Disable offline folder caching in Windows 2000 Server

Windows 2000 Server's offline folder functionality can help users' productivity by making files and folders available even if the server isn't. However, using this feature can also present problems from time to time. Jim Boyce takes a look at such situations and tells you how you can disable offline folder caching in this Windows 2000 Server tip.

Offline folder functionality enables Windows 2000 and later users to cache folders and files from another computer to their own. That way, they can use the files and folders when the sharing computer is unavailable.

For example, offline folders let users access files or folders from a server that might be unavailable because it's offline for an upgrade or because of a technical problem. This functionality also comes in handy for users of laptops, which often remain disconnected from the network for a period of time on a regular basis.

In some situations, however, using offline folders can present problems. For example, your network may contain private, sensitive information. In this case, you may want to make the data available to users, but you don't want them to be able to replicate the information.

In addition, offline folder caching can sometimes lead to confusion about the most updated files as well as unsynchronized data. In these situations, it's sometimes best to disable offline folder caching.

For Windows 2000 Server, you can easily disable offline folder caching on a per-share basis. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the folder for which you want to disable caching, and select Properties.
  2. On the Sharing tab, click the Caching button.
  3. Deselect the Allow Caching Of Files In This Shared Folder option, and click OK.
  4. Close the Properties dialog box.

Windows 2000 clients will now be unable to cache the folder or its contents.

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