Microsoft OneDrive on Macs: Files soon only on demand

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Microsoft OneDrive will behave differently on Macs than before. The “Files on Demand” function has been extensively revised and put on a newer and more sustainable technical basis with the use of Apple’s Framework File Provider, as Microsoft announced. This enables better and more reliable integration into macOS and the implementation of new functions that were not possible before.

The new version of Files On-Demand will be automatically installed in OneDrive on Macs already running the latest version macOS 12.1 Monterey, explains Microsoft. macOS version 12.2, which is currently still in beta, is said to be the last version of the operating system that is compatible with the old “Files on Demand” functionality. In subsequent macOS versions, “Files on Demand” is automatically activated and can then no longer be switched off, the manufacturer warns. In practice, this means that OneDrive no longer keeps files and folders available locally without an Internet connection – unless the user marks them in good time for offline availability. This saves storage space, but under certain circumstances it can mean that the required files are not available at the moment.

At the latest when a macOS update is received, the migration to the new edition of “Files on Demand” takes place, Microsoft continues. This cannot be prevented without postponing updates to the operating system. The company advises testing the effects of the change on macOS 12.1 in personal use – and delaying Mac updates if there are problems with programs.

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With macOS 12.2, Microsoft OneDrive also discontinues support for Apple’s older file system HFS+ and requires a Mac with APFS. Only a “very small minority” of customers use HFS+, Microsoft writes. The change also improves support for basic file system features such as tags, extended file attributes, type and creator codes, and previously ignored symlinks. The latter should now end up in the form of a text file in the OneDrive cloud, which lists the destination as content.

More from Mac & i

More from Mac & i

More from Mac & i

More from Mac & i

With the new “Files on Demand” OneDrive is inevitably placed in the library of the user folder. A previously selected sync directory should be linked via symlink, writes Microsoft – the use of external drives as “sync root” is also further supported. All further A detailed support article lists changes to OneDrive for macOS.


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