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Offline Files for mobile users

Updated: January 21, 2005

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

Offline Files for mobile users

If you travel frequently and rely on a portable computer to accomplish your work, Offline Files provides a way to ensure that you are working with the most current versions of the network files and that your work will be synchronized with the network when you reconnect. Using Offline Files, you can navigate through shared folders and mapped network drives regardless of whether you are connected to a network.

Follow these steps when working with Offline Files on a portable computer:

  • Make a file or folder available offline

    Before you disconnect your portable computer from the network, you must first select the shared network files or folders that you want to use when you are disconnected and make them available offline. For more information, see Make a file or folder available offline.

  • Synchronize files when you log on to or log off from a computer

    Set up Synchronization Manager to reflect the way you want your portable computer to synchronize your files when you log on to and log off from the network. For more information, see Synchronizing offline items when you log on to or log off from a computer.

  • Disconnect a portable computer from the network

    After you have completed the previous tasks, you can disconnect your portable computer and begin working offline. In Windows XP Professional and the Windows Server 2003 family, the computer synchronizes automatically whenever the user suspends the computer. This policy is not controllable through the user interface.

  • Work offline

    While working offline, you can still browse network drives and shared folders in My Computer or My Network Places. You will be able to see only those files that you made available offline and any files that you created after losing the network connection. A red X appears over any disconnected network drives. Your permissions on the network files and folders remain the same whether you are connected to the network or working offline. For more information, see Working offline.

  • Handle file conflicts

    When you are finished working offline and you reconnect your portable computer to the network, you must synchronize your files. By synchronizing your files, you update the network files with changes that you made while working offline. By having Synchronization Manager automatically synchronize your files when you log on, you ensure that the latest file changes are reflected on the network and that any file conflicts are handled properly. For more information, see Handling file conflicts.

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