Microsoft Lists was designed to be used as a web site. The one limitation of that situation is that you haven't been able to view or edit a list while disconnected from the internet. 

Now, on Windows (Windows 10 and later) devices running the OneDrive sync app, lists are available for viewing and editing when you're offline, too. With List sync, we synchronize the list data from the cloud to your Windows device, making fast list operations possible and allowing you to continue your work even when you're offline, you lose your internet connection, or you run into a service disruption in the app.

List sync lets you work seamlessly with a very large list; it will respond promptly when you sort, filter, or group your data, or when you change the view. 

List sync doesn't change how you work with the Lists web app. It's still available for you to work on in a browser as before. 

To verify that a list is synced and available for offline editing

  1. Open the list.

  2. Near the upper left of the page, examine the symbols next to the list name:

    This symbol indicates the list is being synced between cloud storage and the Windows device.

    The "list is syncing now" symbol

    This symbol indicates the list is in sync between cloud storage and the Windows device.

    The "list is synced" symbol

When you edit a list, the changes you make are synced back to the cloud—either right away (if you're online) or later (if you're offline at the time you make the changes). 

Synced list data on your device is only available to you. If someone else were to sign in on your device, the synced data on the device wouldn't be available to them. We adhere to privacy guidelines outlined in the Microsoft Privacy Statement.

Resolve conflicting simultaneous changes

With Lists sync, it's possible for a conflict to occur if two people change the same item at the same time in different ways. The Lists app tries to automatically resolve the conflict, but if it can't do that, it notifies you about the conflict so that you can resolve it in an appropriate way.

To resolve a conflict

A red dot appears on the Switch view options menu to indicate a conflict exists:

  1. Select Switch view options:

    A red dot on the "Switch view options" menu indicates that there is a Sync issue that needs attention.

  2. Select Items with sync issues

    Select the "Items with sync issues" option from the "Switch view options" menu.

  3. You resolve conflicts by dismissing them or by manually correcting them. Select the conflicts you want to resolve, then select either Dismiss or Save items

    You can save the list of conflicts as a .csv file and either manually update the list with these values or simply discard them.

    If you select Save items, info about the selected conflicts will be saved to a .csv file. Then you can examine that file and determine how you want update the list to manually correct each conflict.

Stop syncing a list

  1. Open the start page of the Lists app.

  2. Point your mouse at the list that you’d like to stop syncing, and then select the three-dot (...)  Open actions menu.

  3. Select Stop syncing

    Select "Stop syncing" on the menu.

    After you stop syncing the list, next time you open that list you will no longer see the “sync” icon next to list name and that list will no longer be available offline.

    The circled checkmark symbol indicates that the list is syncing from the cloud to your Windows device.

    A list that is syncing is indicated by a circled check-mark.

    The lack of a circled checkmark symbol indicates that the list is not syncing from the cloud to your Windows device.

    A list that's not syncing has no Sync symbol on it.

  4. To resume syncing for the list, you simply repeat steps 1 and 2 and then select the Sync in step 3.

Current limitations of List sync

  1. List sync is currently supported only on Windows 10 devices.

  2. A full offline experience for lists—where you can perform all of the operations that are available online—is not yet supported. See item 3 below.

  3. Currently, not all types of lists can be synced. The lists that are not supported right now are prevented from syncing, and no “sync icon” appears on the list. Following are the kinds of lists that aren't synced:

    • Lists that have the Allow management of content types set to Yes

    • Lists that have the “Allow items from this list to be downloaded to offline clients” set to “No”

    • Lists that have the Require content approval for submitted items set to Yes

    • Lists that have Make “New Folder” command available set to Yes

    • Lists that have display mode set to Classic experience

    • Lists with Calculated fields

    • Lists with Lookup fields

    • Lists with validation formulas on any of fields

    • Lists that have Multiple lines of text fields where Append changes to existing text is set to Yes

    • Lists with fields that have default value specified.

  4. Besides the restrictions above in item 3, there is the limit regarding which lists can be synced to your device: Only eligible lists created by you, or lists that were shared with you and opened by you, will be synced to your device. This includes lists that are visible in the Lists web app (Favorites, My Lists, Recent Lists). And if you delete a list or lose access to a list, it will be automatically un-synced from your device.

Working with a list while offline

When you're working offline, you can still open and work with your lists that have been synced to your device. Features that aren't available while you're offline are grayed out to indicate that you can't us them at the moment, as illustrated by the options circled in this picture:

When you work offline, unavailable options are grayed out. Those options will be restored when you are connected to the internet.

Similarly, on the start page for the Lists app, if a specific list isn't synced to your device, you won't be able to open that list in the standalone app while you're working offline, as illustrated by the dimmed list in the middle below:

When you work offline, a list that isn't synced to your device is labeled "unavailable" because you can't open it.

Bandwidth involved in List sync

When compared to OneDrive file sync, bandwidth consumed by List sync is minimal, and largely depends on the size of the list and how frequently the list is modified. Initial sync of the list results in syncing the entire list, but subsequent updates to the list result only in changes being synced.

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