Activate Offline Files via GPO and assign the User folder to always be available Offline.

Published on 04/22/2012 by Wouter Makkinje

Filed under Group Policy

Last modified 04/24/2016

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Scenario:

You have a Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Server and a set of Windows 7 Client PC’s that you want to enable Offline files on and set their User folder to always be available Offline.

 


Problem:

You could do this by going to every PC and doing it by hand, but being as awesome as you are having upgraded to windows server 2008 r2, you will do this from Group Policy Management Console and only have to do it once!

 


In this guide I will assume that you have one OU with Users in it, lets call it userOU. I will also make the assumption that you have another OU for your computer accounts named computerOU.

On the Computer OU:

 

  1. Open up GPMC on your Domain Controller by going to Start > Administrative Tools >Group Policy Management.
  2. Right click on the computerOU and select “Create a GPO in this domain, and link it here…”
  3. For name call it Offline Files Activation and hit enter.
  4. You will now see a shortcut to a group policy called Offline Files Activation under computerOU. Go ahead and right click it and select Edit.
  5. On the left hand side of the window that opened. Browse to Computer Configuration >Policies > Administrative Templates: Policy definitions (ADMX) > Network > Offline Files.
  6. Double click the setting named “Allow or disallow use of the Offline Files feature” Set it to Enabled and hit OK.
  7. Double click the setting named “Action on server disconnect” Set it to Enabled, on the left hand side select Work Offline, and hit OK.
  8. Double click the setting named “Enabled transparent caching” Set it to Enabled and hit OK.
  9. Go ahead and close out the policy so that you’re back in the Group Policy Management Console view.

On the User OU:

 

  1. Open up GPMC on your Domain Controller by going to Start > Administrative Tools >Group Policy Management if you don’t already have it open.
  2. Right click on the userOU and select “Create a GPO in this domain, and link it here…”
  3. For name call it Offline Files User Settings and hit enter.
  4. You will now see a shortcut to a group policy called Offline Files User Settings under userOU. Go ahead and right click it and select Edit.
  5. On the left hand side of the window that opened. Browse to User Configuration >Policies > Administrative Templates: Policy definitions (ADMX) > Network > Offline Files.
  6. Double click the setting named “Administratively assigned offline files” Set it to Enabled and hit Show under Options.
  7. For the Value Name enter \\YOURSERVER\Users$\%username% (This can be anything you want, in this case i want the User share to be allowed offline.) Hit OK.
  8. Hit OK again to close out the setting.
  9. Go ahead and close out the policy, and close the Group Policy Management Console.
  10. You can now go ahead and try it out by going to a computer that is affected by the policy and in the CMD type gpupdate /force.

This way of enabling this policy is great because in one swap you will enable everyone’s User share to be available Offline, and you only needed to do it one time from one place!