Complete Video Transcript

Syncing SharePoint libraries locally have many benefits. Once the folder is synced locally, the files can be accessed even if you are offline. These files can be edited, added, and removed and will sync automatically.   

To sync files locally in SharePoint, navigate to the SharePoint document library you’d like to sync locally to your computer. 

Select the Sync button from the toolbar. 

This will bring up a prompt to open OneDrive, click Open Microsoft OneDrive. 

If you have never Synced that folder before it will automatically sync to your OneDrive and you will see a similar notification on your computer. 

To find this folderopen your file explorer and you should see it on the lefthand side. 

If you ever need to unsync a library, within the File Explorer Local Sync, right click on the folder you’d like to unsync and select Settings. 

This will bring up Microsoft OneDrive’s Account Settings. Below you’ll see the folders that are locally Syncing. Click Stop Sync next to the folder you would like to no longer locally sync. 

Viewing and Syncing Your SharePoint Files to Windows Explorer (Modern SharePoint View)

Syncing locally to File Explorer can be a much better way to use SharePoint. Whether it’s for faster navigation, organization or moving files, or just personal preference, follow the steps below to accomplish this.

  1. Navigate to the SharePoint document library you’d like to sync locally.
  2. Open the library you want to sync.
  3. Select the Sync button.

 SharePoint Sync Button

  1. This will bring up a prompt to open OneDrive, click Open Microsoft OneDrive.If you don’t already have OneDrive installed on your computer, you’ll be prompted to install it and log in.
  2. You’ll get a notification that you are now syncing your desired folder.

SharePoint Sync with Local Drive Successful Notification

  1. To find this folder locally, open file explorer and you should see it on the left-hand side.

What Happens if You’re Already Syncing a Folder with the Same Name

If you’ve already synced this folder or have synced another folder with the same name, this process may happen differently.

You’ll see a message about that folder already existing on your PC. You’ll have the option to use the existing folder on your device or create a new folder. Make absolutely sure the folders are the same before clicking Use This Folder. Or, use the Create New Folder to sync a separate copy of this library (make sure the folders are actually different before selecting this option to avoid confusion with multiple copies.

 SharePoint Syncing Notification This Folder Already Exists

After you’ve selected the appropriate option for your situation, you’ll get a notification from OneDrive that you’re now syncing this folder locally.

Stop Syncing a SharePoint Folder From Your Local Drive

  1. If you ever need to stop syncing a library, within File Explorer, right click on the folder you’d like to stop syncing and select Settings.
  2. This will bring up your Microsoft OneDrive Account Settings. You’ll see the folders that are locally syncing. Click Stop Sync next to the folder you would like to no longer locally sync.

Step-by-Step Instructions Using Classic SharePoint

  1. Navigate to your desired document library or folder using SharePoint on your browser.
  2. Choose the folder or folders you’d like to open in Windows Explorers by selecting them using the check boxes on the left.
  3. Once you’ve selected a folder or file, the Files tab will show up on the ribbon. Select it.
  4. On the right-hand side of the Connect & Export section of the ribbon, choose Open with Explorer.
  5. This will open Windows Explorer on your computer, where you can manipulate files.

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7 Comments

  • Zinobia says:

    Hi, Thanks you. This was great. What could be the reason that the function is not available.
    Please advise
    Thanks and regards
    Zinobia

    • Stephanie Hamrick says:

      Hi Zinobia, can you confirm if you’re using the modern or traditional view of SharePoint? This option is not available in the modern view. Instead you’ll want to select “sync” from the toolbar to sync your library to your computer. Thanks for reading!

  • Michael says:

    This only works in IE. It does not work in Chrome, Firefox nor Edge.

    • Stephanie Hamrick says:

      Hi Michael,

      You’re close! This will work in Internet Explorer because that browser may push you to the classic view by default. In the modern view of SharePoint that you get in other browsers or that your IT admin may configure as the default view, you can press the “sync” button on the toolbar to sync the document library with your device through the OneDrive for Business App functionality. Then you can open Windows Explorer to see the synced folder. Let us know if you have any questions! Thank you so much for reading and sharing your experience with us!

  • Joao says:

    Thank you for the clear explanation. Worked perfectly.
    Regards
    Joao

  • Philip Mead says:

    How does Sync address the viewing of SharePoint files?
    I used the Explorer view for two reason:
    1. I can rename, delete, selectively copy files much more easily than with SharePoint.
    2. I can copy files and have the file timestamps preserved.

    • Stephanie Hamrick says:

      Hi Phillip, when your files are synced to your computer, you can open them to view them like any other file. If you’re logged into your Office account, SharePoint will note that you’re the last one to have modified the file just like in the browser version. Let me know if this answers your question!

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