Filtering by Category: Cloud Storage

Get OneDrive placeholder files on Windows 10 & OSX

Added on by Tony Magliulo.

Windows 10 was released last week and the general consensus is that Microsoft managed to get a lot of things right, blending the better parts of Windows 7 and 8 into a worthy successor. Even though Windows 10 is better than its predecessors in many ways, a staggering number of users have noted the significant step backwards with OneDrive functionality.

Windows 8.x introduced a much lauded feature for OneDrive users with “placeholder” or “smart” files. This feature allowed OneDrive users to visualize all of their OneDrive files without needing them to be physically cached on the system. Unfortunately for loyal OneDrive users, this feature has been taken away in Windows 10.

We have the solution you need

If you are reading this, chances are good that you are one of the unfortunate Windows 10 users that has been impacted by this change (or an OS X user that has been left out in the cold since the beginning). The good news is that odrive has you covered. One of the core features of odrive is the ability to virtualize your files.

Progressive sync

From the start, odrive has employed what is called “progressive sync”. This is the ability to instantly choose what you want to sync locally, at both the folder and file level. With odrive you get the flexibility and control you need, with all of your files.


How it works

odrive has a powerful, always-on sync engine at its core. If any local file system modifications or additions are detected, odrive will automatically and instantly begin syncing those changes to your OneDrive account. This same sync engine is what allows odrive to represent both files and folders, virtually, as “stub” files on your local system.

To ensure that you always know what is virtual and what isn’t, odrive distinguishes between virtual and physical files in a number of ways.

  • Cloud files and folders are given unique icons to set them apart from cached files and expanded folders
  • Locally cached files are given a checkmark overlay to indicate that they are in sync and physically available on the local file system.
  • A cloud file carries the extension .cloudx
  • A cloud folder carries the extension of .cloudfx.

With odrive, interaction with virtualized files and folders is extremely intuitive. A simple double-click or right-click sync action will expand cloud folders or locally cache cloud files. Decide in-line and on-the-fly what you need, instead of being forced to preemptively choose what you want synced from a separate, cumbersome UI. With the option to set an automatic download threshold and the ability to recursively sync the folder structures of your choice, odrive gives you the power and flexibility you are looking for, for all of your storage.

A few examples of the control you will gain with odrive's progressive sync:

  • Do you want to see all of the files and folders available but have no files cached? No problem. Set the auto-download limit to “never download” and right-click “sync all” on your OneDrive folder.
  • Do you want to only cache one file out of thousands to focus your efforts? You can with odrive. Just drill directly to the file you need and sync it.
  • Do you need to save some space on that tiny laptop SSD? It is easy with odrive. A right-click “unsync” action is all that it takes to free up that valuable space.

All of your bases are covered

With odrive, the “placeholder” functionality that users fell in love with in Windows 8.x is available in Windows 10…. and Windows 7, and OS X. Not only is progressive sync available for OneDrive, but it is also available for all of your other storage. Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive, file servers, you name it, odrive has you covered, for free.

To read more about odrive sync:

You're now free to choose between all storage

Added on by Jeff Lin.

This past weekend, I replaced a fan on my Drobo FS, a NAS unit that has been part of my digital life for over four years.  As I waded through tiny screws and cramped steel casing to get to the internals, I kept thinking to myself "why am I wasting my time with this?" And "why haven't I moved everything (mostly photos) to one of those recent free unlimited storage providers like Google Photos or Amazon Cloud Drive?"

 Attribution: Sergiodlarosa | Wikimedia Commons

 Attribution: Sergiodlarosa | Wikimedia Commons

My NAS, My Mastodon

For years, I've been lovingly referring to my NAS as a mastodon.  A powerful, strong, useful beast... that will eventually become extinct.  Cloud storage would surely win.  No hardware to personally maintain.  Ultimate elasticity and redundancy.  Much lower total cost of ownership.  A NAS with disks could cost upwards of $600 or $700, which could instead be user to pay for many years of unlimited cloud storage.  The cost of cloud storage has essentially been a big fat race to zero.  So what's my problem, and why am I living in the past?

