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Mobile Computing

If you choose manual caching for offline files, you must pin the file or folder on the user's portable computer. When you pin a file or folder, a copy of the file or folder is copied to the local cache on the portable computer. By default, all users have permission to pin files and folders. However, you can use Group Policy to change this default behavior.

To manually pin a file or folder

  1. While you are connected to the network, select the shared network folder or file you want to make available offline.

  2. On the File menu, click Make available offline .

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Note

You can manually pin a folder or a file even when the folder or file has been configured for automatic caching. In this case, pinning forces the file or folder to be stored. Therefore, pinning has precedence over automatic caching.

When you manually pin a folder that contains subfolders, you are prompted to choose whether you want to make subfolders available offline or whether you want to make only the contents of the folder available offline. You can change this behavior by using administrative templates in Group Policy so that subfolders are always made available offline.

To make subfolders always available offline when a folder is manually pinned

  1. From the Start menu, click Run .

  2. Type:
    gpedit.msc

  3. Press ENTER.

  4. In the console tree pane of the Group Policy console, under Computer Configuration , open the Administrative Templates folder, and then open the Network folder.

  5. Click the Offline Files folder.

  6. In the details pane, double-click Subfolders always available offline .

  7. In the Properties dialog box, click Enabled .

You can also pin folders using the administrative templates in Group Policy. Along with other Group Policy settings, this is the best way to ensure that folders and their contents are always available offline.

To pin folders using Group Policy

  1. From the Start menu, click Run .

  2. Type:
    gpedit.msc

  3. Press ENTER.

  4. In the view pane of the Group Policy console, under Computer Configuration , open the Administrative Templates folder and then open the Network folder.

  5. Click the Offline Files folder.

  6. In the details pane, double-click Administratively assigned offline files .

  7. In the Properties dialog box, click Enabled , and then click Show .

  8. In the Show Contents dialog box, click Add .

  9. Enter the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path for any folder or file you want to administratively pin. Do not enter a value for these folders. You can use environment variables in the paths.

When you administratively pin a folder using Group Policy, all files and subfolders within that folder are made available offline. As a consequence, the Make available offline menu item that appears when you right-click a shared folder or file is checked and disabled. This prevents users from manually unpinning administratively pinned files and folders, although they can still pin and unpin folders and files that have not been administratively pinned.

Users can delete offline files in the Offline Files folder even though they have been administratively pinned. However, the deleted files and folders are-stored the next time Group Policy updates policies on the computer (by default, every 90 minutes, although you can change this). Also, users can still enable, disable, and configure offline files unless you administratively restrict a user's ability to configure offline files, which you also can do by using administrative templates in Group Policy.

To prevent users from configuring offline files

  1. From the Start menu, click Run .

  2. Type:
    gpedit.msc

  3. Press ENTER.

  4. In the view pane of the Group Policy console, under Computer Configuration , open the Administrative Templates folder and then open the Network folder.

  5. Click the Offline Files folder.

  6. In the details pane, double-click Disable user configuration of Offline Files .

  7. In the Disable user configuration of Offline Files Properties dialog box, click Enable .

Be careful how you implement this policy. Preventing users from configuring offline files might not be appropriate for all portable computer users. For example, if a portable computer is frequently disconnected from the network and a user needs to reconfigure offline files, he or she is unable to do so. Administratively pinning folders might be enough to ensure that specific folders are always available offline and do not get unpinned or deleted from the cache by a user.

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