OneDrive placeholders reportedly “inching their way” into Windows 10 Redstone 2

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Could Microsoft bring back OneDrive placeholders on Windows 10 in the future? The deprecated Windows 8.1 tool has been one of the most requested features in the Windows 10 Feedback Hub, and the UWP OneDrive app is still not as straightforward to manage your OneDrive tools on your Windows 10 PC. However, things could change in the future as pretty reliable leaker @tfwboredeom has just shared on Twitter that the feature could come back in upcoming Windows 10 Redstone 2 builds:

If you’re not familiar with them, placeholders or “smart files” were a Windows 8.1 feature which would show you your entire OneDrive library within your File Explorer without needing to download your files. Windows 10 has since removed that handy feature, and the built-in OneDrive desktop app now forces you to either sync all your OneDrive folders on your PC or only select the ones you really need.

Back in December 2015, head of Microsoft’s SharePoint and OneDrive businesses Jeff Teper explained in a interview with ZDNet reporter Mary Jo Foley that Microsoft chose to remove the feature in Windows 10 as placeholders “never integrated with the Windows file system, meaning some apps, APIs and command line tools didn’t work as they should.” Since then, OneDrive competitor Dropbox has announced a placeholder replacement solution with “Project Infinite”, a new feature that will allow Dropbox users to see all their files without needing to sync them locally on their machine.

Do you miss placeholders on your Windows 10 PC, and do you think Microsoft can afford to let Dropbox develop a similar feature without implementing a better native solution? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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