Offline Files are not working after upgrade from Windows 7 Starter or Home

Applies to: Windows 7 EnterpriseWindows 7 Enterprise NWindows 7 Professional


You notice that files that are expected to be available offline are not available offline (example redirected My Documents folder). You may also notice the following symptoms as well:
  • Sync partnerships are not setup for redirected folders
  • When right-clicking a file the "Always available offline" menu item is not present
  • The details pane of Explorer does not give "Offline availability" or "Offline Status" information
  • User is able to access files when connected over VPN or Direct Access but performance is slow because the network location is not transitioning offline due to the slow link


The machine was upgraded from either Windows 7 Starter or Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Ulitmate or Windows 7 Enterprise. During the upgrade the Offline Files feature is installed, but is not enabled. If the machine was not upgraded but installed as a clean install, the offline files feature would have been enabled by default.


Enable the Offline Files feature with the following steps:

  1. Open Control Panel through the Start Menu
  2. In the Search box type in "Manage offline files"
  3. Click the Sync Center Manage Offline Files icon
  4. Click the "Enable offline Files" button and provice administrator crednetials if prompted
  5. Click OK
  6. Restart the computer as prompted

If folder redirection is being used through a domain policy, you would need to logon as the user and run "gpupdate /target:user /force" and logoff and back on again for the folders to be automatically made available offline.

If there are multiple machines in the environment that might fall into this category, it is possible to enable Offline Files through a domain policy. It woudl still require a reboot to take effect and running the gpupdate command to automatically cache the redirected folders. That would be by setting the following policy:

Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Network\Offline Files
"Allow or Disallow use of the Offline Files feature"

More Information

Offline Files is a feature that is not available in Windows 7 Starter or Windows 7 Home editions.