You probably know the OneDrive client lets you synchronize your OneDrive files to your desktop. But did you know you can also synchronize your files in Teams to your PC? 

In this series of quick tips we continue to spotlight a few easy ways to help you get more productive with Teams. Some of these may be new to you, while others may offer a helpful reminder of options you forgot were there.

The benefits of syncing your files

Synchronizing files from OneDrive or Teams to your desktop allows you to: 

  1. View files stored in Office 365 from Windows Explorer 
  2. Work on your files in Offline mode  which automatically synchronizes your modifications when you’re connected 

How to sync your files

So let’s go through the steps to synchronize your files in Teams with your desktop:

  1. Open the Teams client and click on Teams 
  2. Select a team 
  3. Select a channel 
  4. Click on the Files tab 
  5. Click Open in SharePoint 

Next, your default browser will open a SharePoint page displaying all stored documents for this channel. 

Click on Sync, if you only want to synchronize the documents for this channel:

If you want to synchronize all the documents for the entire team click on Documents. This will take you up one level and display all content for that team:

Each channel will be represented by a folder in your SharePoint document library:

Click Sync to synchronize the content from all channels within your team: 

The sync option in Teams

Note:  The sync option is being added directly in the Teams interface in the first quarter of 2020. So you won’t have to open SharePoint to sync.  This option will be available directly within the Teams client.  However, you do need to open in SharePoint if you want to sync all your channels. 

OneDrive file status 

Once your content is synchronized you can access all files from your team by using Windows Explorer. 

  1. In Windows Explorer, click the ‘Building  icon and the name of your organisation (for this example it’s SergePoint) 
  2. Click on the name of the team – Name of your Channel (Team Ytria – General) 
  3. Your files will be displayed with ‘Status’ icons 

The OneDrive status icons – what they mean

Blue cloud

File only available Online

Green check mark in a green outlined circle

File available for editing Online and Offline

White check mark in a green solid circle

File always available offline (Note: File will remain available offline if user clicks the Free up space option.)

Grey ‘people’ icon appearing next to any status icon

File is shared with someone

Options when rightclicking on files in OneDrive 

  • View online: Opens the file in the online application 
  • Always keep on this device: Changes the status icon to the ‘White check mark with a green circle’ icon.  (The file will remain available offline if the user has clicked Free up space.) 
  • Free up space: Removes from your computer copies of files that have a ‘Green check mark with a white circle’ icon. 

A final note about requirements

If you don’t see these status icons or the OneDrive options when you rightclick your files, you will need to update your Windows 10.
This is because these OneDrive status icons and 
the option to `always store on this device and free up space` requires Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709 or later) and OneDrive build 17.3.7064.1005 or later. 

Serge Tremblay

Office 365 MVP - Collaboration & Admin Specialist @Victrix Montreal

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