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Configuring Group Policy for Offline Files

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Configuring Group Policy for Offline Files

Tables 7.16 and 7.17 list the Offline Files policy settings that administrators can use. The settings are available in User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Network\Offline Files and in Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Network\Offline Files in the Group Policy Object Editor snap-in. For more information about policy settings, see the Explain tab on the Properties page of each policy.

Note

  • Most of the policy settings exist in both the User Configuration and the Computer Configuration nodes.

Table 7.16    User Configuration Policy Settings for Offline Files

 

Policy Setting Description

Prohibit user configuration of Offline Files 1

Prevents users from enabling, disabling, or changing the configuration of Offline Files.

This setting removes the Offline Files tab from the Folder Options dialog box. It also removes the Settings item from the Offline Files shortcut menu and disables the Settings button on the Offline FilesStatus dialog box. As a result, users cannot view or change the options on the Offline Files tab or in the Offline Files dialog box.

This is a comprehensive policy setting that locks down the configuration that you establish by using other settings in this folder.

Synchronize all Offline Files when logging on 1

Determines whether offline files are fully synchronized when users log on.

This setting also disables the Synchronize all offline files before logging on option on the Offline Files tab. This prevents users from changing the option while a setting controls it.

Synchronize all Offline Files before logging off 1

Determines whether offline files are fully synchronized when users log off.

This setting also disables the Synchronize all offline files before logging off option on the Offline Files tab. This prevents users from trying to change the option while a setting controls it.

Synchronize Offline Files before suspend

Determines whether offline files are synchronized before a computer is suspended.

If you enable this setting, offline files are synchronized whenever the computer is suspended. Setting the synchronization action to Quick ensures only that all files in the cache are complete. Setting the synchronization action to Full ensures that all cached files and folders are up to date with the most current version.

If the computer is suspended by closing the display on a portable computer, synchronization is not performed. If multiple users are logged on to the computer at the time the computer is suspended, synchronization is not performed.

Action on server disconnect 1

Determines whether network files remain available if the computer is suddenly disconnected from the server that is hosting the files.

This setting also disables the When a network connection is lost option on the Offline Files tab, which prevents users from trying to change the option while a setting controls it.

Also, see the Non-default server disconnect actions policy setting in this table.

Non-default server disconnect actions 2

Determines how computers respond when they are disconnected from particular offline file servers.

This setting overrides the default response, a user-specified response, and the response that is specified in the Action on server disconnect policy setting. This setting does not prevent users from setting custom actions on the Offline Files tab. However, users cannot change any custom actions that were established by means of this setting.

Remove ‘Make Available Offline’ 1

Prevents users from making network files and folders available offline.

This setting removes the Make Available Offline option from the File menu and from all shortcut menus in Windows Explorer. As a result, users cannot designate files to be saved on their computer for offline use. However, this setting does not prevent the system from saving local copies of files that reside on network shares that are designated for automatic caching.

Prevent use of Offline Files folder 1

Disables the Offline Files folder.

This setting disables the View Files button on the Offline Files tab. As a result, users cannot use the Offline Files folder to view or open copies of network files that are stored on their computer. Also, they cannot use the folder to view characteristics of offline files, such as their server status, type, or location.

This setting does not prevent users from working offline or from saving local copies of files available offline. Also, it does not prevent users from using other programs, such as Windows Explorer, to view their offline files.

Administratively assigned offline files 3

Lists network files and folders that are always available for offline use.

This setting makes the specified files and folders available offline to users of the computer.

Turn off reminder balloons 1

Hides or displays reminder balloons, and prevents users from changing the setting.

Reminder balloons appear above the Offline Files icon in the notification area to notify users when they have lost connection to a networked file and are working on a local copy of the file. Users can then decide how to proceed.

Reminder balloon frequency 1

Determines how often reminder balloon updates appear.

Reminder balloons appear when the user’s connection to a network file is lost or reconnected, and they are updated periodically. By default, the first reminder for an event is displayed for 30 seconds. Then, updates appear every 60 minutes and are displayed for 15 seconds. You can use this setting to change the interval between updates.

Initial reminder balloon lifetime 1

Determines how long the first reminder balloon for a network status change is displayed.

Reminder balloon lifetime 1

Determines how long updated reminder balloons are displayed.

Event logging level 1

Determines which events the Offline Files feature records in the event log.

