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OneDrive File Attributes Uncovered

An alert TenForums member reports seeing some “new” attributes show up in the help file for the attrib command. Next, numerous community members jump in to provide explanations and information. Bam, I learn about new OneDrive file attributes uncovered. Happily, I also get a glimpse into ReFS, too. (ReFS is the Resilient File System. Originally a planned general NTFS successor it’s now present only in current and future Windows Server and Windows 10 Pro for Workstation editions.) To round things out, here’s what help information for attrib now looks like:

The following table explores and explains OneDrive-related attributes.

Exploring New OneDrive File Attributes Uncovered

From here on, I focus only on attributes applicable to OneDrive. For ease of access and readability, I present these items in a table.

New “attrib” file attribute IDs Explored & Explained
ID Help text Explanation Link
P Pinned attribute When pinned a file or folder is always available locally. Managed OneDrive Files On Demand
U Unpinned attribute When unpinned a file or folder is available only online. Managed OneDrive Files On Demand
(R) Recall on access When present, indicates a file should be recalled when data access is initiated Social.technet.ms

The OneDrive Attribute Story

Thanks to some program-based analysis using PowerShell to correlate attributes with OneDrive settings, here are the various OneDrive statuses that a file may assume. (All are mutually exclusive, so only one status is possible for a file at any time.)
1. Online only equals -P+U+R.
2. Locally available equals -P-U-R.
3. Always available equals +P-U-R.

NOTE: “R” isn’t a real attribute value from the  attrib command. That value is only available programmatically and corresponds to the attribute formally named Recall_On_Data_Access. I use it here as shorthand only. That’s why it’s in parentheses in the table. A minus marks a turned-off attribute. A plus sign marks one that’s turned on. Thus, -P-U-R means all three attributes are turned off. You can take it from here…

Now you know!

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