How to Disable Files On-Demand in OneDrive

Don’t want to use OneDrive Files On-Demand feature? Follow these steps to turn off or disable File On-Demand in OneDrive.

One of the star features of OneDrive is Files On-Demand. With this feature, you can see all the files and folders in your OneDrive account and only sync the ones you need. As you can guess, the ability to see all the files without syncing them first is beneficial. When you want to access a file that is not already synced, OneDrive downloads it immediately. i.e., on-demand. Simply put, you get the best of both worlds. i.e., save hard disk space and access files on-demand.

Currently, OneDrive is the only major cloud service to offer this kind of feature.

Though the Files On-Demand feature is useful, it can sometimes be a hindrance. For example, you cannot immediately access files because they had to be downloaded first. Depending on the file size, it can take quite a long time. The Files On-Demand feature can also cause compatibility problems with other programs.

No matter the reason, you can turn it off if you think you don’t need Files On-Demand. Follow the below steps to disable Files On-Demand in OneDrive.

Table of contents:

Disable the OneDrive Files On-Demand feature

You must uncheck the “Save space and download files as you use them” option to turn off or disable Files On-Demand in OneDrive. Here’s how to find and modify the option.

  1. Click on the OneDrive icon on the taskbar.
  2. Press the “Gear” icon.
  3. Choose the “Settings” option.
  4. Go to the “Settings” tab.
  5. Uncheck the “Save space and download files as you use them” checkbox.
  6. Press “Ok” in the warning window.
  7. Press the “Ok” button.
  8. With that, the Files On-Demand feature is turned off.

Steps with more details:

The first thing to do is open the OneDrive settings. To do that, click on the OneDrive icon on the taskbar. If you don’t see the icon, launch OneDrive from the Start menu.

open OneDrive settings

Click the “Gear” icon on the top-right corner of the OneDrive flyout and choose the “Settings” option. This action opens the OneDrive settings window.

click settings in OneDrive flyout

Go to the “Settings” tab and uncheck the “Save space and download files as you use them” option.

disable OneDrive files on-demand feature

As soon as you uncheck, OneDrive will show a confirmation prompt. Click the “Ok” button to continue.

click ok

Finally, click the “Ok” button in the main window and close it.

save OneDrive settings

With that, you have successfully disabled the OneDrive Files On-Demand feature.

OneDrive file states

OneDrive offers three states for each file. They are Online Only, Locally available, and Always available. Each state has a unique icon displayed in File Explorer to make it easy to identify the current file state.

Online only : As the name implies, these files are only available online. i.e., you can see them, but they are not downloaded and don’t occupy space in your hard drive.

Locally available : This state indicates that the files are downloaded and are available locally. However, if you don’t access these files long enough, OneDrive might change the status to Online Only and delete them locally. The files are still available in the cloud. If Storage Sense is turned on in Windows 10 and 11, it will delete the local files and change the status to Online Only after 30 days (default threshold).

Always available : You can manually set the status of a folder or file to Always Available. As the name implies, it will always keep the marked files on this device. OneDrive or Storage Sense will not delete them locally.

That is all. It is that simple to disable Files On-Demand in OneDrive.

I hope this simple OneDrive how-to guide helped you.

If you are stuck or need some help, send an email, and I will try to help as much as possible.

Scroll to Top