Troubleshooting Offline Files

Although the Offline Files feature in Windows 7 is quite straight forward to set up and manage, it has its own problems as well! In this post I will discuss some common issues and their possible causes. The symptoms can range from files and folders not visible while offline, files not synchronized and slow sync speeds.

  1. Files or folders are not visible in offline mode may indicate an incomplete synchronization. Sync occurs in the background and users do not have to wait for files to synchronize before completing a logoff. This may happen when large volume of data needs to be synchronized which requires longer logon sessions to complete. Therefore, it is recommended to allow longer sessions for larger amounts of data to be synchronized.
  2. Another issue with incomplete synchronizations is open files. If a file is in use, open file handles will prevent the file from synchronizing. This behavior is by design and it is recommended to close all files and allow some time before logging off.
  3. Offline files respond slowly over a VPN connection, especially if the VPN connection is slow. Usually, you experience slow performance after you establish the VPN connection and this may include performance issues with redirected folders if present. This problem occurs when some offline files are cached on the local computer or you have logged on to the computer when you were offline. This issue has been fixed in SP1.
  4. Sometimes, changes to an offline file are not saved to the server when files are synchronized. This behavior is usually followed by an error message stating: ‘Access Denied’ and a .tmp file that corresponds to the file appears on the server.  This is not a permissions issue and it has been fixed in SP1.