One of the biggest advantages of using OneDrive is its amazing feature called placeholders. This feature allows the OneDrive client on your Windows machine to show all the files and folders in the cloud, and when you try to open a file, it will be instantly downloaded from the cloud. However, this feature was removed in Windows 10.
That being said, this feature might return in the upcoming RedStone build. Until then, if you are someone who loves the OneDrive placeholder feature, then you can simulate that kind of behaviour by simply adding OneDrive as a network drive in Windows.
This is a good way as you don’t have to sync each and every file on your local machine, yet you can access all the files with just a click or two as if they are in your local storage. This approach also works with Windows 7.
Map OneDrive as a Network Drive in Windows
To map OneDrive as a network drive in Windows, you need your unique OneDrive account ID. To get that log in to your OneDrive account, and in the browser address bar you will see your unique account ID. It will be something like
Open some sort of text editor, copy the below URL and replace “yourUniqueID” with the ID you see in the OneDrive URL. We are going to need this unique URL to map OneDrive.
Once you have the unique URL, open File Explorer using the keyboard shortcut “Win + E,” select the “Computer” tab and then select the option “Map Network Drive.”
The above action will open the Map Network Drive window. Here, select the drive letter of your choice, enter the unique URL that you created earlier in the Folder field and click on the “Finish” button to continue.
As soon as you press the Finish button, Windows starts the connection attempt.
Once the connection is successful, you will be asked to enter the username and password. Before clicking on the “OK” button, don’t forget to select the “Remember my credentials” checkbox so that you don’t have to enter your username and password each and every time you need to access the network drive.
Note: if you are using two-factor authentication, you should use the app-specific password rather than your regular account password. You can generate the app-specific password using this link.
You’ve successfully added OneDrive as a network drive in Windows. Don’t worry about the disk usage stats on the network drive, as it is simply mirroring your C drive stats.
From this point on, you can access your OneDrive account and all its files and folders directly from your File Explorer, and you don’t have to worry about losing space by syncing all the files.
If you think the default name of the OneDrive network drive is a bit boring, then you can rename it. To do that, simply right-click on the drive and select the option “Rename,” and enter your new drive name.
Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above method to add OneDrive as a network drive in Windows.
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