How to Sync SharePoint 2013 Document Library with Local Folder?

In SharePoint Server 2013, users can perform two-way sync between files stored in SharePoint document libraries and their local machine. The OneDrive for Business sync client performs the synchronization of files between document libraries and the user’s local disk, So that users can take their files offline from SharePoint, work on them while offline, and then synchronize them with their document library when they reconnect to SharePoint Server 2013.

SharePoint 2013 sync requirements
You must have the Microsoft OneDrive for Business sync client (formerly SkyDrive Pro) installed in your machine for the sync functionality to work. If it’s not already installed, download and install it from: Otherwise, SharePoint 2013 sync does not work!

sharepoint 2013 sync client

Sync functionality doesn’t need any additional permission for a one-way sync. Even the least permission level: “View only” would do!

How to sync SharePoint 2013 Library with Local Folder?

Follow these steps to sync any SharePoint library with a local folder of your workstation

  • Navigate to your SharePoint library or page where the library is placed.
  • Click on the “Sync” icon from the top right section of the page. 
    sharepoint 2013 foundation sync
  • This brings a window for the first time sync setup. Click on the “Sync Now” button.
     sharepoint 2013 desktop sync
  • Depending on the size of your library, sync setup may take a while to complete.
    sharepoint 2013 sync library to computer
  • Once completed, you may click on “Show my files…” to open synced files in Windows Explorer.
     sharepoint 2013 sync documents
  • This enables offline sync! You may now open or edit files from your Windows Explorer. 
    sharepoint 2013 sync document library

SharePoint 2013 sync button not working?

Does nothing happen when you click on the “Sync” button in SharePoint 2013? Well, verify SharePoint 2013 sync button requirement: OneDrive sync client is installed in your machine! Try re-installing the client again.

How do I disable the sync button in SharePoint 2013?
Sure, you can turn off the sync button by disabling the “Search and Offline Availability” option, either at the site level or library level. Find more to remove the sync button at How to Disable Sync button in SharePoint 2013?

SharePoint 2013 sync button missing?
It could be sync turned off based on the “Search and Offline Availability” choice at the document library or site level.

  • Check Sync is enabled at Site level: Go to Site settings >> Click on “Search and Offline Availability” on Search group >> choose “Allow items from this site to be downloaded to offline clients” option to “Yes” on “Offline Client Availability” >> Click on “OK” to save your changes.
  • Check Sync feature at Library level: Navigate to your document library >> Go to Library Settings >> Advanced Settings >> Scroll down and choose “Allow items from this document library to be downloaded to offline clients?”to “Yes” on “Offline Client Availability” section.

Checkout-Checkin and OneDrive:
As the SharePoint – OneDrive sync is two-way – files will be automatically synced if they are changed in either of the places. But if you check out files in the SharePoint site, it stops any other users from editing files in SharePoint until it’s checked-in back by the checked-out user! While it allows other users to edit files from their local OneDrive,  it doesn’t allow them to sync checked out files from OneDrive files to SharePoint until it’s checked-in back in the SharePoint site! If they try to sync while the file is in the checked-out state in SharePoint, the OneDrive sync client gives a Sync issue error message!

SharePoint 2013 sync options:
The sync client provides options to setup new sync, trigger on-demand sync, and remove syncing a folder. You can access it from the notification area. 

sharepoint 2013 sync library to computer

Stop syncing a folder in SharePoint 2013 
E.g., to remove the sync folder, just right-click on the OneDrive sync client and choose “Stop syncing a folder”, choose your source folder in the list and confirm stop syncing.
sharepoint 2013 sync stop syncing a folder

Warning: Do not delete a folder directly from your sync location – That will also delete the folder from SharePoint site!

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - SharePoint Expert with Two decades of SharePoint Experience. Love to Share my knowledge and experience with the SharePoint community, through real-time articles!

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