Microsoft is Retiring OneDrive File Fetching

A Microsoft support document notes that OneDrive users will no longer be able to Fetch files from their PC after July 31, 2020.

“After July 31, 2020, you will no longer be able to fetch files from your PC,” the document explains. “However, you can sync files and folders to OneDrive and then access those files from your web browser or your phone. To automatically sync the Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders on your PC, you can turn on OneDrive PC folder backup.”

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News of the change comes via Born’s IT and Windows Blog, which I discovered through Neowin. But you can also see a message to this effect by opening OneDrive on the web and navigating to the PCs link.

As Microsoft notes, the OneDrive Fetch files feature allows—sorry, allowed—users to access all their files on a particular PC from another computer by going to the OneDrive website. The interface allowed you to browse a PC’s files remotely, including any network locations that were included in the PC’s libraries or mapped as drives. This feature needed to be enabled, and of course the PC needed to be running for remote file Fetch to work.

Oddly, Fetch only worked on Windows 7 and Windows 10, and not on Windows 8.1 or the Mac.

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Conversation 14 comments

  • madthinus

    Premium Member
    14 July, 2020 - 9:11 am

    <p>I guess this was not a well used feature due to security concerns. </p>

  • IanYates82

    Premium Member
    14 July, 2020 - 9:33 am

    <p>They didn't say why this change was being made. </p><p>Security concern? Or just lack of use? </p>

  • olditpro2000

    Premium Member
    14 July, 2020 - 9:48 am

    <p>I didn't even know this existed. I'm assuming this never came to OneDrive for Business.</p>

  • wunderbar

    Premium Member
    14 July, 2020 - 10:01 am

    <p>I used this feature exactly once. It was basically an “emergency” feature for me. The one time I used/needed it, I *really* needed it.</p>

  • behindmyscreen

    14 July, 2020 - 10:03 am

    <p>This is a nothing burger for me. I always sync my files to OneDrive on all the platforms I use.</p>

  • waethorn

    14 July, 2020 - 10:07 am

    <p>Security issues?</p>

  • Vitor Canova Weingaertner

    14 July, 2020 - 10:40 am

    <p>Dear God. For a moment I thought they had deprecated placeholder files again. </p>

  • yaddamaster

    14 July, 2020 - 10:45 am

    <p>they're deprecating the feature because it wasn't used. It wasn't widely used because no one knew about it.</p><p><br></p><p>How hidden was this feature? I had no idea it existed. Am I the only one?</p>

    • ngc224

      14 July, 2020 - 12:02 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#553933">In reply to yaddamaster:</a></em></blockquote><p>I suspect this has something to do with the Windows 10 2004 update.</p>

  • SvenJ

    Premium Member
    14 July, 2020 - 12:03 pm

    <p>I knew about it. Never used it. Everything I really cared about was already sync'd to OneDrive. I do treat OneDrive as sort of a network share though. I don't have my Documents, Desktop, Pictures, etc syncing. Anyone know if you have two devices, a desktop, a laptop, and you enable PC Folder backup, does it keep those Document folders separate or mush it all together? Giving it a shot could make a mess.</p>

  • ph-sth

    14 July, 2020 - 9:01 pm

    <p>Tried to use it last week, which is how I found out it was being binned. It didn't work.</p>

  • aumha

    14 July, 2020 - 9:19 pm

    <p>I've known about it since it first existed and only used it maybe three times – mostly to confirm it worked (and all of them before I started using OneDrive extensively). It just isn't necessary anymore. Adding OneDrive ability to automatically sync Documents and desktop folders surely put a nail in its coffin. What do you really need to get from a remote personal machine that isn't covered by that if you're using OneDrive? (And on an enterprise machine, there are other, better ways, and this should have been locked out.)</p>

  • jim_vernon

    Premium Member
    15 July, 2020 - 1:33 am

    <p>I am fine with this. Never used the feature because I didn't like the idea of anything on my PC being available online.</p>

  • erichk

    Premium Member
    15 July, 2020 - 12:41 pm

    <p>Interesting feature, but I have to admit I didn't know it existed.</p>

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