Ultimately, I'm still anxious about privacy and skeptical about some of the true costs of free storage.  For example, Google Photos has a powerful search feature for my uploaded photos where I was able to enter a search for "watermelon" and find a picture from last year of my little girl wearing a watermelon dress.  While this is a killer feature for end-users, I also find it to be a bit unnerving.

Projecting into the future, Google will have yet an even better idea of where I've been and what I've been doing.  Demographic and psychographic marketing will be considered child's play compared to having total individual information about me.  If I upload camping pictures every month of me in an Arcteryx jacket, sipping on a can of Pepsi, then I'm probably going to be served Pepsi ads all day until my laptop gets diabetes.  I won't be able to go a day without seeing jackets, tents, and other gear from REI, The North Face, and Patagonia on sale. I won't be able to escape my consumer self.

Not everybody is squeamish about these kinds of things.  Today, for much of my data, it doesn't really matter.  But tomorrow may be a different story--when is too much information too much power?  I'm very interested in seeing how cloud storage and privacy evolve over the next decade.  There may be paid services that grow out of backlash against information harvesting.  Encryption, security, and two-factor authentication may quickly become more of a concern in the near future, at least for certain personal files and work files.

When it comes to storage, I am Pro-choice

Fortunately, in a multiverse of both storage options and user needs, a product like odrive can level the playing field and facilitate choices.  Without odrive, it would be painful to use multiple storage sources for content with different needs and contexts (e.g. OneDrive for my documents, Amazon Cloud Drive for my photos, a Google Drive account for work files, a personal Google Drive account, etc.).  With odrive it's simple... you can tailor a blended storage strategy according to the specific needs of your data--be it privacy, security, cost, accessibility features, reliability, compliance, or anything else.

So for now, I will keep my mastodon and move my photo archive to Amazon Cloud Drive (sorry, Google).  Fortunately, I have odrive File Server running on another computer at home so I can conveniently access my Drobo's contents as well.  Will there ever be a one-size-fits-all solution for all of my data?  I don't think so.  And with odrive, it doesn't matter.  Every provider can be a winner by providing the best solution for a particular use case, and every user can be a winner by using a combination of the best tools available.

Storage providers will come and go, but with odrive you can fluidly combine and organize your files so you're never forced to choose just one.

- Jeff

What is Progressive Sync?

Added on by Aric Johnson.

Building sync is really, really hard.

When we started building sync on Oxygen, we ran into a lot of challenges along the way. How can sync work smoothly when there is a ton of data? How can it still be easy and usable without adding a million configurations to your settings? How can we make it just “work” without creating additional obstacles to manage all the different stuff you are syncing?

We created Progressive Sync with the mission to let you sync a lot of things quickly and in the most effortless way possible.

It’s unlimited - sync as much as you want 

Typically with traditional sync, you are limited by how much physical storage space you have. In other words, you can only sync as much as your hard drive can fit.

But with Progressive Sync, it is unlimited and you can use it to sync as much data as you want. The key with Progressive Sync is that it doesn't automatically download entire folders or directories right away. It is progressive because it only “syncs as you go” - it will only download the folders you are browsing and not everything else at the same time.

So on odrive, a .cloudfx is an unsynced folder stub. Once it is synced, you can click through and view or edit everything inside. 

Similarly for files, unsynced files are displayed with a .cloudx stub. A synced file on the other hand, has a normal extension and a check mark, letting you know the file is local and available. 


It’s automatic - it always syncs what you want

There are some applications that give you the option to do selective sync, so you can manage your settings and change your configurations to figure out what specific folders you want or don’t want.

We took that one step further with Progressive Sync and made it automatic. It syncs as you browse, so you don’t have to configure anything. Double-click on the files and folders you need and we will automatically sync it for you, so it’s seamless as you interact with the system. 

