Synchronizing SharePoint Online document libraries with Windows Explorer

Synchronizing SharePoint Online document libraries with Windows Explorer has always been a hot topic. My post on the topic from October 2011 has been viewed more than 10,000 times.

In previous versions of Office 365 its been possible, yet a little frustrating to setup and use on a daily basis. Especially the authentication part (a saml token timing out) has caused lots of discussions.

In the current version of Office 365 the synchronization is taken care of by a component known as the "SkyDrive Pro Windows Sync client". It installs with Office 2013 (soon available as a standalone download if you do not have/need Office 2013)

The SkyDrive Pro Windows Sync client

  • enables you to take your documents offline from document libraries in SharePoint Online. When you connect again your offline files are synchronized
  • establishes a synchronization relationship with the current document library when you clicks the Sync button in SharePoint Online. When a synchronization relationship is set up, files and folders can be synchronized between your device and SharePoint Online.
  • creates shortcuts displayed in Windows Explorer to Windows folders to store files from the synchronized document library.

See also

  • Overview of SkyDrive Pro in SharePoint Server 2013 - link
  • What is SkyDrive Pro? - link
  • Restrictions and limitations related to syncing SharePoint libraries to your computer with SkyDrive Pro - link
  • Sync a library to your computer - link
  • Video: Sync your SkyDrive Pro library to your computer - link
  • Out and about: New SharePoint mobile offerings -  link
Comments (9)

  1. Anonymous says:

    What if we hit the 5000 file limit cap using the SkyDrive Pro client?

  2. These are all the details I have, sorry.

  3. Standalone client says:

    Anywhere to get more details on when we can expect a standalone client?  This could be a huge win for people who don't want to disrupt users currently on Office 2010 or for PCs where there is no Office client for whatever reason.

  4. Villy says:

    how do I sync to sharepoint if I allready have files and folders in my skydrive pro at my pc? we are using office 365 business premium.

  5. Meindert Lust says:

    Hello Jesper,

    Great documentation, but we are still looking for working link in Windows Explorer to a SharePoint shared librarie.

    The desktops in the office should not sync all the shared data locally to the machines.

    With skydrive pro it is not linking to the offsite location, but works from a sync principal, or am I missing the key here?

  6. Glenn van der Windt says:

    How can we configure it on Windows RT?

  7. Anon says:

    If you Hit the limit cap, you can’t sync anymore :/

  8. Anonymous says:

    Not that I’m counting but I just realized one of my blog posts actually is closing in on 100k views

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