Fast Ring gets access to Offline OneDrive files early through UWP app

Living in the fast lane might be dangerous, but it has its advantages, too. If you’re part of Microsoft’s Windows Insider program and happen to reside on the bleeding-edge Fast Ring, you now have access to the offline files feature for Microsoft OneDrive’s Universal Windows Platform app.

Although the idea of having files locally might seem rather retro in the context of a cloud storage system, in actuality being able to download oft-accessed files, or ones that you want to take with you to an area of poor connectivity, makes a lot of sense. It’s a feature that has been available on the Android and iOS versions of OneDrive for a while now, but it looks like Windows users are now finally getting access as well.

Related: Microsoft updates OneDrive with automatic ‘Pokémon detection’

Not everyone can play with it just yet, though. As with many of Microsoft’s software updates released over the past couple of years, the firm wants to put it through its paces first; that’s why it’s going to the Insiders before anyone else. Microsoft is also leveraging its Ring system to limit the rollout of the offline files feature to a restricted Fast Ring to start with, with the Slow Ring set to come aboard shortly after.

And then the rest of us can get a chance to play with it sometime in the near future.

Access to offline files was actually a feature that was supposed to show up with the original release of the OneDrive Universal Windows Platform app, but for one reason or another it never made its appearance on Windows. At least now, when we’re hitting version 17.15.5 (thanks WinSuperSite), we will all be able to use it.

The projected eventual full rollout is slated to occur some time before the end of 2016, but we wouldn’t expect Microsoft to wait until the final moment to push it live to the rest of us, barring some catastrophic bug discovery in the meantime.

It will make an appearance on the mobile app too, but in a much looser 2017 time frame.