Nextcloud desktop client 3.2 with status feature and Virtual Files available now

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How to set your status in Nextcloud 21

After a good four months of work, version 3.2 of the Nextcloud desktop client is out with Virtual Files on Windows and support for the user status from the server. Download the new release now on our installation page!

What’s new

The 3.1 release brought a variety of improvements, like the conflict dialog, wider sharing options, action buttons on activities and the MSI installer. For this release, work has gone in many improvements to the sync engine, making the end-to-end encryption work more reliable and improving sync performance. The biggest user-visible changes are support for the Status feature that was introduced with Nextcloud 21, and Virtual Files on Windows.

Virtual Files

The amount of data stored on computers continues to grow, as does storage on Nextcloud servers. Storage quota of tens or hundreds of gigabytes per user are becoming normal. Syncing all these files to your desktop or laptop is not always convenient, or useful. The ability to selectively sync folders helps limit how much storage is used by a locally synced Nextcloud folder. This does however come with some downsides. First and perhaps most obviously, you can’t see the files and folders that are not synced. But the mechanism is also quite limited – you can not sync a folder without also syncing its parent. And last but not least, all this has to be configured manually.

The new Virtual Files, by contrast, always shows all files, mostly manages itself and works on a per-file level. When you go into the Nextcloud folder, you can work with the files like normal – but the first time you open a file, it will have to be downloaded. Afterward, it will remain available offline. This initial download comes with a short delay that depends on network speed and file size, but of course the files take no space until you need them!

If you are going to travel without a internet connection, you can always right-click files to make them available offline. And in the opposite direction, if you’d like to save the disk space, a right-click on a file will give you the ability to set it available online-only.

You can enable the Virtual Files feature per sync folder in the settings and when you set up a new folder. This feature will come to the other platforms in the future.

Enabling virtual files during the first setup of the Nextcloud client

Adding a folder sync connection with virtual files

Virtual files enabled on a folder in the settings

Get it now!

The client has been in testing for the last couple of weeks and we want to thank everybody who participated. If you missed but would have wanted to participate – we generally announce testing efforts on our forums, see for example here. Join and follow what is happening there!

Besides a thank-you 🙇 to the testers, we also want to thank all other community contributors who translate or code on the desktop client! We are very humbled by all the contributions. If you want to get involved, learn more here!


We appreciate your feedback! If you’d like to share your comments with us, continue the discussion in our forums. What’s the best thing about the Nextcloud Desktop Client so far?


For fast download see assets section at Release Release 3.2.0 · nextcloud/desktop · GitHub

Does the MacOS Nextcloud client also benefits from CloudFiles API ?

Another thing, your main argument about virtual files is “prevent syncing gigabytes of files”, but the initial sync is still present on 3.2. In my case, I have a server with 3TB of storage and the 3.2 clients still scan every single file and it takes days (even weeks) to complete it.

Why is this needed ? For example, OneDrive doesn’t do it and is also using CloudFiles API and it works very well.

Do not use it for windows versions below 10.
The installer does not cover this limitation at the moment.

Congratulations to all who worked on the 3.2 release. From reading the forums I get the impression that the virtual file system is not yet available for Linux. Will it be in the nightly builds? I’d like to do what I can to help test.

Also, will this virtual file system take away our ability to use sync as it is currently implemented? I use it with E2EE to mirror my home folder across a few different computers. I prefer the actual files to be available for several reasons.

Finally, can I choose E2EE when using the virtual file system. My rule is it doesn’t sit on a server unless it’s encrypted before it leaves my local machine.

Thanks again!

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No, currently only windows. Please reread the announcement once more. There you will read:

No, see screenshot in announcement (there is a checkbox).

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Very good. You have another committed tester. I look forward to helping. Thank you.

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Looks like Show different Icon during checking for changes · Issue #619 · nextcloud/desktop · GitHub is still not fixed (because it’s still open)? IMO this is a serious issue, can lead to data loss.

I’m not sure I understand your answer. I haven’t talked about a Windows version.

For people looking to test and play with this on Linux and Mac OS X:
You can set the configuration option in nextcloud.cfg: showExperimentalOptions=true.
Then you will be able to also see the setting for virtual files and you can enable it.

However, because we don’t have file manager integration yet, it works a bit simpler. All files are replaced by an empty file with the .nextcloud extension. There are no correct icons or thumbnails and the file sizes are shown as 0 bytes. But when you click the file, it gets downloaded and opened and with a right-click you can configure things.

Help with testing this is of course very welcome. For Mac OS there are API’s in the system for us to connect to, this is simply a matter of some work. For Linux, we are talking to the biggest desktop teams (GNOME and KDE) about a way to make their file managers aware of the virtual files and show appropriate metadata.

As always, input and contributions super welcome!


My post wasn’t an answer to yours. Just a comment for other users.

When multiple file sharing will be ???

A post was split to a new topic: Windows client 3.2.0 error

Hi, I tried to enable the virtual files feature on macOS Big Sur with the line you gave but I have the status icon but no way to access these virtual files.

EDIT: the post above does not specify it but in order for virtual files to be enabled on macOS you also need to set showExperimentalOptions=true in nextcloud.cfg

same here…

Turns out, I made a mistake. You have the right one, it was ‘showExperimentalOptions’, not ‘enableExperimentalOptions’… Thanks - fixed it :wink:

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Hi Julijus,

You mean if/when you can select multiple files and share them at once? That’s not really on the todo list from what I can tell - if you need to share multiple files, put them in a folder and share it.

Killer feature ! I’ve been waiting for this a long time. Thank you for making it happen :cowboy_hat_face:

Looks great, but I do have a query regarding this:

I currently have several Nextcloud folders set to be ‘Synchronizing with local folder’ on the Windows Desktop client. However, these folders also appear when enabling ‘Enable virtual file support…’.

How do I remove them from there? Changes don’t need to be checked multiple times, and the VFS for those particular folders is redundant in that scenario if it’s already set to sync every file within specific folders locally.

Hopefully it’s just something I’ve overlooked in the UX than a shortcoming.

Hi, did you see this screenshot and the button Disable virtual file support… ?

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