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Carbonite and OneDrive's File On-Demand Feature

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    • If you require further assistance please see a Microsoft technician


Files On-Demand, a OneDrive feature Microsoft introduced in 2017, is not compatible with Carbonite. When enabled, Files On-Demand uploads the files in the OneDrive folder to the OneDrive cloud and replaces the original files on your computer with shortcuts. When you access these files, OneDrive downloads temporary copies to your computer so you can view and open them.


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How does this affect Carbonite backups?

If Files On-Demand is enabled, the original files are removed from the OneDrive folder and replaced with shortcut files. As a result, the original files are not on the machine to be backed up by Carbonite. If Files On-Demand is enabled and removes local copies of files Carbonite has already backed up, the Carbonite backups for those files will be removed after the 30 or 60 days.

To resolve the issue:

  1. Open OneDrive from your computer through the white or blue OneDrive cloud icon in the Windows taskbar notification area.
    Open OneDrive from your white or blue cloud icon
  2. In the activity center select More, then click Settings.
    OneDrive: Click More / Settings
  3. On the Settings tab, uncheck Save space and download files as you use them.
    OneDrive Settings: Files On-Demand Unchecked

After disabling Files On-Demand, OneDrive will download and store your files locally on your computer and Carbonite will then be able to back them up.

Note: In newer versions of Windows and OneDrive, the settings section in different.

OneDrive Settings: Files On-Demand slider

Files On-Demand can be turned off by "downloading all files" and following the prompts that come after regarding turning off One-Drive and confirming the amount of space downloading the files will take on your hard drive.

Alternative Method:

OneDrive offers another way to ensure that the data is synced to the device:

  • Navigate to your user profile at "C:\Users\[name]" and right-click on the OneDrive folder within, there should be an option which reads, "Always keep on this device."
    OneDrive Settings: Files On-Demand slider
  • This option is a basic checkmark toggle, and if that option is checked for the top-level OneDrive folder, then all data within should be synced to the device accordingly, and will therefore be accessible to Carbonite.
    • This takes the guesswork out of trying to determine whether the "Download All Files" option has, in fact, disabled that functionality.
How does this affect Carbonite restores?

If Files On-Demand was enabled, you may be unable to restore files from the OneDrive folder with Carbonite. The shortcut files created by Files On-Demand are unusable when restored from Carbonite.

For more information on restoring files affected by this setting, please review Microsoft’s Support Knowledge Base at