Offline Files Modes of Operation

The Offline Files feature of Windows 7 allows users to locally cache files hosted elsewhere so that these files are available when the computer is unable to connect directly to that network resource. The Offline Files feature in Windows 7 has four modes of operation which are:

Online mode: Changes made to files are applied to the file share and then to the local cache. Read requests are performed on the local cache while synchronization occurs automatically. However, a user can initiate synchronization manually. This is the default mode of operation.

Auto offline mode: Windows 7 switches to auto offline mode when a network error is detected. File operations are performed against the local cache. When Windows 7 reconnects to the network, Offline Files automatically switches back to online mode. When a network error is detected, the computer attempts to reconnect every two minutes.

Manual offline mode: The transition to offline mode is forced when user selects the Work Offline item in Windows Explorer. A computer must be returned to online mode manually by clicking Work Online in Windows Explorer.

Slow-link mode: This mode is enabled by default in Windows 7 and triggered when the link speed falls below the default value of 64,000 bits per second. This value can be configured through policy. In this mode, file operations are performed against the local cache. Users can synchronize manually, but automatic synchronization does not occur. The computer switches to online mode when the link speed exceeds the configured value.

Remember, that some Windows features such as, Previous Versions of Files are not available in auto offline or manual offline modes.