Microsoft OneDrive bids farewell to file fetching feature

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Use OneDrive (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is discontinuing OneDrive's file fetching feature.
  • The feature allowed you to retrieve files from a PC that's connected to the internet.
  • You'll still be able to sync files and folders from your PC to other devices through the cloud.

OneDrive will discontinue its feature that allows people to fetch files off a PC on July 31, 2020. While the file fetching feature won't work after this month, people will still be able to sync their files and folders from their PC to OneDrive. Microsoft added a note about the end of the feature to a support document recently (via BornCity).

The ability to fetch files lets you access all files from a PC through the OneDrive website. You can retrieve files from the PC or any network locations the PC has mapped as drives or in its libraries. The feature requires a PC to be on and connected to the internet. The feature is disabled by default, but you could easily enable it through OneDrive's settings.

Fetching files provided some benefits that syncing files to OneDrive doesn't offer. First, you could access files from network locations. Second, you could remotely access all of your files without having to sync them through OneDrive's cloud storage. This uses less space but requires a PC to be connected to the internet.

How to set up file backup to OneDrive on Windows 10 May 2020 Update

For many people, they'll be able to replicate this functionality through OneDrive file and folder syncing. As an example, I use OneDrive as my main storage on every PC that I use and select which files are stored locally or just on the cloud. I can then access any files from my PC on the web and mobile devices. It doesn't completely replicate the functionality of file fetching, but for many workflows it covers the same bases.

Microsoft's support document points people toward file and folder syncing, stating:

After July 31, 2020, you will no longer be able to fetch files from your PC. However, you can sync files and folders to OneDrive and then access those files from your web browser or your phone. To automatically sync the Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders on your PC, you can turn on OneDrive PC folder backup.

The support document also points people toward PC folder backup, which allows you to back up important folders.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at