Very Basic Question

I apologize for the simplistic question, but I have not found an answer elsewhere. (It probably applies to all cloud services.)

I am primarily interested in using NextCloud to store files on my remote server (webhost) to save space on my computer and mobile device. In other words, rather than saving the files on my computer, I would like to move them to my cloud server, and be able to access and download them as needed.

I am not certain how to do that. Is there a way to place a file on the cloud, without it being on my computer unless I specifically download it?

A dumb question I realize, but any explanation would be appreciated.

Nextcloud is meant as a file synchronisation solution, so the idea is that files are present on the devices that you wish to synchronise them between, with a minimal amount of control over which files are synchronised to each device. On the desktop client, you can select which folders you wish to synchronise, and on the phone app, you select which files or folders you wish to download first, unless the file is created on the phone, in which case it is also present on the phone in the beginning. I would say that it’s probably cheaper to upgrade you computer so that it has more storage, and just synchronise what you want between the computer and the phone.

like @terry_tibbles already put out - NC isnt really meant being an additional place that extends your storage. though you could use it like that.
but as you are then saving your files outside of your computer who takes care about the backup of NC then?

so why not simply buying an additional external hdd and connect it to your computer? this solution seems to be cheaper and it won’t cost you any time to maintain it.

The mobile app can delete after upload so nothing remains on the device, but the desktop only syncs when connected to a local folder, there’s no one-way sync built in.

Naturally you could well just drag & drop files via web interface and delete them locally which is occasionally what I do myself, though it’s not a buttery-smooth workflow.

You could instead of using the sync client use the Webdav interface. But be aware that the Windows implementation of this is cluncy if not broken at all. For Linux systems this works fine and you have a proper webdrive. You could also rely soley on the webinterface without syncing anything, but that may be not applicable depending on the way you want to work.

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There are several Webdav clients for Windows out there that work better than the integrated Webdav support. You could try one of them to access Nextcloud without storing files locally.


Do you have any suggestions to which are the best options? I tried a few but none where satisfying. For a VDI usecase this would be ideal.

I tried Cyberduck ( for a while which works pretty well and is Open Source. They also offer a version that allows access through Windows drive letters called Mountain Duck ( based on Cyberduck. As a bonus they also integrate Crpytomator ( vault support for client side encryption.

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Thanks…I fapprecite it. I do have an external drive too. But I don’t totally trust that as a permanent solution, in case of potential malfunction wiping out data.

As a somewhat knowledgable – but not tech savvy – computer user, I must admit that I find the while cloud systems and synching baffling in its various forms (Dropbox, iCloud etc.) because it is diffocult for laypeople to understand whether you are wiping out the original file if you clear a file off your computer or in the cloud…

My thinking with trying NextCloud was that since it is my server, I might have more control and clarity in terms of storing and deleting files…Oh well

Thanks. The web interface may be clunky, but perhaps the best way to go if I can control whether files are kept or deleted in a manual way.

Thanks. I do have an edxternal drive too. But I don’t totaslly trust them, in terms of potential; data loss in the event of a malfunction…I was thinking the Cloud might be a good backup solution.