How on-demand sync works with the Proton Drive Windows app

3 mins
Windows app

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.

Note: You must have the Proton Drive Windows app installed on your device to follow these instructions.

Download the Proton Drive Windows app

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 DriveMy 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:

Online-only files

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. 

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.

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