Microsoft is Retiring OneDrive File Fetching

Posted on July 14, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in OneDrive with 14 Comments

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.”

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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Comments (14)

14 responses to “Microsoft is Retiring OneDrive File Fetching”

  1. Avatar

    madthinus

    I guess this was not a well used feature due to security concerns.

  2. Avatar

    IanYates82

    They didn't say why this change was being made.

    Security concern? Or just lack of use?

  3. Avatar

    olditpro2000

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

  4. Avatar

    wunderbar

    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.

  5. Avatar

    behindmyscreen

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

  6. Avatar

    Vitor Canova Weingaertner

    Dear God. For a moment I thought they had deprecated placeholder files again.

  7. Avatar

    yaddamaster

    they're deprecating the feature because it wasn't used. It wasn't widely used because no one knew about it.


    How hidden was this feature? I had no idea it existed. Am I the only one?

  8. Avatar

    SvenJ

    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.

  9. Avatar

    ph-sth

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

  10. Avatar

    aumha

    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.)

  11. Avatar

    jim_vernon

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

  12. Avatar

    erichk

    Interesting feature, but I have to admit I didn't know it existed.

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