Despite the fact that SharePoint for Office 365 is -among other things- a web based document management tool, you have the option to sync your documents with your computer.

The benefits are twofold

  1. While you are offline (without internet connection) you may still have access to your files. You may work to these files locally and when you come back online, the changes will sync back to SharePoint automatically.
  2. Convenience, since the experience is like working with local folders.

How to Sync a Document Library with your Computer

Follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the SharePoint site.
  2. Select the document Library you want to sync.
  3. Click on the sync button.
  4. If you are prompted, click on the ‘Open Microsoft OneDrive’

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That’s it! The OneDrive application will start syncing the document library, which you will be able to locate if you go to windows explorer and find the hierarchy with the building icon, as you can see at the image below.

Working with the Synchronization

As you sync your document libraries you may notice some icons next to your synced files/folders. These icons actually tell you about the state of the file/folder:

IconDescription
If you see that icon, it means that the file/folder is shared with other people.
If you see that icon, it means that the file/folder is available only online.
If you see that icon, it means that you have tried to open that file and it became locally available.
If you see that icon, it means that you have set the file/folder to always be available offline.
If you see that icon, it means that the file/folder has settings that prevent it from syncing.
If you see that icon, it means that an error occurred and the file/folder cannot be synced.

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Onedrive is the application that is being used to sync your computer with SharePoint. You can easily locate its blue cloud icon, downright to the windows bar. The overall status of the synchronization can easily be spotted if you pay attention to the icon itself, as described below:

IconDescription
If you see that icon, it means that the application is currently syncing.
If you see that icon, it means that the application is in pause state. You can right click on the icon and select resume syncing.
If you see that icon, it means that the application encountered an error. You can click on the icon to learn more about the problem.
If you see that icon, it means that your account needs attention.