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Home > Best Practices > OneDrive - How to Free up Storage Space
OneDrive - How to Free up Storage Space
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When you use OneDrive, all items that appear under OneDrive on your computer are, by default, stored online (“in the cloud”). When you open an item in OneDrive on your computer, it creates a local copy on your computer.  If you lose internet connection, you can continue working on the local copy and the next time you connect to the internet, the changes made on your local computer should sync to the cloud.

You can determine the storage location of your OneDrive items by looking in File Explorer. In File Explorer, under OneDrive, you will see status icons next to files and folders.  One is a cloud and the other is a circle with a green check mark.

A green check mark next to a file means you have opened the file on your computer and a local copy has been created. Changes made to the local copy are sync’d to OneDrive online.

A cloud icon next to a file means it is stored in your OneDrive online.

A green check mark next to a folder means everything in the folder has a local copy.

A cloud icon next to a folder indicates some but possibly not all content is stored online.  The folder could contain some local copies.

Local copies consume space on your computer.  It is recommended to perform the task of freeing up space to remove local copies and force a synchronization of local copies to your OneDrive online.

If you are using OneDrive within Citrix, we recommend you free up space on a more regular basis if not daily to ensure you do not run out of space in your Citrix profile.

Freeing up space is a very fast process. You can right-click on an individual file or folder and choose the Free up space option.  You can also right-click on “OneDrive – Arapahoe Community College” and choose Free up space.  This will remove all local copies under your OneDrive.  Note, if you are synchronizing SharePoint sites, you can also right-click on the site name and choose Free up space.

Here is step by step on how to free up space:

1. Navigate to the document that you don't need locally anymore.

    a. Notice that these two documents are local indicated by the green checkmarks.



2. Select the document.

3. Right-click the document.

4. Select the option Free Up Space.



5. Now, the document will sync and be backed up to the cloud indicated by the white cloud with the blue outline.



6. If you need the document again, you open it normally, and it will download again to your computer.

7. This can also be done with the whole OneDrive folder.

    a. Repeat the previous steps by right-clicking on the OneDrive folder.



8. Now, all you documents will be uploaded to the OneDrive cloud.


Any questions? Contact the ACC IT Helpdesk at 303-797-5900 or email [email protected] for further assistance.

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