Skip to main content

Microsoft reveals more new file sharing and editing features in OneDrive

Microsoft has already announced it is rolling out support for syncing up content on shared folders on its OneDrive cloud storage service with the folder's other co-owners. Now the company has revealed some more new features relating to shared OneDrive folders, including new ways to notify users if a file has been edited by someone else, along with searching for files shared by others.

Microsoft said:

"On your mobile device, the OneDrive app will show real-time notifications of which document is being edited and who edited it – these notifications can also show up on your Apple Watch. Also, we'll email a daily summary of edits to files you've shared – this is especially powerful when you are working on a group project and want to quickly see which documents have a latest version you might not be aware of. Changes made to the document will be saved in its version history, so you can always go back and restore a previous version if you don't like the newest changes."

It added that a person's ability to search for a file in OneDrive via the text inside has now been extended to files shared to that user by others. Microsoft said:

"We extended these features to shared items because while users often remember the file name and location of items they've created themselves, they frequently remember shared files by their contents."

These new features are currently being rolled out and will be more widely available to OneDrive users in the coming weeks.

Source: Microsoft

74 Comments
  • omg , love it ! especially * we'll email a daily summary of edits to files you've shared                                       * show real-time notifications of which document is being edited and who edited it wow really impressive , it makes work easier 
  • I wish OneDrive for Business was as good. :/
  • OneDrive for Business sucks and will always suck until it's not tied to SharePoint.
  • I NEED Smart Files :(
  • can you please elaborate it 
  • See next comment.
  • the feature from windows 8 that was removed from 10, where you can see and interact with your onedrive files without actually having them saved locally. It was a great feture that some people just didn't understand it at all.
  • Those were called placeholders, not smart files, as far as I know. Never mind. Looked it up and they are called smart files. Funny how the articles I read didn't really use that term.
  • For now, the easiest way to get the "Online-Only" mode of OneDrive under Windows 10 is to map OneDrive as a network drive.  The instructions are on the Windows 10 forum under the How-To Guides sub forum (sticky).
  • Using the mapping feature is very very slow if you have 240 Gb of data stored on OneDrive.
  • That's to be expected the first time you connect.  From the forum thread:
    Once you've entered your credentials, it will take time for your computer to fully connect. It will connect faster the next time you sign into your computer, but it may slow down sign-in by just a bit. It took about 10 minutes before the files began to show on my PC, but my new drive letter is there available in Windows Explorer with all my OneDrive files and folders showing.
  •     This is an "ok" solution is your files are a smattering of Word documents, a couple of mp3s, and your vacation shots from Disneyland...... but it simply isn't not good or reliable when dealing with massive data.  I have over a terabyte of photos and videos on my OneDrive.  I edit them between between computers, sometimes while on the go. It simply isn't practical to map a web drive this way....and it's certainly not reliable.  MS  marketed OneDrive to be a cloud solution for this kind of work.  Additionally, my Surface Pro 3 was marketed to me as being great with OneDrive.  I invested alot of money to fully throw my photography business into the Microsoft ecosystem based on their new vision.........and then they abandoned me :) I went from using OneDrive hours daily to barely touching it in a week.  It simply serves no purpose now.
