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Implementing Offline Files and Synchronization

Updated: March 28, 2003

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

By deploying the Offline Files technology, you allow network users to access files that are stored on network shares, even when the client computer is not connected to the network. A mobile user that accesses the share while disconnected from the network can still browse, read, and edit files because the files are cached on the client computer. You can initiate synchronization manually or set Synchronization Manager to control the synchronization of offline files with the network.

For information about deploying Offline Files on newer versions of Windows, see Deploy Folder Redirection, Offline Files, and Roaming User Profiles.

The Offline Files technology provides either a full or quick synchronization. A full synchronization ensures that the most current version of every network file that has been made available offline is available. A quick synchronization is much faster than a full synchronization, and it ensures that a complete version of each cached file is available. The quick synchronization does not ensure that each cached file is the most current version of every network file that has been made available offline. The quick synchronization ensures that each file in the offline cache is a complete. For more information about Offline Files, file synchronization, and managing user data and settings, see the Windows Security Collection of the Windows Server 2003 Technical Reference (or see the Windows Security Collection on the Web at

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