Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage finally gets an offline mode - with a catch

And no, the catch isn't that we'll see adverts in the Start menu telling us about this - it's actually that it's just a limited rollout to certain users.

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Microsoft's OneDrive is getting a mode that allows you to work with your files in the storage locker when you don't have an internet connection.

The new offline mode in OneDrive (Image Credit: Microsoft)

The new offline mode in OneDrive (Image Credit: Microsoft)

The catch we mentioned in the headline? This is that the feature is rolling out to begin with only to OneDrive work and school users (across the globe), but surely a broader deployment to consumers will follow soon enough.

How does offline mode work with OneDrive? You can continue to interact with the following views: Home, My files, Shared, Favorites, People, and Meeting.

In My Files, you can rename files, move them, or copy them, and take other common actions with those changes being synced when your internet connection is reestablished.

You can also view folder details, and open locally stored files (which are marked as available offline) and make changes to them, having them saved locally. Again, when your online connection is restored, those files will then be synced.

So, it's all pretty much as you would expect, and these changes have further benefits when you're online, too. One nifty move is the possibility to make local folders online-only, so they're just on OneDrive, saving local storage space if you've got a small SSD for example (and facilitating access even when offline due to the new mode of operation, of course).

Microsoft further boasts that:

"You will experience up to 3X faster loading times when viewing and interacting with your files in OneDrive in your browser and in the OneDrive app in Microsoft Teams and Outlook."

As we said before, we should see these changes coming through for consumers soon enough - it's surely just a matter of time before Microsoft implements this way of working more widely.

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Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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