New OneDrive for Business sync client preview available for Windows

Microsoft is launching a preview version of its new OneDrive for Business sync client for Windows. The new version adds a number of new features and improvements for businesses who want to access Microsoft's cloud storage service.

OneDrive Selective Sync

One of the new features is called Selective Sync. Microsoft says:

"Selective sync is a key feature in the new client (and your most requested one), allowing you to choose which folders to sync to your device. Better yet, it's specific to each of your devices so that you can optimize based on how you use each device and its local storage constraints."

Some of the other improvements in the new sync client include increasing the individual file size limit from 2GB to 10GB and eliminating the 20,000-file sync limit. Microsoft has a sign-up page for businesses who want to check out the OneDrive for Business sync client.

Microsoft has also improved the OneDrive for Business browser interface:

"A highlight of the new browser experience is the ability to switch between a list and preview tile view which makes it easy to identify key files. All of the key actions you want to take on a file or folder, such as preview, edit, share and delete, are conveniently located on the toolbar or by right-clicking a specific file or folder. This new browser experience makes managing your work files easier than ever. "

The new OneDrive for Business sync client preview is currently available for Windows 7, 8 and 10, but Windows 8.1 users will have to wait until the first quarter of 2016.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab)

36 Comments
  • Selective sync is good to download what you need, but an option like that to what we upload would be better...
  • Ehh...there is an option to control what you upload. You just save the file in your local storage instead of in your OneDrive folder.
  • So this is basically the same sync client as the consumer OneDrive found on Windows 10, I think. Can't be worse than the old OneDrive for Business, which was unspeakably awful - basically an unusable paid-for service. Shame they didn't announce ths a few weeks ago before my company shelled out for a dropbox business subscription having got tired of the vast number of wasted hours we had spent trying to correct problems with 1D Business.
  • Actually, they did announce it months ago ... https://blog.onedrive.com/onedrive_burns_brightly_at_microsoft_ignite/ I've been waiting since then to finally get my hands on this beta client ... as you said, the current OFB sync client is an absolute nightmare, the worst piece of software I ever used from MS. But now, finally, OFB will be a great alternative for O365 subscribers ... unlimited storage (aka 10 TB) for what you pay is very attractive.
  • Agree.  What a POS.  I know what they were trying to do in creating a "OneDrive" experience based on SharePoint libraries.  But it was thrown together as a hack job and didn't work well.  Typical MSFT.   It was comical. They should have waited until it was rewritten from the ground up like they finally did.  Throw crap out there and fix it later. And they wonder why company IT departments hesitate to implement new things from them. They just keep delivering alpha software as finished product  
  • I don't like the new OneDrive. I like the old One where I could work save and upload files off-line (with the ability what folders I wanted to be on/off). The new nethod only syncs with your physical space, it should work with the option as a virtual connection. If you have a Surface Pro with limited physical space and 1TB of OneDrive space this is a useless product.
  • Nailed it Joe. I agree completely. While I am not against selective sync, they should have kept the placeholders and made them better.  If this confused the uneducated average user, grey out the offline/cloud files so you can physically see the difference because a column that stated the state of the file was not enough.
  • The argument was that it confused customers.  Now, it doesn't have to be a default.  It can be an option that explains what it does.  The default can be whatever they are currently doing and those non-tech savvy people can keep it that way but those of us who want to have placeholders should  have the option to do so. 
  • Sure, but they could render the file icon within a cloud icon. That would make it understandable.
  • MS has already said that they will eventually bring that functionality back. They didn't drop it because it was confusing. They dropped it because they needed to redesign some of it to consolidate the code with other versions of the service and client on other platforms.
  • I really hope so.
  • Spot on,there seems to be a lot of confusion on why they removed placeholders every time the issue gets mentioned. It was part of consolidating the OneDrive clients to use a single sync engine - Which includes this new preview client for OFB. In theory it should mean once they are aligned we could see improvements come to both clients going forwards
  • I agree. Placeholders are also good for searching your cloud files offline. Without placeholders I have always to use the web client to know what files are available. For me it's a bad user experience.
  • Absolutely. OneDrive is a complete pain in the ass to use now. Basically I can't sync my pictures because they would consume my entire Surface Pro 3 SSD. So I can sync everything but my pictures, and if I want to get/sync my pictures, I have to work through the web client, or do a convoluted reorg of my entire photo library. It's a UX disaster.
  • Would have thought we would have started seeing signs of what they are replacing Onedrive placeholders with by now, guess thats another feature that will finally be released when the OS is truly finished.....
  • Placeholders are dead. gone. kaput. Never to be seen again. Evidently we didn't understand how to use them because we are stoopid.
  • They did promise a "better" solution for placeholders but that they'd come back...
