This long-anticipated feature is on its way to OneDrive and will make offline users happy

OneDrive web albums
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft OneDrive will soon ship with an Offline mode.
  • The feature lets users access the platform even without an internet connection.
  • While on Offline mode, you can "view, sort, rename, move, copy, and delete files."
  • The feature is expected to be available in preview by November 2023, shortly after Microsoft's exclusive event focusing on the future of OneDrive.

We're a few weeks shy of Microsoft's exclusive event focusing on the future of OneDrive. And while there's little information to go about regarding what will be discussed on the October 3, 2023, event besides "benefits of faster file access, better organization, simpler collaboration, and improved file security across Microsoft 365," there's a likelihood that the company will also touch on generative AI and its advancements in OneDrive.

While we wait for Microsoft to provide a detailed account of the platform's future, there's a pretty neat feature on its way to OneDrive, as spotted by Neowin.

According to Microsoft's 365 Roadmap, a new feature dubbed Offline mode is in the works. The feature tagged 168618, as the name suggests, users will essentially be able to access their files and photos regardless of whether they have an internet connection or not. And as the feature's description highlights:

This feature will allow you to launch OneDrive in your browser and view, sort, rename, move, copy, and delete files even without internet access. Additionally, for locally stored OneDrive files (those that are marked as “always available offline”) you will be able to open and work on these in your browser even if you are offline. All of the changes you make offline will be automatically synced back when Internet connection is restored.

Perhaps this could be one of the many features the company intends to introduce during its Microsoft OneDrive: The Future of File Management is Here event. Per the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, the preview version is expected to roll out to users in November 2023 and will ship to broad availability later in December 2023.

And as is often the case, Microsoft ships features in waves. As such, it isn't farfetched that the company might announce the feature during the event as the release schedule lines up perfectly. 

Analysis: The fix

(Image credit: Future)

For the longest time, the internet has been a crucial component of OneDrive's accessibility, which has proven to be a major setback and deterrent to productivity, especially when facing intermittent internet connectivity. 

But as it now seems, Microsoft has picked up on this issue and is working toward incorporating Offline mode into OneDrive. This will help users establish continuity while using the platform, and what's more, the changes made while offline will sync automatically once the user established a stable internet connection.

In related news, Microsoft recently announced amendments limiting how many photos users can store on the cloud. As of October 16, photos featured in galleries and albums will be counted separately against the user's OneDrive storage quota. This means that a single image will technically take up almost twice the space. 

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Kevin Okemwa
Contributor

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.