Progressive Sync also prioritizes what you want at the moment over what might be syncing in the background. If you right-click to sync a file, and there is already a folder with tons of other stuff syncing at the same time, we will re-prioritize the sync jobs to sync the file you want first, so you don’t have to wait.

To help save on bandwidth and disk space, odrive will also skip the large files until you choose to sync them. That way your odrive stays fast and doesn’t bog down your network.

It’s flexible - sync what you want and unsync what you don't

You can choose to sync just a file or a whole folder with one-click. Not only can you sync, but you can also unsync anything you don’t want. Done working on a project? Easily unsync the whole project folder through the right-click. Unsync will remove the files from your local computer without deleting them from their original storage location. You don’t need to configure anything either. We will continue to show you a stub of the anything that has been unsynced, so if you need it again in the future, just double-click and they will instantly sync back.


It works with everything!

Because we just want to help you get all your sh*t together.

As we develop progressive sync, we created a foundation that allows us to extend our sync model beyond Oxygen to other content storage sources as well. That’s really how odrive was born – we built a really awesome sync platform to sync everything.

Okay, so maybe it doesn’t work with absolutely everything everything... yet. But we’re getting there. We’re adding new apps all the time so you can really #synceverything. Right now you can use odrive to sync Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, OneDrive, Oxygen Cloud, Facebook photos, Instagram, Salesforce, Gmail, FTP, WebDAV and even your file servers. You can also link multiple accounts if you have more than one for some apps.

We’re always in the process of adding more stuff to sync – so if there is something you want to sync, tell us! As long as there is a high demand and there is an API, we will try our best to make it happen for you. :)

- Julia

To read more about odrive sync:


How to Get The Most Out of Your Unlimited OneDrive Storage

Added on by Aric Johnson.

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that Office 365 subscribers will get unlimited OneDrive storage at no extra cost. While this is exciting news for all Office 365 subscribers, the reality of the situation is all of that storage just doesn’t fit on a person’s computer when using OneDrive.

About a year and a half ago when I first started working in marketing here, I was given a brand new Windows laptop. At this point in time, Microsoft had started pre-installing SkyDrive (now OneDrive) on all Windows computers. Since it was already on my laptop and I had 7GB of free storage to use, I figured I’d give it a try.

I really enjoyed the responsiveness of the desktop client when I started to use OneDrive, but I noticed it got to be a bit of a pain when I wanted to access my shared documents. Instead of being able to access them locally from my OneDrive folder, I had to go to my browser and login to the web client. I ideally wanted my files and my shared files in one place without having to use the web client every time. That’s why I now use odrive to access all of my stuff from OneDrive!

View shared files right from your desktop with odrive

odrive gives you access to all of your files on OneDrive in a single sync folder right on your desktop. There’s no more need to log into the web client just to view the files that someone has shared with you. Just double-click the “Shared With Me” folder within your OneDrive folder using odrive and all of your shared files are ready for instant viewing!

odrive mirrors all of your files, even the ones shared with you, within OneDrive.

odrive mirrors all of your files, even the ones shared with you, within OneDrive.

Save disk space by unsyncing the files you no longer need

Since you now have unlimited OneDrive storage, you’re faced with a bit of a dilemma because your computer can only hold so much of it. That’s why using odrive to access your stuff from OneDrive is so useful! Unlike OneDrive which syncs all of your files locally to your computer, odrive lets you sync only what you need.

If you’re done working on some files and no longer need them, just remove them from your computer by selecting “Unsync Folder” from the odrive menu. Don’t panic though, all of your files remain safely in your OneDrive storage when you unsync them. You’re just able to save a ton of space on your computer now! :) You can also access any of your unsynced files again just by double-clicking them.

You can easily unsync folders to save space by right-clicking and selecting "Unsync Folder" from the odrive menu.

You can easily unsync folders to save space by right-clicking and selecting "Unsync Folder" from the odrive menu.

Once your folder has successfully unsynced, odrive will let you know just how much disk space you have saved.

