Syncing SharePoint to Your Computer

Syncing SharePoint to one’s desktop allows the user to navigate through the file explorer. Many users, especially those new to cloud file sharing, prefer this familiar interface. This article details the steps to set up that sync.

SharePoint is a great resource for cloud based sharing and storage of your documents. It helps increase collaboration between workers and allows for flexibility for telecommuting and multiple office locations. Despite the benefits, a lot of users who make the switch are wary of change. However, many don’t know that you can sync SharePoint sites to your computer and use the file explorer to navigate. This allows for a familiar user interface with all the added benefits of the cloud. Heres how…

Prerequisite: Logging in to OneDrive

If you have not already done so, sign in to OneDrive on your computer.

  • Open the OneDrive application on your computer.
  • This will prompt you to log in.
  • Run through the prompts to set it up on your computer.
If you don’t have the app pinned to your taskbar or start menu, use the search feature to find it quickly.

Go to the SharePoint Site in your Browser

The best way to start a sync is it to start at the Sharepoint site location in the web browser. If you have the site bookmarked, you can skip this step.

  • Start at and login.
  • Click the Sharepoint icon.
  • Select the site you wish to sync such as “Training” pictured below.
It’s recommended to tap the star and follow your frequently accessed sites.

Sync your Documents

The next step is to tell Sharepoint to sync the documents down to your computer.

  • When in the SharePoint site, click on “documents” on the lefthand side to view folders and files.
  • Tap the sync icon, located at the top bar.
  • Click “Open Microsoft OneDrive” when prompted.
  • Repeat with any other sites you want to sync to your computer.
The sync button is located in the middle of the top menu bar.

Accessing Sharepoint

Folders will now be accessible through your file explorer. For more access options check out our article The Best Way to Access Sharepoint.

  • To view in the file explorer click the folder icon in your taskbar and navigate to your site in the left area. It will appear similar to if you added an additional drive.
  • To save files to this folder, it’s as easy as before. If you don’t want to navigate the cloud, when using save as, click “browse”, then navigate through the file explorer.
  • To attach files in Outlook, you can navigate the same as before. However, keep in mind you have the option to send it as an online document for collaboration or as an attachment. Choose the option most appropriate for the person you are sending to.
SharePoint now looks like any other folder structure on your computer or server.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I access these files offline?

You can, but you have to change the settings to have the files always available offline. However, I recommend only doing this as needed, as they will then take up space on your computer.

Will this take up space on my computer?

Yes and no. It generally only takes up space if it is saved to your computer which is usually temporary. If you can set files to be accessible offline at all times which will use disk space.

What’s with the status icons?

The icons indicate what is already available on your computer (green check) and what can be accessed from your computer but are stored in the internet (blue cloud). The blue arrows arcing in a circle means that the sync is in progress. Lastly, the red x means there is a sync issue which needs to be corrected.

Each status icon has a meaning to help you navigate Sharepoint.

Use as Directed

Syncing Sharepoint allows for more convenience in using your SharePoint sites. This can help foster more collaboration and productivity. There is a lot you can do with Sharepoint so be sure to check out our other articles or email us a suggestion. SharePoint and Office365 are great for customizing to your workflow, so explore a little and find out what works best for you.

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