How to Use the Sync Center in Windows 10 Pro

Get offline access to your network files

Sync Center is a feature that was introduced in Windows Vista, and it has been supported in many subsequent versions of Windows including Windows 10 Pro. The main purpose of Sync Center is to synchronize your files with a network server so that you always have the most updated copies when you need them.

Instructions in this article apply exclusively to Windows 10 Pro Edition. Offline network syncing is not available for Windows 10 Home Edition.

Why Use Sync Center on Windows 10 Pro?

You can use Sync Center to access shared files and folders on your network at any time, even when not connected to the network. Changes you make offline will automatically be reflected on the server the next time you connect.

Sync Center is not the same as OneDrive. Sync Center is optimized for Microsoft Office files. In some situations, Sync Center and OneDrive conflict when open Office files sync at different times with Sync Center and OneDrive.

How to Enable Offline Files to Use Sync Center

Before Sync Center can sync any network files to your device, you must enable offline files:

  1. Type control panel in the Windows search box and select the Control Panel app.

    You must use the legacy Control Panel utility, not the current Windows Settings app, to configure Sync Center.

    Type control panel in the Windows search box and select the Control Panel app.
  2. Type sync center in the search box at the top-right corner of the Control panel window, and then select Sync Center.

    sync center
  3. Select Manage offline files on the left side.

    manage offline files
  4. Select Enable offline files.

    You'll need administrative rights to enable this feature.

    show offline files
  5. Restart your computer and repeat steps 1-3 to access the new Offline Files settings.

How to Use Sync Center in Windows 10

Once you've restarted your computer and launched Sync Center again, you'll have three new tabs in your Offline Files settings:

  • Disk Usage: Define the amount of disk space your offline files are allowed to use. By default, the offline files will have all the free space on your hard drive. To modify this, select the Disk Usage tab, then select Change limits.
  • Encryption: Add security to your offline files by setting up encryption with BitLocker. To encrypt your files, simply select Encrypt.
  • Network: Choose to automatically work on your files offline if the network connection is too slow. You can also set how often you'd like to check for a slow connection.
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