Back in the day of Windows 8 Microsoft introduced a cool feature that allowed users to keep their files stored in the cloud and use the built-in file explorer to see these files and access them without taking up precious storage space. However, when Microsoft released Windows 10 the feature simply disappeared.
Now after a very long wait Microsoft are releasing the Fall Creators Update (Due for worldwide release 17th, October 2017 and officially version 1709 build number 16299) which will include the return of placeholders under the new name “Files On-Demand”.
Placeholders, are a simple concept of storing all your files in the cloud instead of on the device, thus saving storage space on new devices like tablets and mobile devices that utilise small SSD (Solid State Disk) storage that typically hold only gigabytes of data. When the user opens a file it is simply downloaded from the cloud and opened in the appropriate application.
Previously, if you wanted to access your cloud files you had to choose which folders to “sync” to your PC this meant that not all the files you had could be accessed without logging-in to OneDrive web access.
With the new File On-Demand service, you now have three different methods of keeping your files.
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 only. 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.
The new feature has been long awaited for many users of tablets, hybrid tablets and mobiles. You can read more information on the Microsoft website. You can also read more about the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update here.