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Disable offline files for redirected folders

Windows enables users to redirect some of the user folders like My Documents, My pictures, My applications etc to network shares. Offline files is, by default, enabled for redirected folders. We do not need to explicitly mark them for offline availability. So when you redirect your My Documents folder to some network share and even if the server goes down you still would be able to access the files.

We can disable this default behavior by editing group policy. Steps for XP are given below. For Windows 7, check out this Disabling offline files for redirected folders in Windows 7

Open domain group policy object editor.  If you want to configure the local computer’s group policy, you can open it by running gpedit.msc from Run.  The changes we do in gpedit.msc apply only on that particular machine where as the changes done in domain group policy object editor apply to all the member machines of the domain.

  • Expand User Configuration node.
  • Similarly expand Administrative templates and Network and then Offline Files
  • Now on the right side pane you can see a list of group policies.
  • Double click on the last policy setting i.e “Do not automatically make redirected folders available offline”. Select the “Enabled” check box.
  • Click on “Apply” and then “OK” 

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