  • No doubt it's a pain to have to use a work-around.  However, I'm missing something.  If you were using OneDrive in Online-Only mode on your Surface, and you wanted to open a 200MB video file to edit, you had to download that 200MB file from the Internet as it was only a placeholder file.  If you open the 200MB file through a mapped drive (the work-around), you still have to download the 200MB from the Internet.  Shouldn't the same performance be seen in either scenario?   What I might be missing is if you download the 200MB file using the placeholder, does the file then become a local file (over-writting the placeholder), making subsequent access faster?  If so, that would be significant versus the mapped drive which would always be Internet based.  However, you'd have to watch your drive space as the placeholders were overwritten with full sized files.
  • That's *exactly* how it currently happened on but 7 and 8.X. You have  placeholders with contain hardly any file size (no more than a few bytes, I'm sure).    Let's say I want to edit my Disneyland vacation photos and video, I could either right click the entire Disneyland directory *or* simply a few of a favs and make them "available both online and offline". So maybe I'd grab 4 videos at 1 gigabyte each and 20 RAW photos (at 30mb each).....I'd tell OneDrive to make them available offline.  Any edits I made would be immediately uploaded and mirrored. Those files would remain on my drive and on the cloud until I again selected them and chose "make files online only." For the most part, I would only keep the files for my current projects online and offline -- consuming nore more than 100gb of my drive space at any given time.  If I had an emergency HUGE job for some reason, I'd simply go to the drop of the directory tree and make *all* OneDrive files "online only" and it only instantly clear all space on my local drive....... While the mapping option will let me see the filenames, it would be very difficult to do stuff like video editing (or even editing gigantic 400mb tiff files) because Windows would want to constantly load, reload, save, resave over and over any time there were changes to the files. The guy who runs odrive.com has been making the rounds on pretty much every forum and social media site claiming that his (free??) software offers a perfect replacement for the now handicapped OneDrive.  I've looked at his site and it looks promising, but I've not had the opportunity to try it out. Despite the clunkiness of 8.1, I liked the direction of many things and chose to invest myself.  I had assumed 10 would build upon the successes of 8.1 while rethinking the failures.  Windows 10, to me, feels more like what Win7.5 would've been.  I didn't expect to have so many features removed....especially the main one on which I depended. So why don't I go back?  Honestly, I might.  It kills me to go backwards though.  I'm always an eager early adopter and I love technology.  I've never ever really been unhappy with a Windows version, but I am with 10 -- and I'm not sure it was really ready for market.  Someone elsewhere suggested we might really want to look at *why* 10 was free.  Could it have anything to do with the seemingly endless new ways they've created to monetize the system? Personlly, there was very little on Win7 that you couldn't do on Win8.x.  The look freaked a lot of people --- that's understandable.  However, the list of things on Win8.x that you *can't* do on Win10 is quite long.........starting with the problems of OneDrive.
  • Although your comment is helpful; a mapped drive is nowhere near as feature rich as SmartFiles once where.
  • Microsoft Uservoice "Sync online only" for Ondrive https://onedrive.uservoice.com/forums/262982-onedrive/suggestions/8888062--sync-online-only-for-ondrive
     
