"Sign in to your PC again" error when you set up Work Folders in Windows

Applies to: Windows Server 2012 R2 DatacenterWindows Server 2012 R2 Standard


When you access the Work Folders control panel page in order to set up Work Folders on a computer, you may receive the following error message:
Sign in to your PC again
To finish setting up Work Folders, please sign out and then sign back in. Work Folders will then be set up using additional settings provided by your organization via Group Policy.
This issue occurs when administrator uses a management application, such as System Center Configuration Manager, to push the Work Folders automatic deployment settings (the Force automatic setup option) to client computers.

For example, you may receive the following error message:


Administrators should not configure the Force automatic setup option by using management applications other than Group Policy. Specifically, the Force automatic setup registry setting should not be changed outside Group Policy.

There are 2 locations in Group Policy where Force automatic setup can be configured:
  • The Specify Work Folders settings policy setting in the following path:
    User Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\WorkFolders
  • The Force automatic setup for all users policy setting in the following path:
    Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\WorkFolders
Note These policy settings are available only when you edit Group Policy from a computer that is running Group Policy Management on Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2. Versions of Group Policy Management from earlier operating systems do not have this setting available.

More Information

Work Folders client supports automatic deployment through Group policy. There are 2 policy settings:
  • Work Folders URL
  • Force automatic setup
You can use the Work Folders URL setting to specify either the URL that is used by the organization for Work Folders discovery, or the specific URL of the file server that stores the affected users' data.

The Force automatic setup option specifies that Work Folders should be set up automatically without prompting users. This prevents users from deciding not to use Work Folders on the computer. It also prevents users from manually specifying the local folder in which Work Folders stores files. By default, Work Folders is stored in the "%USERPROFILE%\Work Folders" folder. If this option is not specified, users must use the Work Folders Control Panel item on their computers to set up Work Folders. We recommend having a user configure the Work Folders manually through Control panel (referred as opt-in model), because the user can specify the exact location.

When the Force automatic setup option is selected, the Group Policy handler (GPextension) will create the partnership when a user signs in. 

In addition to Group Policy, there are other management applications such as System Center Configuration Manager and third-party equivalents that can push the settings to the client computer. When you use such management applications, there is no generic policy handler on the client to create the partnership when “Force automatic setup” is selected. The user will see the error message shown in the "Symptoms" section, and following the instructions will not address the issue.