Sync Network Drive

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This is a little late, but may help others search around. OneDrive does not want any part of a network drive, but you can trick it into using a mapped network drive as its primary storage by creating a Symbolic link. Here's the quick and dirty steps: Create folder on the root of your C drive (e.g. Sync Center is used to manage your Offline Files from your network. The ability to use Offline Files is enabled by default in Windows 7, but can be disabled. If you wanted to have offline files, then you would have to manually make the network files or folders available offline first since there are none available by default.

Content of this article:

What is offline files in Windows 10?

Thanks to Sync Center, you can create offline files in Windows 10. It refers to a copy of network files and folders always in sync between local computer and network servers, and these data are kept available offline on your computer, even when your server is slow, not connected or unavailable. Moreover, you can see all data made offline at anytime, and it's limited to this. By default, the network folders online only are empty, no files, if your computer is not connected to network drive.

Beside enabling offline files in Sync center and always available offline mode, your network files may also be offline in the following situations.

  • The connected server is unavailable.

  • The network connection is slower than a configurable threshold.

  • Work offline mode is enabled in File Explorer

Why you should enable offline files in Windows 10?

1. Access network files or folders at any time.

If you want to access network files or folders at any time, especially when your computer is not connected to the network and server, you need to make them always available files with Sync Center.

2. Sync offline files between computer and network drive.

If you want to sync files with offline files folder or Sync Center, the first thing is to enable offline files and activate Offline Files folder. This folder is used to keep offline files in sync between your computer and network drive. Usually, it's located at C:windowsCSC folder if your system drive letter is C.

How to enable/disable offline files in Windows 10?

Usually, you should create a shared folder to save the network files and folders. If you want to make it always offline, the first step is to map the network drive to local computer, and then turn on offline files in Windows 10. Also, disabling offline files is also included at the end. Now, without further ado, let's start.

Sync Network Drive

Sync network drive to local drive

Step 1. Connect network drive and find the shared folder.

Press Win + R to summon the Run window, then type two backslashes and IP address or hostname to connect your network drive. Once your connect to the server, you will see the shared folder.

Step 2. Right-click the shared folders, then choose Map network drive from the context menu.

Step 3. Make files or folders always available offline.

Go to the mapped network drive, also called offline files folder or its subfolder, right-click the files or folder you want to acess at local computer and select Always available offlinefrom the context menu.

Step 4. Wait for the final result.

Now, you will see a message, saying “ your files will be available offline”, just wait and then disconnect your network drive after this task ends. To confirm, please go to the mapped network drive and check your offline files.

Note: Some users report 'network files offline when online in Windows 10 ', which is strange, right. How to solve it? You can try to disable and enable offline files in Sync Center again. It does not 100% work, but it does help some users in a way.

Turn on/off offline files in Windows 10

To turn on offline files in Windows 10, there are 3 common used ways. You can try one of them in the following. Of course, these methods are still applied in Window 7 and Windows 8.

Method 1: Configure offline files in Windows 10 by Sync Center

Step 1. Open Sync center. Go to Control Panel, switch its view to 'Large icon' or 'Small icons', then find Sync Center and click it to open.

Step 2. Click Manage offline files, then you will access the Offline Files window, it allows you to enable or disable offline files.

Step 3. To enable offline files, click Enable offline files under the General tab. Please remember to restart your computer to activate Offline Files folder. If not, you will not offline files folder on the mapped network drive.

Step 4. To disable offline files, click Disable offline files in the Offline Files window. By default, after you enable offline files in the Offline Files window, this option will change to Disable offline files.

Method 2: Enable/Disable offline files in Windows 10 using GPO

Step 1.Type group policy in the search box and then select group policy editor from the start menu list.

Step 2. Go to Computer Configuration > Administrator templates > Network > Offline Files key.

Step 3. Scroll down the Offline Files Setting and double-click Allow or Disallow the use of Offline Files feature. Then you can enable or disable offline files per your needs.

Sync Network Drive

Step 4. To enable offline files, select Enabled in the next window.

Step 5. To disable offline files, select Disabled in the next window.

