OneDrive Files On-Demand and Storage Sense for Windows 10

Files On-Demand for OneDrive gives you easy access to your OneDrive files without taking up storage space. If you have a large amount of OneDrive content that you’ve viewed and edited, you may find yourself in a situation where those files are available locally and the cached content takes up disk space. You may no longer need those files to be locally available.

Windows 10 Storage Sense now has the capability to automatically free up disk space by making older, unused, locally available OneDrive files be available online-only. Your files will still be safe in OneDrive and represented as placeholders on your device. Your online-only files will still be visible on your device. When connected to the internet, you’ll be able to use online-only files just like any other file.

Important: 

  • Storage Sense is designed to be a silent assistant that works on your behalf without the need to configure it. We believe in being transparent about how Storage Sense optimizes your storage for you.

  • Storage Sense is available for Windows 10 version 1809 and later.

Video: Files On-Demand and Storage Sense

Enable Storage Sense

  1. Click the Start Menu, then select Settings.

  2. Click System.

  3. Click Storage.

  4. Turn on Storage Sense by shifting the toggle to On.

    Windows 10 Storage toggle to activate Storage Sense

Any files that you have not used in the last 30 days can be set to online-only when your device runs low on free space. Storage Sense will only set files to online-only until there’s enough space freed for Windows to run smoothly, so you can keep your files available locally as much as possible.

Set Periodic Cleanup

If you prefer, you can make Storage Sense run periodically instead of running only when the device is low on storage.

  1. Click Change how we free up space automatically.

  2. 2. From the dropdown, set how often you want Storage Sense to run.

    Windows 10 Storage dropdown menu selecting frequency to run Storage Sense

If you’d like Storage Sense to be more proactive in setting your files to online-only, under the Locally available cloud content heading, change the default value in the dropdown menu. For example, if you choose to run Storage Sense every week and select a 14-day window for Files On-Demand, Storage Sense will run once a week and identify files that you haven’t used in the past 14 days and make those files be available online-only.

Windows 10 Storage dropdown for selecting when to make OneDrive files online-only

Note: Files that you have marked to be always available are not affected and will continue to be available offline.

Self-activate on Low Storage

Storage Sense can now turn itself on when your device is low on storage space. Once activated, Storage Sense will intelligently run whenever your device runs low on storage space, and clear temporary files that your device and applications no longer need.

Storage Sense looks for and will remove files such as, but not limited to:

  • Temporary setup files

  • Old indexed content

  • System cache files

  • Internet cache files

  • Device Driver packages

  • System downloaded program files

  • Dated system log files

  • System error memory dump files

  • System error minidump files

  • Temporary system files

  • Dated Windows update temporary files

If you’d like to clear even more space on your device, you can enable the removal of old content in your Downloads folder.

Note: Downloads folder cleanup is not turned on by default.

Windows 10 Storage dropdown menu for deleting older downloaded files

Manual Cleanup

Important: Manual cleanup is only available for Windows 10 versions 1709 and 1803.

If you’d like to run cleanup manually, on the Storage page in Settings, under Free up space now, click Clean now.

Windows 10 Storage option to manually free up space

Storage Sense will scan your device for files that are safe to clean and give you an estimate of space that can be freed. Files are not removed until you click Remove Files.

Windows 10 Storage options for deleting temporary files

You can choose the type of content cleared by Storage Sense. Note that some of this content isn’t automatically cleaned by Storage Sense. These cleanup actions may temporarily decrease the performance of your system. (For example, clearing thumbnails will free up space but when you navigate to a folder with pictures in it, thumbnail previews will be recreated and thumbnails may not be available for a few moments.)

Need more help?

Online

Get online help
See more support pages for OneDrive and OneDrive for Business.
For the OneDrive mobile app, see Troubleshoot OneDrive mobile app problems.

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Email support
If you still need help, shake your mobile device while you're in the OneDrive app or email the OneDrive support team. To contact OneDrive for Business support from your PC or Mac, select the OneDrive icon in the notification area or menu bar, then select More > Send feedback > I don't like something.

OneDrive for Business Admins can also view the OneDrive for Business Tech Community, Help for OneDrive for Business Admins, or contact Office 365 for business support.

Office 365 community forums

Got feedback?
OneDrive UserVoice is your place to suggest the features you’d like to see us add to OneDrive. While we can’t guarantee any specific features or timelines, we will respond to every suggestion that gets at least 500 votes.

Go to the OneDrive UserVoice.

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