Offline Files overview

You can make network files available offline by storing shared files on your computer so they are accessible when you are not connected to the network.

This can be helpful when you use a portable computer to accomplish most of your work, or if your stand-alone computer is frequently disconnected from the network. You can work with offline files the same way you work with files when youre connected to the network.

When you reconnect to the network, any changes that you made to files while working offline are updated to the network. This process is called synchronization. If you and someone else on the network made changes to the same file, you can save your version of the file to the network, keep the other version, or save both.

If you share folders on your computer with others on the network, they can work offline with those folders. To protect files in your shared folders, you can specify whether other users can change your documents or just view them. You can also control which shared files users can access offline.


Any shared files or folders on a Microsoft network can be made available offline. You can make files available offline by using any computer that supports Server Message Block (SMB)-based file and print sharing, including Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows XP. The Offline Files feature is not available on Novell NetWare networks.

The system administrator can set up shared folders so that every network file you open in the shared folder is automatically made available offline, or so that only those network files you choose are made available offline.

Related Topics

Sharing files and folders overview

Change offline file access for shared folders

Working offline

Preparing to work offline

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