The Proton Drive Windows app allows you to sync files from the cloud on demand. This article explains on-demand sync and how to store and access files from the cloud on your Windows device.
- How to access and sync files from the cloud
- How does on-demand sync work?
- How to change where synced files are stored
Note: You must have the Proton Drive Windows app installed on your device to follow these instructions.
How to access and sync files from the cloud
By default, Proton Drive saves the files you’ve synced from the cloud in a folder titled My files. You can access this folder using your Windows device’s file explorer.
1. Open the file explorer and scroll down until you find Proton Drive → My files.
2. Click the file you would like to open. Depending on the state of your file (see How does on-demand sync work?), you might need an internet connection to access it.
You can change where Proton Drive syncs your files using the Settings tab inside the Proton Drive Windows app.
How does on-demand sync work?
Files in your My files section are stored and synced in the following ways:
This is the default state for files that are synced from the cloud. These files do not take up any storage space on your device. You can identify online-only files by the icon next to the file or folder name. To access these files, you will need an internet connection. If you have an internet connection, Proton Drive will automatically download the file to your device once you try to open it.
That file is now available offline.
File available offline
When you access a file that is online only, Proton Drive will download it to your device. That file will take up storage space, and you will be able to access it on that device from anywhere, even if you don’t have an internet connection.
These files are available offline and can be identified by the icon next to the file or folder name.
Manually return files to online-only state
You can switch a file that’s available offline back to an online-only state by right-clicking the file → Free up space.
This reverts the file back to online only and frees up space on your computer.
Automatically return files to online-only state
You can also customize how long offline files are stored locally by using Storage Sense. This Windows feature allows you to control how long files are available offline before reverting to online only.
To adjust how long synced files stay on your device before reverting to online only:
1. Open your Windows device’s Settings → Storage → Storage Sense.
2. Scroll down to Proton Drive and choose when the system automatically returns unopened files to an online-only state (the default is never).
Always available on device
You can also choose which files are always available on your device by right-clicking a file → Always keep on this device.
These files are available on your device unless you manually change them back to online only. These files can be identified by the icon next to the file or folder name.
To free up space and make a file online only again, right-click it → Free up space.
Learn how to change where synced files are stored on your device
How to change where synced files are stored
You can also change where Proton Drive stores synced files on your device.
1. Open the Windows app and log in to Proton Drive
2. Click on Settings
3. Go to the Sync files from the cloud section and click Change sync folder
4. You can now choose the folder location where files from the cloud will sync to.
Important: For files to sync successfully from the cloud, this will have to be an empty folder or sync will not happen.