In January Microsoft released a new OneDrive app for macOS with a new Files on Demand experience.

Microsoft has now announced an update which takes the app to version 22.033, which brings a number of design improvements.

The changes include:

Removing conflicting icons for locally available files

Microsoft is changing the behavior of the OneDrive app to improve how OneDrive surfaces locally available content. The cloud with a down arrow will not be present on that content, thus, removing confusion on whether content is available offline or requires internet connection to access.

With this change, “Always Keep on This Device” will work like it previously did before macOS 12.1. When performing the command, a checkmark is applied to the file, and the “not downloaded” cloud icon will be removed. The change that we are making is to ensure that all content that is marked “Always Keep on This Device” is also fetched into the OneDrive folder.

Enabling apps like Spotlight or Time Machine to index files

With the changes to Files on Demand, apps like Spotlight and Time Machine will be able to index locally available files without any special configuration.

A new option to sync all content locally with a new preference in the OneDrive Preferences window.

Microsoft is making it easier to keep all content synced locally if you desire. This option was previous possible, bit somewhat hidden.

External drive

If you are syncing your OneDrive to an external drive (other than your home volume), Microsoft will rolling out a different build soon, to help you better identify what files are available locally. External drive support is limited by the File Provider platform.

Microsoft will not be able to remove conflicting icons. Opening files will bring them into your OneDrive folder on the external drive and onto your home drive and allow you to open them without an internet connection. Microsoft will now show a hollow checkmark icon for content that is locally available. Files with a hollow checkmark can be become online-only if the operating system needs to save disk space.

There are two new buttons in this dialog:

  • Download all OneDrive files now: This most closely replicates the experience of having Files On-Demand disabled. Clicking this button has the same effect as choosing “Always Keep on This Device” for your OneDrive folder. All files and folders will be marked as always available and will download to your device. All newly synced content will also be represented as always available.
  • Download files as you use them: Clicking this button restores the default experience of using Files On-Demand. All newly synced files from the cloud will be online-only until the first time you use them. Any file you have previously marked “Always Keep on This Device” will remain available on this device but if disk space becomes low, the operating system can change these files to be available online-only to save disk space.

If you want it always available, then be sure to mark the files as “Always Available on This Device.”

The changes are rolling out now.