Some OneDrive users will lose this great feature on March 29th — are you affected?

OneDrive
(Image credit: Getty Images / TravelCouples)

Microsoft's cloud storage service, OneDrive, is confirmed to be removing a key feature that has been in preview for a little over two years now. Available to specific users since September 2021, the feature lets files be uploaded through OneDrive directly through a URL rather than a download.

Considering the feature was exclusively available in preview builds of OneDrive, it won't impact a large number of people. But if you were someone who found use in it, the company claims it will stop working on March 29.

Why Microsoft is cutting this OneDrive feature

OneDrive's ability to upload items through a URL rather than a download is an effective method of cutting out the middleman. It means that a remote OneDrive server can handle the file's bytes without having to touch your storage device. Microsoft's dedicated page to the feature claims it is "especially useful for mobile clients or browser add-ins, where the file contents aren't available or are expensive to transfer."

There's no question about whether or not this feature is useful, so going so far as to remove it after having been available for more than two years should come with good reason. Microsoft's Principal Product Manager, Patrick Rodgers, claimed that it was "experimental" and resulted in "low usage and high maintenance costs." 

Considering the feature wasn't ever publicly released, it's perhaps unfair to assume it wouldn't have been used more upon a proper launch. But if the company felt it wasn't worth spending money on, then there's not much to be done about it, even though some users will likely be disappointed by its removal.

Rodgers even claims that "it does not align with our vision for OneDrive," specifically citing it as a "cloud storage service that syncs your files across devices." This could be in reference to the URL feature mostly being used to grab links for files from places on the internet rather than maintain a space for the user's own files. Even then, you can still download anything online and upload it to the service, but it seems the costs just aren't worth it for how few use URL uploading at the moment.

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Claire Tabari
Contributing Writer

Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Claire finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Claire is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.