Sync OneDrive for Business files for offline access

OneDrive for Business

Lesson 7/10

You can sync your OneDrive files to your desktop for easy access via File Explorer or for offline access. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to sync and understand sync status of files and folders in your libraries.


A common misconception is that Sync is “Refresh” but it isn’t – just refresh your browser if something looks amiss. Sync is to access OneDrive via File Explorer on your machine to be able to work with files locally as opposed to through a browser.

First-time sync

The first time you set up sync, you’ll be walked through a wizard. But if you choose to sync SharePoint libraries in the future, you won’t have to do the wizard each time.

Sync statuses

Synced files aren’t available offline until you open one (making it available On this device) or you right-click a file and choose Always keep on this device (making it Always available). If a file is Online-only, you won’t be able to access it if you lose your internet connection. 

How to use synced files

Simply double-click a file to open it in the desktop version of its app (i.e. Word, Excel, etc.). Since the file is cloud-based, Autosave will be active so you can close the application once you’re finished making changes and those changes will automatically be synced with the cloud (assuming you’re connected to the internet at the time).

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