  • 100,000% this.
  • Agreed -- with the recent change, OneDrive went from being integral to my business to being completely useless.  Why did they possibly give me 10 terabytes of storage of my Office 365 account to use on my Surface Pro 3 with 500gb?   I've welcomed every upgrade with excitement and was one of Microsoft's biggest evangelists.....but this just leaves me scratching my head.  What were they thinking????
  • "What were they thinking?" The only answer I can conceive of is, they weren't.
  • Same thing here. So disappointed by the change. It's going to prevent me from looking at the Surface Pro 4. They better figure it out.
  • @DanMu, they've said that the way it used to work caused problems and that they needed to remove that capability to rebuild the foundation. My sense is they intend to bring it back in some form as soon as they can. For me, the syncing of shared files was a much bigger problem and lack of that capability forced me to use Google Drive and/or DropBox (depending on who I was sharing with). I think that now that MS is back at parity with competing systems on the most used functions, they can look at restoring some of the special features, like SmartFiles/placeholders. I hope.
  • And I. P.S. You look like Broken Sword :)
  • Bring Smart Files to WIn 10!  Pease vote  - User Voice link. http://onedrive.uservoice.com/forums/262982-onedrive/suggestions/8888062--sync-online-only-for-ondrive  
  • Agree, but with the addition of placeholders as I hate this been taken to folders on my hard drive. Plus, they have twice shown errors because folders already existed. This is so much more complicated on W10 compared to 8.1. Thanks for the link I have added 2 votes.
  • For now, the easiest way to get the "Online-Only" mode of OneDrive under Windows 10 is to map OneDrive as a network drive.  The instructions are on the Windows 10 forum under the How-To Guides sub forum (sticky).
  • its slow and useless. Far worse way than "online only" 
  • Completely agree and have voted for it as well.
  • Is that different than this https://windows.uservoice.com/forums/265757-windows-feature-suggestions/suggestions/6708195-add-an-advanced-option-to-restore-showing-all-oned. This is one of the reasons I dislike uservoice, features can get named/interpreted differently and the votes get scattered/divided.
  • It may be similar but I voted anyway. Thanks.
  • What I would really like to see is the ability to share an album and allow other people to contribute to it. So I guess I just need the option to allow editing of shared albums.  
  • Hopefully this is another step towards a return of the "Rooms" feature we lost in WP8. I used it constantly for work, friends, and family groups with picture updates, chat, and one notes. Loosing this feature really was disappointing.
  • MS has killed everything good about Windows Phone.  It is now utterly unrecomendable to anyone for any purpose.
  • Does this also affect OneDrive for Business and Office 365? They mentioned Office in the official post, but never said ODfB, so would I assume not yet?
  • ODB and OneDrive are not one in the same. Generally, ODB changes (rare to begin with) are rolled out with SharePoint changes. Whereas, OneDrive is its own platform that can be updated with new features relatively quickly.
  • All looks good. All I want now is an option to purchase a specific amount of GB/TB space, and they charge me per GB I purchase. So I could effectively purchase unlimited, or until my wallet breaks. Rather than be limited to the plans they set-up. I would also like the OneDrive local folder to be added back, so I can view it from my File Explorer.        
  • You can buy a chunk of 100 GB for like under two dollars. 50gb more is 99 cents. Beyond that just get Office 365 for $6.99 and you get unlimited storage and the full office suite and stop counting GB's.
  • Who uses Apple Watch anyway? LOL. (Know there are users, sarcasm).
  • It is interesting when you see Microsoft work on other platforms. They have gotten better and better at supporting eco systems now (meaning: they not only support an iPhone or iPad, but let those people get a good sync experience with the Apple Watch, too). I have heard people complain how Office 2008 (Mac) was just not the same experience as Office on Windows. I think they (Microsoft) are really trying to make people happy on other platforms by supporting them as much as possible. Probably because they hope to have those same users look at Microsoft in a positive kind of way, and the day they start looking in the Windows 10 direction, they associate Microsoft with something nice and may give it a try. It's like they are advertising as many of their services as possible on other platforms to get people's eyes up for the Microsoft eco system. 
  • OneDrive is becoming the new SharePoint. :)
  • Looks like it but it is retrograde and useless on Windows 10 compared to Windows 8.1.1
  • What I would like to see is real time sync of OneNote docs. Both my gf and me have penabled devices and when we collaborate in OneNote, there is a 15 second lag. Not optimal.
      Windowscentral, can you check with Microsoft gods if this is technically possible to solve?
  • In Microsoft's mind the past is the future. OneDrive is the worst, I've 98 pics that can't be uploaded(automatically /manually). I'm on WM10.
  • I have the same isssue but I have about 240 Gb of pictures up in OneDrive currentl which Microsoft in their wisdom want me to sync to a tablet (32 Gb) or my PC..... Windows 10 OneDrive is useless......
  • In the latest preview you can actually share to whatsapp, which is pretty nifty.
  • "On your mobile device, the OneDrive app will show real-time notifications of which document is being edited and who edited it – these notifications can also show up on your Apple Watch." Ha ha ha. Microsoft LOVES Apple Watch, even more than their own Windows Phone.
  • They better fix the shitty OneDrive implementation in Windows 10. Pronto.
     
