Freeing Up Drive Space with Microsoft OneDrive

How to reclaim drive space on your computer by leveraging a few features of the OneDrive software.

OneDrive allows you to reclaim space in several ways:

  • Disable synchronization for particular folders that are unneeded.
  • In situations where Files-on-Demand is supported (Windows 10 version 1803 and later, macOS version 10.14 Mojave and later), the "Free up space" command will remove the local copy, leaving only a placeholder.

Both of these options will allow you to strategically remove OneDrive-based files and folders from your computer without actually deleting them from OneDrive. You can then selectively sync or download this data at a later date if you find the need to do so.

Disabling Synchronization for a File/Folder

This option will completely "turn off" an entire folder from synchronizing to the OneDrive or "Bedrock Mfg" folder on your computer.

  1. Click on the OneDrive icon in your taskbar/menubar, and click More, then Settings.

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  2. Click the Account tab, then select the Choose folders option next to the location you'd like to change.

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  3. Next, you'll be presented with a window showing you all folders you have access to in the location you chose. De-select the items you do not need to keep synchronized to your computer—note that you can drill down and expand folders to reveal subfolders that you can de-select, as well.

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    You may be asked to confirm the de-selection of files/folders. Click OK to acknowledge.
  4. Finally, click OK to accept the changes.

Free-up Space

This option allows you to "free-up space" on your computer by selectively removing the local downloaded copy of a file or folder that you no longer need to retain on your computer (at least for the time being).

Please keep in mind that this option requires a fairly recent version of Windows 10 (version 1803 or later), or a recent version of macOS (version 10.14 Mojave or later), and this only works on files that are already stored in OneDrive (aka SharePoint).

  1. First, locate the item that you'd like to remove to free space.
  2. Next, right-click on the file and select "Free up space" from the menu.

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    Alternatively, you can choose to "Always keep on this device" a folder you wish to guarantee you always have quick access to, even offline.
  3. There is no step 3—you're done!

 

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