Once your folder has successfully unsynced, odrive will let you know just how much disk space you have saved.

Download odrive and start taking full advantage of your newfound unlimited OneDrive storage!


To read more about odrive sync:

How to Combine 42GB of Free Storage from Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive

Added on by Aric Johnson.

“Free Cloud Storage” is everywhere and who doesn’t like free! Box, Dropbox, Google, and Microsoft all offer tons of free storage. But every one of those companies has a plan to get you hooked so you eventually PAY for more. For some of us, cloud storage isn’t a justifiable cost. And some of us just enjoy the taste of Free-dom. So, if you have an email account, you can easily get 42 GBs of free storage in less than 5 minutes.

odrive is available for both Mac and Windows!

odrive is available for both Mac and Windows!

If you’re like me, you probably use one or all of those services already and you know it can be a PITA to use all your different accounts together. You’ve got to use the web to access your files (and have a ridiculously messy “Downloads” folder). If you want desktop access, you’ve got to download 4 different applications that sync everything you put in the cloud, directly to your computer. And those applications don’t play very nicely together when running them at the same time (at least that’s what my CPU tells me).

Fear not! There is finally a way to get the most out of COMPLETELY FREE storage.

odrive is the best way to utilize all your free storage seamlessly

odrive is your folder to everything you already use online. For you quick-to-judge haters out there, we’ll start with what it isn’t. odrive isn’t cloud storage. We don’t store (or want) your data, your files, or even your passwords. With odrive, you are connecting directly to your storage so your data does not go through us. Trust me, we don’t want your confidential files, your #selfies, or photos of your unmentionables. We just want to make your life easier! Here’s how odrive works:

odrive lets you connect directly to all your disparate storage apps and brings them all to you in a single desktop folder. What’s more is that odrive allows you to connect to multiple accounts on the same storage platform. Personally, I have 2 Dropbox accounts, 2 Gmail/Google Drive accounts, 1 Box, and 1 OneDrive account (not to mention 1 Facebook and 1 Instagram account).


I want my 42GBs of Free Storage!

To get your free storage you do need to sign up for the services I mentioned above. You can do that here.

After signing up, all you need to do is install odrive, then connect those accounts like we demonstrate in the video below. 

You are now free to move about your storage

odrive makes your cloud storage feel like local storage...because it is! Once you have a file synced to your computer, files can be dragged and dropped. You can move them around from account to account to keep things organized just the way you like.

Open and edit files directly from odrive and it will make sure when you hit that save button, the latest version of the file will make it to your cloud storage. And, if you are offline at the time you save, it will make sure the files get to the cloud once you re-establish internet connection. 

Double your storage, double your fun!

From one free-isseur to another, I love me some free stuff. We got 42GBs of free storage with a single email. How about using another email to get another 42GBs? odrive lets you connect to as many accounts as you want and you can literally do this as many times as you want, with as many different emails as you’d like to use (or create).

Happy Clouding!

odrive is available for Mac and Windows. No gimmicks. Just better access to all the stuff you already use online.

- Aric 

How to Use Your Dropbox and Box Together

Added on by Aric Johnson.

Box vs Dropbox? Now you don't have to choose

Many users love Dropbox and many users love Box. A quick google search will return hundreds and thousands of results comparing the two. Should I use Dropbox? Should I use Box? Truth is there are plenty of good reasons to use both depending on what your needs are. Do you have your own Dropbox to share photos with your family? But perhaps your company is using Box for internal document sharing? 

With odrive you can easily use both Dropbox and Box together in one folder. Now you don't have to choose or switch back and forth between the apps on your computer.  

Use Box and Dropbox together in one folder 

Once you have odrive, just double click on the Box or Dropbox folder within the odrive folder. Login with your Box and Dropbox credentials to grant odrive permission to access those accounts. Don't worry - you're authenticating directly against their services and odrive doesn't see your passwords at all. 

To link Box or Dropbox to odrive, just double click on the specific app folder inside odrive. 