  • I remember that too but unfortunately based of Microsoft track records, its now harder to trust what they mean "better". Also they seems pretty silent about the status of Placeholders which just makes OneDrive users who used that feature frustrated and unsatisfied. TH2 is almost ready and we still don't have any news about it. We don't even know if they will push it before Redstone or if they will ever make it to Redstone. They should've at least let it stay and just push the new Engine and better OneDrive when its ready. This waiting game is another reason why some people leaving Microsoft ecosystem in general.
  • Why is it Microsoft thinks, oh, gosh, people are having trouble with this feature, let's remove it completely, rather than, oh, maybe there's a better way to implement this? I'm a Microsoft fanboy, I admit, but man they make a lot of very nonsensical decisions.
  • Agree! "Sometimes" Microsoft is very weird with their decisions. No wonder why they still have to deal with these mess we got now.
  • Haha.. so they used the consumer client and rename it to business client which is the shitty version of the Win 8.1 client.. good stuff
  • To consolidate the client experience, and the underlying sync engine was the reason placeholders were removed for now. This is a positive thing for OFB users. The old/current client is not as simple as it should be to use. This new beta client along with the new web experience is a HUGE step forward for the Business version of OneDrive.
  • can someone please share preview version  ?
  • Wow, so instead of going into OD settings to choose offline directories I can open the same dialog from the context menu. Genius! Worth paying for :p And if you put every single file into its own folder you can have your placeholders back, you ingrates :p
  • Slightly off topic, but somewhat related. I currently find myself extremely frustrated with OneDrive... or should I say TwoDrive, since that is actually what it is for me. I've been using OneDrive for a while and was becoming more and more a fan of it. Then, I saw that I could sign up to get free Office 365 and 1TB of storage as a student... so I did. This new account has to remain separate from my existing account. The storage won't mix and they are literally 2 different storage spaces that cannot be combined. Stupid! Thanks for TwoDrive Microsoft! You had an opportunity to release something awesome for students and it is unappealing because it won't integrate with existing accounts that are already in daily use. TwoDrive, brilliant!
  • I don't get why you would assume you'd be able to merge two accounts like that? You can share the folders between the two accounts if you wanted, but OneDrive is designed more to be used with a single account per person. Your use case is quite rare so I wouldn't expect them to change it any time soon
  • When I signed up for it, I assumed I would get the 1 TB added to my existing account and have the Office 365 linked into it as well. I don't want 2 separate accounts. I just want one account with everything tied into it. That's kind of the point I was making. It forced me to have 2 separate, unrelated accounts. Not the user experience I was hoping for.
  • Give back placeholders please!!!!
  • So.... Does this FINALLY fix the ridicilous problem of ODFB where the sync client makes a cache folder to your C-drive that keeps groving and eventually will be equal to you synced data size? Anyone tested this?
  • Equal to the size of your synced data? Consider yourself lucky. Mine hit about 3 times the size of synced data.
  • Haha I folded when it got about the same size. I tried to resolve the issue with support on 4 occasions and when I was told "it does this by design", I told them to go **** themselves and send me a 1TB ssd, but the never did.. Go figure. Ive been using GoodSync now to sync my backups, but I want to sync more and automatically, so this solution (if it would work properly) would really be a welcomed addition. Microsoft is going down the drain because everything they rrelease is a beta or just works like shit. Or actually they release something thats shit, then they re-release it in beta that has a better idea, but lacks functionality.
  • Hi   how have made your set-up i cant get mine to work
  • I'm so glad this is out (Though a waiting list? Just another way to annoy a pissed off user base) A few points... 20,000 file limit? How do I even get that? Our sharepoint libraries have a ridiculous 5,000 file limit on it. Would be great for Placeholders to come to ODFB as well as returning to OD - even if it's off by default. The OneDrive in the Browser experience looks great. How do we get that for our SharePoint Libraries as well? Shared Libraries are the more important thing for businesses and the current experience is clunky, ugly and slow.
  • No SharePoint library sync. This is indeed a serious limitation for businesses.  For now, I'm stuck with the old version.
  • This 5000 limit is also on group file storage which is just as painful. Hopefully that disappears as well.
  • Anyone know whether this new preview client suffers from a humongous bug in the existing OneDrive client? If you restore an earlier image of a computer (e.g taken with Macrium Reflect) or restore a virtual machine snapshot, Office 365 OneDrive assumes the restored image is the master copy and happily deletes​ any files created since the image/snapshot and worse​ restored any files you've since deleted. Anyone who works in IT frequently restores images or uses VM for trailing installs so this is a massive problem. ​I also use Google Drive & Dropbox and I'm pretty sure they don't suffer from the same huge design flaw. They must have a better design whereby they know which is the latest copy - the cloud copy or the local copy. I'm guessing they maintain their own directory of the cloud folders in the cloud so know which is the most up to date version irrespective of timestamps. I'll do a trial of the preview client soon... I really hope that OneDrive for Business doesn't suffer from this as well.. Can you imagine the confusion and disaster if one happened to restore a VM which was synchronising a SharePoint document library and the restored version was months behind and OneDrive for Business decided to make that the master version? One would be fired! Where do the OneDrive developers hang out? Is it possible to file a bug report on the preview?