Make SharePoint local: Sync SharePoint files using OneDrive sync app

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SharePointSharePoint Online is not only a secure place to store, organise and share information but is also a great tool for collaboration. But for many, the idea of accessing and working on files on the local computer is far more desirable.

Microsoft lets you have best of both worlds by allowing you to work on your Sharepoint files directly from your File Explorer as if working offline while syncing it automatically. So, any changes that you or your collaborators make, will be sync saved to the Sharepoint. This feature also makes the files available to you even when you are offline.

Here’s how you can sync SharePoint with the OneDrive sync app.

With an Office 365 Business subscription, OneDrive Sync App would most likely be enabled automatically for syncing files.

To sync a site library to your computer,

  1. Sign into Microsoft portal using your email address.
  2. Open the library that you wish to sync

    Here you can see, we would like to sync Documents inside SharePoint’s Contoso Northwind Traders library. You can either select one document or the entire folder to sync.

    SharePoint

  3. Then click on Sync to sync your files
    SharePoint
  4. If your browser requests permission to use “Microsoft OneDrive,” confirm that this is okay.
    SharePoint

    Important: If you see a screen that says “Which library do you want to sync?”, your site hasn’t been set up to sync with the OneDrive sync app. If you’re the IT admin for your organization, see Let users sync SharePoint files with the new OneDrive sync app. If you’re not the IT admin, and your screens don’t look like the ones in this article, see Sync SharePoint files with the OneDrive for Business sync app (Groove.exe) or contact your IT department.

  5. A pop-up will appear, choose the folders that you wish to sync and then click “Start sync”
    SharePoint
  6. The files will sync to a folder on your PC that has the name of your organization (for example, %userprofile%\Contoso Northwind Traders). This folder is automatically added to the left pane in File Explorer. You can’t select to sync to a different location.
    SharePoint

Notes:

  • If you see a lock icon on synced files in File Explorer, it means the files are synced read-only. You might not have permission to edit the files, or the library might require checkout or have required columns or metadata. If you change the files on your computer, the changes won’t sync.
  • You can’t move OneNote notebooks from one site to another on your computer, and if you move other Office files between sites, version history will be lost. To move Office files, go to the site and use the Move to or Copy to command.
  • If a site name includes a character such as “:” that isn’t supported in folder names in Windows, files on the site can’t be synced.
  • If you used the previous OneDrive for Business sync app, the folder structure for your synced folders might change when you begin syncing with the sync app. On Windows 7 computers where you used the previous OneDrive for Business sync app, you might still see an old “SharePoint” folder under Favorites in File Explorer. You can remove the extra “SharePoint” favourite by right-clicking it and selecting Remove.

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