To link Box or Dropbox to odrive, just double click on the specific app folder inside odrive. 

Have more than one Box or Dropbox account? No problem. You can link as many as you want to odrive so you can use them all at the same time. 

Easily sync and unsync any files or folders 

Now that your Box and Dropbox are linked to odrive, all your files and folders are immediately available. You can easily sync anything you want, and all your synced files are locally available on your computer even if you're offline. Don't worry if you have a ton of files across all your accounts. The beauty of our progressive sync is that odrive will sync only the files you need. Unlike the native Dropbox or Box clients that auto downloads all of your content onto your computer, odrive only syncs the stuff you want as you click through them. It's automatic, so you don't have go back and forth to configure which are the files you want to selectively sync, or not sync. 

All your files still stored within Box and Dropbox

If you don't need your files anymore, you can unsync them from your computer. Unsync removes the files from your computer but they are still stored within your Box and Dropbox storage. So instead of the actual file, odrive shows you a stub of all the stuff that are not currently synced. That way if you actually need them in the future, you can just double click on the files or folders to sync them back again. 


odrive combines everything into one folder so it's super easy for you to get all your stuff together. And it's free. So just try it and see if you like it! 

Using cloud storage is great. And it shouldn't matter if it's your own stuff or your work stuff - we can find a way to sync it and bring it together for you ;) 



How to Backup Your Computers, Dropbox, Facebook... Everything

Added on by Tony Magliulo.

(Please note that we have recently updated odrive and have temporarily removed our odrive File Server. We will be adding it back in as soon as possible though!)

I try to dedicate some time each week to push the envelope a bit with our latest and greatest technologies, as they emerge from Engineering. I think it is beneficial in a few ways. First, it can help expose issues that may not be readily apparent through conventional use cases. Second, it helps to get the gears turning on where the product can go next, and what other use cases could be satisfied with slight variations in the use of our technology. Third, I just like to tinker with things and see how I can stretch existing technology to satisfy the various technological gaps I perceive in my day-to-day life.

One of those "gaps"

At home we have 2 laptops, 2 desktops, and a “file server” system with 4TB of available storage. In addition, my wife and I use Facebook, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive, all on separate accounts. We literally have stuff everywhere. Of course, the odrive client will give you easy access to those cloud services, but I’ve been wanting more than just access to all of my cloud data, I want access to everything, including my laptops and desktops. Not only that, but I’ve been wishing for an easy way to backup all of my stuff to my 4TB of storage. Desktops, laptops, cloud services… all of it. I’ve got the storage, so I might as well use it, right? Also, it will give me peace of mind to have redundancy throughout my digital domain.

Many of you are already familiar with our odrive client, but some of you may not yet know about our odrive File Server (ofs for short), since it was just recently released to the public. ofs allows you to use the odrive client to access all existing content on a system, while overlaying individual and group ACLs on top of that data, and giving you some very cool insight into what is happening in real time, to boot.

Double impact with odrive and odrive File Server

As I was playing around with both the odrive client and ofs last week, it occurred to me that, when using both together, I could take the typical deployment model i.e. the odrive client on desktops and laptops and ofs on server systems, and switch it around. This could give me a way to accomplish my access and backup goals pretty easily. Using this alternate configuration, I can backup all of my data into a single location (my aforementioned “file server”).

A quick side note about my “file server”: In reality it is just a glorified Windows desktop I threw together to assume the role I needed, hence the quotes I’m putting around it. In this scenario, pretty much any reasonably capable system could be used as the backup box. The main dependency is the storage you will need to house all of your stuff.

The switch-up solution


So, I installed ofs on all of our laptops and desktops and then installed the odrive client on the backup system. I then linked to our desktops, laptops, and online services from the odrive client. At this point I had a single odrive client, residing on my backup system, that had access to all of my data, and I was able to set it all up in a matter of minutes. With the addition of some secret config settings (which I will share with you fine folks), I then switched the odrive client from its default progressive sync mode to full sync mode.

