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Hands on with OneDrice File-On-Demand for Mac

Today, Microsoft released the long waited Files-On-Demand support in macOS Mojave. As you might know Files-On-Demand (or FOD) has been available in Windows 10 for a while but it has been a featured that we have been waiting for in macOS for quite some time. Now at Ignite, Microsoft is giving you the opportunity to try it out. In order to try it out, you first have to upgrade to macOS Mojave 10.14. The latest version of macOS just came out today on September 24th and is now available to download. If you are running on a beta version still, you can try it out as well.

The second thing, you need to do is make sure you are in the Insiders Ring for Office and / or OneDrive. If you aren’t sure, download the script from the installation site. It’s a bash script, so you will need to make the script executable. If you aren’t familiar with this process, you have to get back to the Unix / BSD roots of OS X. Open a new Terminal, and go to the directory where you downloaded the script and then execute the following command:

chmod u+x ./EnableMacFilesOnDemand.sh

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 1.32.24 PM

If you’ve had OneDrive installed on your Mac before, you’ll need to delete some cache files in the following folder: ~/Library/Caches/OneDrive. Delete *.json in that folder.  I didn't actually do this step, but you may need to.

Now you can install the OneDrive client. Download the client from the install link and then go through the install process. Launch OneDrive when it’s complete. If you run into issues, there are a few troubleshooting tips about force closing Finder. I didn’t have to do that but you may need to on your machine.

If you have enabled the new macOS Mojave Dark Mode, the first thing you might notice is that the OneDrive client respects that and will also show using Dark Mode. Good job, OneDrive engineering team! That makes for a nice experience.

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 1.40.33 PM

I had to setup one of my Office 365 accounts on this particular machine but that’s good because it gave me an idea for the new account setup experience. After you sign in, you’ll get this new dialog that explains the icons that you will see in Finder.  Cloud = online only, checkbox = the file is on disk.  This is helpful, because I’ve always had trouble remembering what the icons mean in FOD for Windows 10.

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 1.11.55 PM

For existing accounts, you may need to turn on Files-On-Demand manually. I didn’t have to in my case, but it’s good to know where to go. Go to Preferences in OneDrive and then look for the Files-On-Demand section. You can see verify whether it has been turned on or not.

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 2.27.40 PM

Now we can go find our OneDrive folder inside Finder and see how it all works. When I open one of my synced folders, you’ll notice that I am now seeing files that I have not downloaded yet indicated by the cloud icon next to each one. That’s right, I am seeing files that are online, but not yet downloaded.

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 1.45.20 PM

Clicking on an online file will immediately download it and you can access it like you had it all along. This is what we have been waiting for. If you right click on a file, you now see the option to Always keep on this device. This is how you tell OneDrive to keep that file on your device for offline use.

 Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 1.43.28 PM

Once you do that, you’ll notice the icon changes from a cloud to a check mark.

Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 1.44.10 PM

I’m looking forward to using this on a day-to-day basis. This should make working with OneDrive files online and offline much easier with macOS Mojave 10.14.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Corey Roth

Corey Roth, a SharePoint Server MVP, is an independent consultant specializing in Cloud technologies such as Azure and Office 365. He also specializes in mobile development. Corey serves as the product manager for two cloud-first mobile app platforms: BrewZap and HappenZap.

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