Manage content in library folders you’re syncing with the OneDrive for Business sync app

Folders that you’re syncing with SharePoint libraries look like other folders in your file system. However, it’s important to remember that these folders have a relationship with a SharePoint library and, as a result, some activities, such as adding, deleting, or renaming files, are governed by the permissions you have for the library. This article describes common file and folder management activities you might do in a synced library folder, and the results you can expect.

Add a file or folder to a synced folder

When you add a file or folder to a synced folder, the file or folder is automatically uploaded to SharePoint at the next sync. The file or folder can fail to upload for any of the following reasons:

  • You don’t have permission to add files or folders to the SharePoint library.
  • The file typed is blocked in the SharePoint library.
  • The file or folder name contains invalid characters.

When a file fails to upload, an error symbol is appended to its icon:

A file with a sync error symbol appended to its icon

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To see details about why you can’t upload a file or folder, open the OneDrive for Business menu in the Windows notification area, and then click View sync problems.

View and resolve sync problems

There’s no harm in leaving the file or folder in the synced folder even if you’re unable to fix the issue that prevents it from uploading. However, you might want to move it to another location on your computer.

Edit a file in a synced folder

When you edit a file in a synced folder, your changes are immediately uploaded to SharePoint if you’re online. If you edit the file while you’re offline, your updates immediately upload to SharePoint the next time you go online. The file can fail to upload if you don’t have permission to edit files in the SharePoint library.

When a file fails to upload, an error icon is appended to its icon:

A file with a sync error symbol appended to its icon

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To see details about why you can’t upload a file or folder, open the OneDrive for Business menu in the Windows notification area, and then click View sync problems.

It may be important to resolve sync problems with edited files. If the file is updated by another user, these updates won’t be downloaded to your synced folder until you discard the changes you made to the file in your synced folder. For example, if you want to keep the changes in your version of the file, you could copy it to another location on your computer, and then discard the changes you made in the synced folder.

Delete a file or folder in a synced folder

You can delete files or folders in a synced folder only if you have permission to delete files or folders in the associated SharePoint library. If you delete a file or folder in the synced folder but you don’t have Delete permission, the file or folder will re-download to the synced folder at the next sync.

How do I restore a deleted file or folder?

When you delete a file or folder in a synced folder, this action gets uploaded to SharePoint. For example, if you delete an entire folder in the synced folder, and you have delete permission in the SharePoint library, that folder will also get deleted in SharePoint.

If you mistakenly deleted a file or folder in a synced folder, you can restore it to the synced folder from the Windows Recycle Bin.

If you can’t restore the file or folder from your Windows Recycle Bin (perhaps you cleared it after deleting the file or folder), you may be able to restore the file or folder from the SharePoint Recycle Bin.

Delete a synced folder

Deleting a synced folder has no impact on the associated SharePoint library. In other words, this won’t delete any content on the server. This action simply severs the sync relationship between the folder and the SharePoint library. Alternatively, you can also stop syncing a folder instead of deleting it.

 
 
Applies to:
SharePoint Online Enterprise (E1), SharePoint Online Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online Midsized Business, SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise (E1 & E2), SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Midsized Business, SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Small Business, SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Website, SharePoint Online Small Business, SharePoint Online Website, SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise, SharePoint Server 2013 Standard