Microsoft has started rolling out a new Files On-Demand experience for OneDrive users running macOS 12.1 or newer. Microsoft announced the new Files On-Demand in July 2021. Files On-Demand will offer the user a better experience, better application compatibility and better reliability. Files On-Demand uses a new technology that leverages Apple’s File Provider platform. Microsoft’s cloud storage service will better integrated with the macOS Finder as the OneDrive folder now being visible under Locations in the Finder sidebar.
Files On-Demand is a core feature on the OneDrive sync client that lets users free up space on their PC or Mac by downloading files as they use them.
New OneDrive Files On-Demand features
The new Files On-Demand experience will also support new features such as Known Folder Move, which already lets Windows users easily move content from the Desktop, Documents and Pictures folders to OneDrive. The new Files On-Demand experience will also improve support for features relying on the Apple File System (APFS) on macOS 10.13 or later, such as File tags, File system flags and Extended attributes.
Also the new Files On-Demand experience, the OneDrive sync client for macOS is also getting native support for Apple Silicon Macs. A preview version of the new client is already available, but it will start rolling out to all M1 Mac users in late January according to a message on the Microsoft 365 Admin Center.
Below we have listed some of the most important features.
- Files On-Demand will default to on for all users and cannot be disabled.
- Devices will migrate automatically to the new Files On-Demand as soon as they receive a macOS update.
- Both our Standalone and App Store versions of OneDrive will have the same behaviour.
- Users running a developer or beta version of macOS will have the same experience as a release version of macOS.
- The new Files On-Demand experience requires a volume that is formatted with APFS. HFS+ volumes are not supported by Files On-Demand.
- With the new Files On-Demand experience, the sync root is always located within user home directory.
- Files that are kept in the sync root do not count against disk space usage, unless they are marked as Always Keep on This Device.
- OneDrive now supports syncing packages, or files that appear as a single file but are actually a directory with many files and folders underneath them. Some applications exclusively create packages.
- When you unlink your Mac or unmount a syncing location, OneDrive will preserve the non-dataless contents of your sync root.
- To support the new experience, OneDrive maintains a cache path in a hidden location. This path contains a replica of the file tree that the user is syncing.
- For OneDrive to complete setup with the new File Provider platform, the user must consent to allow OneDrive to sync.
- The new Files On-Demand experience supports some existing features of APFS that were previously poorly supported by OneDrive
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