OneDrive for Business Sync
In Office 365, OneDrive for Business is the storage location where you can keep your work files and share them with others. A useful component of OneDrive for Business is the sync feature, allowing users to synchronize online libraries to a local computer. Using a free app, OneDrive for Business users can sync their files and then work with them wherever is preferable, either locally or online, and changes will be automatically synced from then on.
OneDrive for Business Sync Client
In order for OneDrive for Business folders and site libraries to sync to a local computer, so files can be accessed from File Explorer rather than via the browser, users must download and install the OneDrive for Business sync app. The app is available with Office 365 subscriptions that include Office 2013, but it can also be downloaded free as a stand-alone client.
The sync client will run when you click the Sync button in OneDrive for Business document libraries, or any SharePoint 2013 or Office 365 website document library.
OneDrive for Business Sync Process
To sync OneDrive for Business libraries to your computer so you can access it via a folder in your File Explorer, you’ll start from OneDrive for Business on the web.
1. Select the folder or file you wish to sync and click the Sync icon.
2. At the prompt, select Sync Now to start the sync app client (wizard). The wizard will automatically fill in the file path for your sync.
3. While your files sync, you can select Show my files… to go to the folder location.
The library will appear under Favorites in File Explorer. It may be formatted as OneDrive – CompanyName or as OneDrive @ CompanyName.
By default, OneDrive for Business synced folders will appear under your Windows user folder, i.e. C:\Users\username\.
Working with Documents and Files in a Synced OneDrive for Business Folder
You can add, edit, and delete files in your synced OneDrive for Business folder(s) just as you would from any other folder library.
It’s important to remember that these files have a sync relationship with OneDrive for Business. This means that some processes, like renaming files, will be governed by the permissions of your OneDrive for Business, not your local permissions.
Some key points to keep in mind:
- When you add a file to your local OneDrive for Business folder, it will be automatically added to and synced with OneDrive for Business on the web.
- When you edit or modify a file, your changes will be automatically synced and uploaded if you are online. If you edit the file while you are offline, it will be synced the next time you’re online.
- If you delete a local file or folder, it will be deleted from OneDrive for Business online. If you restore that file or folder from the Windows Recycle Bin, it will be restored and synced.
Troubleshooting OneDrive for Business Sync Issues
The OneDrive for Business sync client may run into issues while you’re trying to sync. You may experience errors, or the file or folder may stay in a seemingly permanent sync state. There are several common problems to look for and troubleshooting steps to take.
- “We couldn’t sync this library” error message: to resolve this issue, reduce the number of lookup columns in the affected SharePoint Online list, per the instructions in this Microsoft help article.
- Check your file sizes, items counts, file path lengths, and file and folder names. Review the restrictions and limitations of counts and file/folder names here.
- Refresh or repair your sync connection. Sometimes it’s easiest simply to stop syncing the library and then start syncing the library again–like restarting a computer. You may also try repairing the sync connection entirely.
- If these steps fail, use Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business Sync Issues Troubleshooter for more help.