Offline Files records events in the Application event log when it detects errors. By default, Offline Files records an event only when the offline files storage cache is corrupted. However, you can use this setting to specify additional events that you want Offline Files to record.

Prohibit ‘Make Available Offline’ for these files and folders 4

Prohibits specific network files and folders from being made available for offline use.

This setting does not prevent files from being automatically cached if the network share is configured for automatic caching. It only affects the availability of the Make Available Offline menu option in the user interface.

If the Remove ‘Make Available Offline’ setting is enabled, this setting has no effect.

Do not automatically make redirected folders available offline

By default, makes all redirected shell folders, such as My Documents, Desktop, Start Menu, and Application Data, are available offline.

This setting allows you to change this behavior so that redirected shell folders are not automatically available for offline use. However, users can still choose to make files and folders available offline.

Do not enable this setting unless you are certain that users do not need access to all of their redirected files in the event that the network or the server holding the redirected files becomes unavailable.

This setting does not prevent files from being automatically cached if the network share is configured for automatic caching, nor does it affect the availability of the Make Available Offline menu option in the user interface.

1 This setting appears in the Computer Configuration and User Configuration folders. If both settings are configured, the setting in Computer Configuration takes precedence over the setting in User Configuration.

2 This setting appears in the Computer Configuration and User Configuration folders. If both settings are configured for a particular server, the setting in Computer Configuration takes precedence over the setting in User Configuration. Both Computer and User configurations take precedence over a user’s setting.

3 This setting appears in the Computer Configuration and User Configuration folders. If both settings are configured, the settings are combined and all specified files are available for offline use.

4 This setting appears in the Computer Configuration and User Configuration folders. If both settings are configured, the settings are combined, and the specified files are not available for offline use.

Note

  • Most Offline Files policy settings in the User Configurationnode, listed in Table 7.16, also appear in the Computer Configurationnode. Table 7.17 lists only those settings that are unique to the Computer Configuration node. For more information about the settings, open the Explain tab on the Properties page of each policy.

Table 7.17    Computer Configuration Policy Settings for Offline Files

 

Policy Setting Description

Allow or disallow use of the Offline Files feature

Determines whether the Offline Files feature is enabled.

This setting also disables the Enable Offline Files option on the Offline Files tab. This prevents users from changing the option while a setting controls it.

By default, Offline Files is enabled in Windows 2000 Professional and is disabled in Windows 2000 Server.

Default cache size

Limits the percentage of the computer’s disk space that can be used to store automatically cached offline files.

This setting also disables the Amount of disk space to use for temporary offline files option on the Offline Files tab. This prevents users from changing the option while a setting controls it.

Automatic caching can be set on any network share. When a user opens a file on the share, the system automatically stores a copy of the file on the user’s computer.

This setting does not limit the disk space available for files that users make available offline manually.

Files not cached

Lists types of files that cannot be used offline.

This setting lets you exclude certain types of files from automatic and manual caching for offline use. The system does not cache files of the type that is specified in this setting even when they reside on a network share that is configured for automatic caching. Also, if users try to make a file of this type available offline, the operation will fail and the following message is displayed in the Synchronization Manager Progress dialog box: "Files of this type cannot be made available offline."

At logoff, delete local copy of users offline files

Deletes local copies of the user’s offline files when the user logs off.

This setting specifies that automatically and manually cached offline files are retained only while the user is logged on to the computer. When the user logs off, the system deletes all local copies of offline files.

Caution: Files are not synchronized before they are deleted. Any changes to local files since the last synchronization are lost.

Subfolders always available offline

Makes subfolders available offline whenever their parent folder is made available offline.

This setting automatically extends the Make available offline policy setting to all new and existing subfolders of a folder. Users do not have the option of excluding subfolders.

Encrypt the Offline Files cache

Determines whether offline files are encrypted.

Offline files reside on a user’s hard disk, not the network, and they are stored in a local cache on the computer. Encrypting this cache enhances security on a local computer. If the cache on the local computer is not encrypted, any encrypted files cached from the network will not be encrypted on the local computer. This might pose a security risk in some environments.

By default, this cache is protected on NTFS partitions by ACLs.

Configure Slow link speed

Configures the threshold value at which Offline Files considers a network connection to be slow.

Any network speed below this value is considered to be slow.

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