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SharePoint Blog

October 06
Work with a SharePoint Document Library- Without Working In SharePoint!

Most organizations believe that the only way to have a successful SharePoint implementation is to change old employee habits.  You’ll hear “Stop saving files to the network shared drives!  You need to save that to SharePoint!”  While it is true that some user behavior will need to be modified, the changes aren’t as significant as you might think.

For most employees, saving files to Microsoft’s native Windows Explorer functionality is pracitically second nature. Switching from Windows and saving documents to a SharePoint Document Library might feel like a huge culture shift! If only SharePoint could replicate the experience of saving files to a shared network drive... wait, what?  It can?  How?!?

SharePoint includes a feature that allows users to replicate the experience of saving a file to Windows Explorer.  Users can Sync a Document library to their computer – and take the contents with them wherever they go!

This is a particularly nice feature when you want to be able to access your SharePoint documents offline.  By synchronizing your SharePoint Document Library to your laptop or workstation, all the latest documents are available for you to work with while offline.  You can access your documents, edit them, and the next time you connect to SharePoint Server 2013 all of your modifications will synchronize to your document library.

To utilize this functionality, you will need to ensure that your environment is configured to allow synchronization on document libraries in SharePoint Server 2013

Once this is confirmed, syncing a document library is quite simple.  Here are the steps:

1.       From the ribbon of your SharePoint site, click the "Sync" button.​


2.       A pop-up message will appear indicating where the library will exist.  Click "Sync Now".


You will be presented with a dialog box illustrating the progress.


3.       When complete, you will be presented with a dialog box directing you to view your files.  Click "Show my files…"


You will be able to access all the documents shared in the SharePoint document library from your windows explorer file folders.


So, it is possible to execute a successful SharePoint implementation without changing all old habits after all!  In addition to easing into the SharePoint transition by replicating the experience of saving files to a shared network drive,  syncing a document library will also allow the user to enjoy the added benefit of working in SharePoint while offline. 

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