The odrive Developer Hub

Welcome to the odrive developer hub. You'll find comprehensive guides and documentation to help you start working with odrive as quickly as possible, as well as support if you get stuck. Let's jump right in!

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Sync Your odrive


We've integrated odrive directly into your file system so you can browse and open files and folders in your storage like you do files already on your computer. The typical file and folder operations such as single click, double click, click and drag, and right clicks – work as you would expect them to work - except you can't drag placeholder files and folders out of odrive or from one cloud source to another. (See Moving files across links)

On most desktops, odrive will appear by default under "Favorites":

odrive appears in Favorites

On Windows 10, you will find odrive under the "Navigation Pane":

odrive appears in Navigation Pane on Windows


We have provided a shortcut to your odrive folder so that you can get to it no matter where you moved it or simply forgotten how to get to it.

From your tray menu, click on "Open odrive folder":

open odrive from your system tray


Placeholder folders are stub files that represent a folder in your cloud but do not take up any computer storage locally. No matter how much actual content is in the cloud, the placeholder folder takes up zero bytes on your local computer.

They are clearly marked with a .cloudf extension and a pink tabbed folder icon:

.cloudf Mac file extension.cloudf Windows file extension

Double clicking on any placeholder folder will transform it into a regular folder, and allow you to browse at the first level of that directory. You'll also notice badging that indicates the current sync status for this folder.

.cloudf folders turn into regular folders when double-clicked

There may be any number of additional placeholders at that first level, and nested beneath. As you expand or contract the placeholders, the amount of local disk storage increases and decreases correspondingly.

To get a preview of content in a placeholder folder before you browse into it and begin downloading files, you can right click - web preview.

Right-click open preview

To read more about how odrive has revolutionized sync for the cloud: Sync Differently


Placeholder files are stub files that represent files in your cloud but do not take up any computer storage locally. No matter how large the actual file – say, 2TB video – is in the cloud, the placeholder file takes up zero bytes on your local computer.

They are clearly marked with a .cloud extension and a pink tabbed file icon:

Placeholder files on Windows and Mac

Double clicking on any placeholder file will transform it into a regular file, including taking up storage by the size of the file. You'll also notice badging that indicates the current sync status for that file.

.cloud files turn into regular files when double-clicked


Placeholder files and placeholder folders are not actual files or folders. They are stub files that represent actual files and folders in the cloud, but are not stored locally on your computer. They are clearly marked with an extension of .cloud for a placeholder file and .cloudf for a placeholder folder.

You can move them around within the same cloud source. This means you can easily reorganize your cloud data from your computer even though the files are not local.

You can move placeholders around inside of a source. The only restriction is moving them out of the odrive folder or moving the from one link into another. If you do want to move content from one cloud source to another , you will need to download (i.e. sync down to local) the placeholder content locally first, and then move them by with a simple drag and drop to the cloud destination.


By design, odrive supports a Progressive Sync model where you sync down (i.e. download) what you want from the cloud, as you want it.

There are times when you are working with a known, specific set of files and want them all to be always locally available.

In these times, you can right-click on any folder and select "sync" to open up the sync options:

Right-click to sync folder options

To download only files in the root of the selected folder, leave both checkbox options unchecked. You can also use the slider to exclude files over a certain size from being downloaded. Any files above that size will be left as placeholders.

Right-click to sync folder, do not drill down into subfolders

To download everything in the subfolders that currently exist under the selected folder, check the "Include subfolders" checkbox.

Right-click to sync folder, one-time operation and don't save settings to folder


The "Save and apply to new files and folders" option will create a rule that specifies that any new files and folders that are added to the selected folder will be expanded and downloaded locally, rather than being represented by a placeholder file.

Right-click to sync folder, sync everything

This is the mode you want if you want everything in that folder synced locally – and kept in sync locally – even as the files change or new files get added by other people or from other places.


To keep your desktop in sync with your cloud, odrive performs a number of checks in the background. Depending on the action and the source, the amount of time to complete the checks can be as short as 2 seconds and sometimes significantly longer.

As a user, you may want to ensure you have an updated view of odrive or simply do not want to wait. For this, you can refresh your desktop view of the cloud by right-clicking inside an odrive folder and selecting "Refresh".

Right-click within a folder to refresh your sync view

Sync Your odrive

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