing...

so on the pic you see the different symbols for the status

OneDrive files on-demand.png

If you want to see and play with "OneDrive files on-Demand" you have to switch your windows 10 device into the Insider status with first release, it will be rolled beginning of June 2017.


All other have to wait for Windows Fall Creators Update  [Redstone3]