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Virtual Files on Windows 10

Christian Kamm edited this page Jul 17, 2019 · 1 revision

Virtual files on Windows 10

An experimental mode for native files-on-demand support was introduced in ownCloud Client 2.6.0.

This integration uses the Microsoft Windows cloud files API and as such behaves similarly to Microsoft OneDrive and other cloud sync engines based on the same interface.

It is implemented via "virtual" or "placeholder" files (vfs). See for details on virtual files.


  • Windows 10, version 1709 or later
  • ownCloud Client 2.6.0 or later

You can verify that the native integration is in use by looking for "Using virtual files plugin: wincfapi" in the client's "About" dialog.


When the mode is enabled it will look like all files are available when browsing the sync folder in the file explorer. However, the contents of some files may not may not be present on the local computer and will only be downloaded when the data is needed.

The icon in the "Status" column indicates whether the file contents are available:

  • Checkmark in filled green circle: pinned, data downloaded

    The file contents will be available locally permanently.

  • Checkmark in circle with green outline: data downloaded

    The file contents are currently available but may be deleted by the sync client or the operating system.

  • Cloud symbol: data in cloud

    The file contents are not stored locally and will be downloaded when necessary.

You can adjust file's and folder's desired availability with context menu actions:

  • Use "Free up space" to delete the local copy of the file contents.
  • Use "Always keep on this device" to pin a file and ensure a local copy of the file contents will be available.

When these actions are used on folders they will apply to all contained items.

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