Method 3: Enable/Disable Offline Files in Windows 10 using Registry

Step 1. Open registry editor by typing registry in the search box and selecting it.

Step 2. Go to the CSC and CscService key and create a new Start key. To make it, right-click on the blank, select new and DWORD (32-bit) Value (so do computer with 64-bit), set its name as Start

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesCSC

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesCscService

Step 3. To enable offline files, set the start value of CSC and CscService to 1 and 2 in order.

Step 4. Restart your computer and make changes available.

Step 5. To disable offline files, set the start value of CSC and CscService to 4 and restart your computer to save changes.

How to sync offline files in Windows 10?

About offline files sync in Windows 10, you have two options, including syncing offline files manually and automatically. Detailed steps are below.

Method 1: Sync offline files manually

Step 1. Access the mapped network drive. Go to File Explore > This PC > network locations, then select the mapped network drive created in advance.

Step 2. Sync offline files. Right-click folders which contain offline files, then select Sync >Sync selected offline files.

Method 2: Sync files automatically

Step 1. Enter into Sync Center. You can type Sync Center in the search box, then select it from start menu list.

Step 2. Access the mapped network drive. You can click View sync partnerships link in the left pane, then double-click the mapped network drive.

Step 3. Select the folder you want to sync on a regular basis, then pitch on Schedule button on the menu bar. At last, follow the prompt to finish the rest of steps.

Conflicts in syncing files - how to fix?

Network

If some certain files does not sync, you may see conflicts files in Offline Files. It occurs when you edit file offline and somebody else edit the same file on your network. After that, these files will not be synced and marked as conflicts. Don't worry about it. It's very easy to fix.

Network

Step 1. Go to Sync Center, click View sync conflicts on the left panel and then you will see a list of conflict files.

Step 2. Right-click the files and click View option. Now, you can choose to keep the version that you created while you were away, keep the version on the server that someone else edited while you were away or keep both versions and rename the one that you created.

Step 3. Sync files with Sync Center again.

Flexible way to sync files in Windows 10

Offline files is very convenient, especially when your computer network is slow or not connected. But you need to know that this method only works in syncing offline files and making offline files available offline.

Thus, if this is not your case, you can choose to sync files with a third-party file sync software - AOMEI Backupper Standard. After syncing, you will have two copies, one is on the original files, the other is the copy you sync. Then you no longer have to worry about losing data.

Why use this software? Here are some advantages of it:

  • Support four sync functions, including Basic Sync, Real-Time Sync, Mirror Sync and Two-Way Sync. The latter three options are designed to satisfy different users' needs and available on the professional version at least.
  • Support useful sync features. You can schedule sync files in daily/weekly/monthly. Also, you can enable other backup settings, such as, email notification.
  • Supports Windows 7/8/8.1/10/XP/Vista.
  • Support multiple storage device. You can sync files to network drive, internal hard drive, external storage device like USB flash drive, OneDrive etc. Also, you can sync files between two different locations, such as, external hard drive, computers, etc.
  • Have a clean interface and user-friendly design, so beginners can complete this process easily and quickly.

Then, you can start to sync files automatically in Windows 10/8/7 with AOMEI Backupper Standard. In the first of place, download and install it on your computer. Then, please prepare a storage device to store the files or folders you want to sync.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard, click Sync and Basic Sync in order.

As you can see from above picture, there are 3 different sync fuctions to help you sync files, but there are a little difference across them. Please stay for a while and check if they are better meets your needs.
❤ Real-Time Sync: This feature will monitor your files and sync the changes instantly when detected. It's suitable for users who change files very frequently or work with a team.
❤ Mirror Sync: This feature is able to keep files or folders in the destination are exactly the same as source. It can prevent others from adding files or folders by mistake or avoid any unwanted modification.
❤ Two-Way Sync: This feature ensures all the changes in the source directory will be synchronized to the destination, and vice versa.

Step 2. Click +Add folder >Share/NAS and select your files or folders on network drive. After that, click the folder shapped button to select a local drive as destination. Also, if you want to backup to different locations, please connect it at first and be sure it can be recognized.

Note: If this is the first time to sync network files, you need to add network location first. Click Add network location, type IP address, username, password and save the infomation.

