If you use Windows 8.1 or later, OneDrive (Microsoft’s cloud storage solution) is integrated right into the operating system. If you look at File Explorer, you’ll see a OneDrive section right there in the sidebar.
If you use OneDrive, you might have two different scenarios:
- You want your files available offline, so that if you don’t have an Internet connection you can still access them.
- You want to save hard drive space and want some (or all) of your files available online only. To you they look like normal folders on your computer, but they’re not actually stored there – they are stored in the cloud.
Here’s how to control OneDrive’s storage on a folder by folder basis.
Control OneDrive Offline Storage In File Explorer
In File Explorer, right-click on a folder (or the OneDrive section itself) and choose Make available offline if you want everything in that folder to download to your computer, or Make available online-only if you want the folder to only take up space in the cloud.
Control OneDrive Offline Storage In The OneDrive App
If you use Windows 8.1 or greater, you can fire up the OneDrive app and control things there. Right-click on a folder and click Make offline at the bottom.
How To Tell Where Your OneDrive Stuff Is Stored
Not sure whether your files are online or offline? In the OneDrive app you’ll see a little icon if a folder is stored offline. In File Explorer, take a look at the Availability column.
If your files in the cloud only (meaning they don’t take up space on your drive), it will say Online-only.
If it is on your computer (and therefore taking up space), it will say Available offline.
If you use OneDrive, give some thought to whether you want your files available offline or online. Which is more important to you – availability or space?
I have a Surface RT. All of my files in one drive have taken up all my hard drive space to the point I don’t have enough space to transfer files in onedrive to a usb or sdcard or update and recover. I’m not IT Savvy and this has stumped a local geek squad team. I can not right click on the onedrive folder/icon in explorer and switch it to ‘make available online only’. I had photos in the camera folder and now they aren’t there when I changed some sync settings with my home PC. I see most folders on the online onedrive but not any in the camera folder. So…I need to get these files off my surface to the cloud, switch to online access (says unspecified error in my skydrive?), and find my camera pics.