After nearly two years of waiting, OneDrive Files On-Demand have finally arrived, at least if you're a Windows Insider.
Announced at Microsoft's Build 2017 developer conference, Files On-Demand replace the placeholder functionality that was found in Windows 8.1 and removed in Windows 10. No longer will you have to choose which files to sync from your OneDrive; instead, everything will be there, with some files and folders stored on the device, and for those that aren't, they will be downloaded as you use them.
According to Thurrott, the feature will begin rolling out to Windows Insiders on build 16215 today; however, if you just can't wait, you can download the new sync client here. The client still requires 16215, as we did attempt to use it with a machine running the Creators Update.
After installing it, you'll see the image found above, asking if you want to turn on Files On-Demand. After that, you'll see another screen saying that your files are in sync.
This, however, is not true. It will still say that your OneDrive folder is empty for at least a few minutes, while it sets everything up. I actually had to restart my PC at one point to get it working.
But once it's working, it seems to work well. As you can see from the image above, you can right-click on a folder or file and choose "Always keep on this device" to store it offline, and when you're done with it, right-click again and choose "Free up space".
If you're not an Insider and have been waiting for placeholder functionality though, obviously you'll have to wait until later this year when the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is released. Until then, we'll all have to choose between the instability of Insider Previews and the glory of the placeholder.