Step 3. To automatic sync your files, click Schedule and select your preference setings. The default setting is daily and you change to a longer interval if you think it's too short. Finally, click Start Sync.

Sync Network Drive

Conclusion

No matter what your purpose is, you can enable or disable offline files per your needs. Offline Files works when you want to sync network files to local computer and make it available offline.

If you just want to make an exact of copy of original files or folders and save it to a safe location, you need to sync files with a third-party file sync software, AOMEI Backupper Standard, for example. It not only allows you to sync network files to multiple locations, but also help you track changes by schedule settings.

In addition, it still offers you other data protection solution, such as, file backup, system backup, disk backup, schedule backup, disk clone, create bootable media etc. And its server edition allows you sync files between windows servers and its technician is capabel of protecting unlimited computers within your company. Just select the edition suitable for you and start to protect your data.

Note:Symbolic links are not officially supported. This article provides directions as a reference, but due to the complexity of setting it up (not supported on all operating systems), we are unable to provide detailed instructions for any particular setup.

Symbolic Links are synced to the cloud in intervals of 20 minutes as long as no other processes are taking place in Sync.

Sync Network Drives

You cannot make the Sync folder a symlink. You’ll need to create your symlinks inside the Sync folder. You should also be sure to set the correct permissions for the folders.

You will not be able to symlink to your Documents folder directly as Windows has symlinks in it already to other folders such as the Music folder. If you want to symlink to your Music, Videos or Pictures folders you’ll need to link to the original folder outside of Documents.

Network Folder Sync Windows 10

Lastly, overlays are not visible on symlinked folders.

On Windows, you can either use the Command Prompt, or use an application. Using the Command Prompt gives you a bit more control, using an application is easier.

Using Link Shell Extension from Microsoft

Sync Network Drive

The easiest way to create a symbolic link in Windows is using the Link Shell Extension from Microsoft.

You will need to download both the Visual Studio 2005 Redistributable, which contains the necessary prerequisites (32 bit or 64 bit depending on your computer) and the Link Shell Extension.

Install the necessary programs (if you have not already)

1. Run and install the Visual Studio 2005 Redistributable installer first.

The 32 bit prerequisites package OR The 64 bit prerequisites package

2. Now install the Link Shell Extension

The 32 bit prerequisites package OR The 64 bit prerequisites package

Now you can create a Symbolic Link

1. Go to the file or folder that you wish to create the symbolic link from

2. Right-click the file or folder and select Pick Link Source

3. Go to the folder where you want to save the symbolic link to

4. Right-click the folder and select Drop as Symbolic Link

5. You will see the file or folder in the Sync folder will now have a blue arrow to indicate it is a symbolic link

6. In the Sync web panel, it will look like any other file or folder

Using the Command Prompt

For those of you who prefer working via the command line, here’s how you can create a symbolic link in Command Prompt.

Sync Network Drive Onedrive

1. Click on your start menu, if the Command Prompt is not pinned you will find it in the Accessories Folder in All Programs

2. Right-click on it and select Run as Administrator

3. Typing mklink/? will display the types of links you can create. /D is the correct prefix to create a symbolic link

4. Enter mklink /D

5. Enter the destination path where the Symlink folder/file will be

6. Enter the current path of the real folder/file.

Note: The destination folder cannot exist before running the mklink command as it fails at a DOS level if you already have a folder in the directory with that name.

Sync Sharepoint To Network Drive

In the Example below, I have a folder on my Desktop named Reports which I will be creating a symbolic link to it and place in my Sync folder.

Sync Network Drive With Dropbox

Type:

mklink /D C:UsersuserDesktopSyncReports C:UsersuserDesktopReports

Hit Enter.

7. You will see the file or folder in the Sync folder will now have a blue arrow to indicate it is a symbolic link

8. In the Sync web panel, it will look like any other file or folder

Sync Network Drive To Folder

Note, when creating a link to a folder that has spaces in its name you would place the directories in quotes:

mklink /D “C:UsersuserDesktopSyncTest Folder” “C:UsersuserDownloadsTest Folder”