M365 PowerPoint & Word Now Open Files Faster

February 1, 2019

New Performance changes coming to make documents saved to OneDrive and SharePoint open faster, which will be rolling out soon. Rather than always checking for updates for cloud files prior to opening, Word and PowerPoint will open any existing version on the user’s device and then sync updates immediately afterwards. This is already the behavior today for files saved to local OneDrive and SharePoint sync folders. This change introduces this behavior for files that are stored in the cloud but not synced to your device in a sync folder.

Gradually rolling out next few months.

After this change takes place, Word or PowerPoint checks for the latest version of a non-synced file, while users see the previous version of a document stored in the Office Document Cache. Users will be able to see the sync status of their files in the Status Bar (along the bottom of the window) and will be notified accordingly if we are unable to get the latest version. An example would be – for files that were deleted or moved on the server, user will receive a message after opening the cached copy.

If user has AutoSave turned on for file, will then automatically see latest changes. Otherwise, will see it the next time Saved or click on “Updates Available” in the Status Bar. Users should avoid acting (especially creating copies, printing, presenting) on files that are modified on multiple machines until the file is up to date. This change updates the behavior for non-synced files to match the behavior of files stored within a user’s sync folders, which already open the version stored on their machine while changes are downloaded. This will apply to files opened directly from OneDrive, SharePoint (both Online as well as On-Premises) or Microsoft Teams that are not in a local sync folder. By default, files are kept in the Office Document Cache for 14 days.

Users can delete specific files from the Office Document Cache via the Upload Center. If files are deleted or if a user has chosen to automatically delete files from the Office Document Cache when they are closed, users will not be able to view files as quickly.

Microsoft will begin rolling these changes out to Monthly Channel organizations at the end of February, beginning with PowerPoint, and anticipate roll-out completion to all Monthly Channel organizations for both Word and PowerPoint to take place over the next few months. Organizations using 365 Semi-Annual Channels will also receive change as a part of the September 2019 Semi-Annual (Targeted) release.