  • I installed Windows 10 on the first day, found the useless OneDrive after a short time and haven't used my Surface Pro 3 since!!!  Won't be using it until it's sorted - come on Microsoft get your act together on this one!
  • Honestly I'm surprise OneDrive has not replaced File Explorer in windows yet. Automatically having all your files to the cloud is liking taking your PC with you regardless of the device you have
  • I agree, the existence of local Documents folder without the ability to map it to a OneDrive folder appalled me. yes I know there are geeky solutions such as junctions but hey.
  • Completely agree.
  • We need a OneDrive app for Windows 10 !!!
    Can't believe there is no universal app for OneDrive!!!
  • OneDrive is built into Windows 10.
  • Which is only useful if all of your files are synced and stored on your computer...which defeats the purpose of cloud storage.
  • no , there is no universal app in windows 10 (Windows 8.1 has a modern UI app but not Windows 10);
  • There is. It is called File Brick and it works with Onedrive just fine. Until MS get the Onedrive app finished it'll serve.
  • They have said that they are going to bring out a Universal Ap which handles the Business as well as the private OneDrive but in the meantime we are in a bad place because Microsoft couldn't think things through for it's Windows 8,1,1 customers.
  • MS can put all the lipstick they want on OneDrive with these features but until they bring back placehodlers it's just another "DropBox" to me.  Somebody needs to get Satya a 64GB machine and ask him how he likes OneDrive after a few days.
  • I think the thing behind the decision for not allowing placeholders is most likely time / users.  They probably had a drop dead date to get placeholders on W10 before launch, and didnt meet it.  They also are trying to target the most users, which lets all be honest, its not Windows tablet users with 32/64GB of storage.
  • I hope you're right but I fear you're wrong.  I think placeholders are are done for.
  • Yep, I fear placeholders are gone for good. With each passing day people will forget they were even there.
  • It's not just tablet users. I don't have any device (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, etc.) with more than 256 GB of total storage. I have over 1 TB of data on OneDrive that I used to have native access to on every Windows device I owned. Now I have to use a browser to pull a file down, make changes, manually upload the file back, and hope I don't forget or I won't have the right version available when I switch devices. Syncing everything or using a browser interface are unacceptable workarounds. If I wanted that hassle, I would've stayed with DropBox and Box.net.
  • Glad they brought back the fetching file from another PC because that was a lifesaver in school. I could be working on something at school and say I left something back at home I could just pull it up on OneDrive.
  • Is there a technical reason why placeholders was dropped as a feature for the Win10 version?.
  • Is MS is full of stupid dumbasses a "technical reason"?
  • The main reason MS removed them was confusion.  MS claims customers were confused, and complained heavily about files being online-only when they needed them offline (example: the business person who needs to work on a presentation while on a flight, only to find that the files were online-only). I've also read there were three (3) sync engines in the OneDrive desktop software under Windows 8.1.  MS wanted to unify everything with Windows 10, so they eliminated two (2) of them.  Now they have one (1) engine for all devices (Desktop, tablet, phone, X-Box, and IoT). And, according to MS, there was software that didn't play well with the placeholder files (they mention Adobe software).  I know that personally I had issues with HTML links.  When I created an HTML link, and set that link to Online-Only, it would not open in a browser, but instead bring up a print panel as if I was trying to print it.  Once the smart file downloaded and was available offline, then the browser would work.
  • I've read the same things, but I call BS. If you're going to 'unify your sync engines' start with the best one and figure it out from there. I never met a program that didn't play nicely with place holders, and I use a lot of Adobe applications. I think MS has just become all to comfortable removing critical functionality from their software without offering any reasonable replacement.
  • I also call it BS as well. Microsoft need tro sort this out urgently. Currently they are not listening to their customers.    
  • How about bringing back file placeholders, so that OneDrive is actually usable on Windows 10. This request has only gotten thousands upon thousands of votes on Feedback. I was trying to use OneDrive last night for my photo editing. Nope. Gotta download the entire damn photo folder if you want any access at all to it, unless you want to completely restructure your file organization. Disaster. Bring back OneDrive 8.1.
  • Completely agree.
  • Good update
  • Need help with one drive on windows 10. I cant find option for pause sync anywhere. Can some one help me pls?
  • Microsoft's race to the bottom. Surely they can't be the only company that kills their competitive advantage? One step forward, two steps back.
  • Hopefully they will give us a solution soon. I saw that they compiled 10.10512.1000.th2.150802-1426 9 days ago. I'm assuming that this is the first service pack fot Windows 10. They have also been doing quite a lot of testing of 10.0.10240.th1.xxxxxx-xxx as well.
  • If they aren't bringing back Smart Files, I don't care about the update. MS broke OneDrive with Windows 10 and they need to fix it ASAP. I'm already considering moving back to local files and giving up on OneDrive completely.