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Make network share available offline in Windows 7 and Vista

Offline files feature allows to access network shares even in offline mode i.e even if the machine is not connected to the network. To use this feature first thing we need to do is enabling offline files feature. This can be done as explained in the post How to enable offline files in Vista. and How to enable offline files in Windows 7.

Once offline files is enabled, we need to mark the share for offline availability. This can be done as explained below.
  1. Open the network share and right click on the share.
  2. Click on ‘Always Available Offline
Now the whole share will copied to the local offline files folder. Once the share is copied to the local machine, then onwards the share will be available for offline access. We can even edit the files in offline mode. When we connect the machine back to the network all the changes saved locally will be automatically replicated on the server copies too.
The above applies to Windows Vista and Windows 7. The steps are same for Windows XP too, but the option name to be selected in the step 2 above is “Make available offline”. It is renamed as ‘Always available offline’ in Windows Vista  and Windows 7.

After we make the network share available offline, we can see green sync icon on the folder. See Offline files sync icon for details on this.

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