Daily Answers: Synchronizing Shared Subfolders when Using Offline Files

I use Windows 2000's Offline Files feature with shared folders on my network servers and want to force the network share subfolders to synchronize automatically. What should I do?

The Offline Files synchronization process on a client computer doesn't include the subfolders of a folder marked for offline use. To work around this problem, you can use a Group Policy to force the synchronization process to include the subfolders. You can create this policy for the local computer or store it in Active Directory (AD) for use within your various AD sites, domains, or organizational units (OUs). Here's how:

  1. Click Start, Run, and type MMC to launch a new Microsoft Management Console (MMC) console.
  2. Select Console, Add/Remove Snap-in, then click Add.
  3. In the Add Standalone Snap-in dialog box, select Group Policy from the list of snap-ins, then click Add.
  4. Specify where you want the system to store this Group Policy Object (GPO)* either on the local computer or in AD. In this case, I'll use the local computer as an example. Accept the Local Computer default in the Group Policy Object box, then click Finish.
  5. Click Close to close the Add Standalone Snap-in dialog box, then click OK to close the Add/Remove Snap-in dialog box.
  6. In the MMC console's left pane, select the Local Computer Policy\Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Network\Offline Files object.
  7. In the console's right pane, double-click the Subfolders always available offline policy.
  8. Select the Enabled option, then click OK to return to the MMC console, as Figure 2 shows.
  9. Save the settings, then close the MMC console.

After you complete these steps, the new folder synchronization behavior will take effect. The Offline Files synchronization process will always include subfolders.

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