Progressive sync mode is extremely well suited to day-to-day access to all of your stuff online. Full sync mode, however, fits our backup use case perfectly. With full sync mode enabled, everything we’ve linked to will be pulled down to our backup system and kept in perfect sync, automatically.

How can I set this up myself?

Not too shabby, eh? So here’s what you need to do:

  1. Download the odrive File Server from here and install it on each of your machines, except the one you are using as your backup system.

  2. Configure the admin user and note the link url of each machine. We will need this information later.

  3. Create a new “backup” user on each machine running ofs and give this user access to the directories you wish to backup on that specific machine. For example your My Documents and Desktop directories.

  4. Download the odrive client from here and install it on your backup system

  5. Download the following config file here and place it on the backup system in either:

    1. Windows: %userprofile%/.odrive/config/

    2. OS X: ~/.odrive/config/

  6. Restart the odrive client

  7. Link to each machine setup in steps 1-3 in the odrive client. Use the “backup” user credentials created in step 3.

  8. Link to all of your cloud services in the odrive client (Ex: Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Facebook, etc.)

Now you can sit back, relax, and watch the magic happen as all of your files, from all of your disparate sources, automatically and continuously sync to your backup system. It will pick up changes to your sources very quickly too (between 5-15 seconds for most sources). This means you can also take a quick look at that one backup system, at any time, to eyeball everything you own, in near real-time.

Continuing the discussion..

There’s a lot to like here folks. Its easy, fast, and free, so give it a try.

I realize there are portions of this solution that can fleshed out into more detail, and I’m happy to delve further into the specifics in our odrive forums. So, if you have any questions or comments, head on over and let us know. We would love to hear from you!

You can also keep up-to-date on what’s going on here at odrive by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

- Tony

Download All Your Facebook Albums

Added on by Aric Johnson.


I accumulated over 5000 photos and 40 albums on Facebook

I've been using Facebook for 10 years. Over all these years I've uploaded over 5000 photos and accumulated over 40 albums on Facebook. 

As embarrassing as some of my college photos might have been, I didn't want to delete them from Facebook, because I don't have the original copies of a lot of them anymore. As a result I had to make many of my Facebook albums private, but they are still just sitting on Facebook because downloading each picture one by one is a huge hassle. 

I'm sure many of you reading this may not have the same problem because you are much smarter about backing up your stuff (I was too lazy when I was younger). But regardless I'm sure a lot of you do have photos stuck on Facebook somehow. Pictures from your summer vacation, or photos others tagged of you from a wedding last weekend. 

How to get all your Facebook photos back with odrive

Just install odrive and link it to your Facebook account. odrive automatically downloads all of your photos and your albums onto your computer for you. Even photos tagged of you too! All your tagged photos are automatically sorted by year , so you can easily find whatever you want. 

Check out the quick video - I got all my Facebook photos and albums within minutes :) 

Here at odrive, we want to bring all your stuff together so you can easily manage everything the way you want to. 

It's super easy and it's free! Try it out and let us know what you think ;)



50 Shades of Free Cloud Storage

Added on by Alex Teu.

You may have heard that the cost of cloud storage is near zero. This has driven many cloud services to offer more and more free storage as part of their offering. For your storing pleasure, I have collected below 50 cloud services that offer free storage. This list alone gives you over 23,000 GBs of free storage!

Of course, not all services are created equal. Some offer a ridiculous amount of storage that most of us will unlikely ever use up (e.g. Tencent 10 TBs). Others offer a nominal amount that could be used up in short time if you incorporate it into your workflow (e.g. Evernote 50 MBs). Some services may be better suited for specific use cases like photo uploading, media streaming or backup from a NAS storage device. You may choose to utilize certain services because of geographical location. 

If you are going to make use of several services, as we all do, a good way to provide a unified experience is odrive. With odrive, you can access from a single folder on your PC and Mac several services on the list such as Dropbox, GoogleDrive, Box, and OneDrive, as well as Facebook and Instagram.