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SharePoint: Syncing File Explorer to SharePoint Document Libraries and Addressing Corruption/Saving Issues

This document shares how you set up SharePoint to Sync to your computer. It also addressing corruption and saving issues.


Have you had issues similar to the below? 

  1. Files will not open due to a message saying that it is corrupt?

  2. Files were edited by a user, but upon opening the file from SharePoint, those changes are not reflected?

  3. Opening a recently updated file from SharePoint and a version that is several months old appears?

  4. You edit a file offline, and try to sync it to the cloud when online again, and an error appears stating that the file cannot be saved?

Issues 1-3 (as well as other symptoms) have been found to relate to the old sync client that is still on many UW – Stout laptops.  Please follow the instructions in the "Set up SharePoint to Sync to your File Explorer" section to sync your file explorer to a SharePoint document library.  

The final issue above relates to creating 2 versions of the same file and trying to store those versions in the same place.  This occurs when a user ‘A’ is working offline and makes changes to a document they have synced locally.  If during the time the user is offline, user ‘B’ makes changes to that same document online, those changes will be synced to SharePoint as they are made.  This creates a new version of the file.  Meanwhile, user ‘A’ is still editing the what is now the previous version of the file, then tries to upload it, and it causes an error.  

To mitigate this issue, make sure you are the only person editing the document.  If you are online, you can do this by checking out the document (don’t forget to check it back in when you are done!).  Do not make updates offline UNLESS you know that there is no chance of another user updating a document during the time you are offline and until you can again be online for the changes to sync to the cloud.

WARNING: Syncing files means you are creating a direct link to your files in SharePoint.  This means anything you do to the files/folders synced to your file explorer will be applied to the files/folders in SharePoint.  This means, if you are deleting files or folders in your file explorer, because you do not want to see them in your file explorer, you are deleting them in SharePoint.  To UNSYNC refer to KB: [Link for document 94271 is unavailable at this time]

Set up SharePoint to Sync to your File Explorer  (Mac)

Please follow the instructions provided by Microsoft: Sync files with OneDrive on Mac OS X

Set up SharePoint to Sync to your File Explorer  (Windows)


It is recommended to open all files saved in SharePoint by using the desktop app corresponding to the file.  

The alternative is to access the files via the updated Sync client.  To set up the new Sync Client for SharePoint, follow the below steps.

Q:  How do I know if I have the updated sync client?  

A:  If the Clouds in the lower right-hand corner of your screen are blue, you have the new sync client.   



Setting up the Updated Sync Client:

  1. Open the File Explorer, by clicking on the folder icon as shown in the red box below.

    file explorer icon
    Below is an example of the File Explorer window.

    file explorer window

  2.  In your window on the left-hand side, locate your OneDrive-University of Wisconsin-Stout.

    one drive folder

  3.  RIGHT Click on the OneDrive folder, and select Settings from the menu.


  4. Click the Add an Account button.

    add an account

  5. Enter your UW-Stout email address.  You will then be prompted to enter your password.

  sign in window


If you are already using the new sync client, you will receive this message. 

  already syncing warning


Syncing Files In SharePoint

  1.  Navigate to the Document Library that you want to sync.
  2.  Click the Sync icon in the document library’s tool bar.

    sync button

  3. Click Allow.


    Your library will begin syncing the files.  The time this takes will depend on the number of files in the document library, please be patient.

    getting ready to sync

  4. Back in the File Explorer you will now see a “University of Wisconsin-Stout” option below the OneDrive folder.  This is where you will find your synced document library.  As the folders are synced you can view them in this area.

getting ready to sync


Syncing Additional SharePoint Document Libraries

After you have performed the steps in the previous section, you can add other document libraries to your file explorer by following the steps the below.

Sharepoint file explorer folder


  1. In SharePoint, navigate to the document library you wish to add.
  2. Click the Sync button.


  3. Click Allow when the permissions request window appears.


  4. The new document library will now appear under the University of Wisconsin – Stout SharePoint folder   

sample with additional document library shown

Editing Files saved in SharePoint

There are a number of reasons that files opened from file explorer may not save or sync properly.  A list of these reasons can be found on Microsoft's support site.

These reasons include:

  • File size
  • URL Length exceeds 260 characters
  • Number of document libraries synced
  • Using old file formats when saving (For example:  .doc, .xls, .ppt, etc are all older file formats)
  • The file is embedded in another file, or you are editing a file which contains embedded files.

If you are experiencing any issues with saving, AutoSave, or syncing.  Please follow the instructions below.  

All Files:

It is always best to open any document from its desktop app.  For example, open a Word document from the Word desktop app.
To do this, open the Word desktop app from your start menu.

start menu

Select File > Open

To open a file saved in a SharePoint Document Library, select the Sites-University of Wisconsin-... option with the SharePoint icon in front.  

This will bring up a list of your frequently visited and followed SharePoint sites.  Select the site in which your document is saved.  Then search for your document within the site's folders.  

file open

Adobe Files:

DO NOT OPEN ADOBE FILES FROM SHAREPOINT.  The browser will download these files instead of opening them. 

It is best to open Adobe creative cloud files from the corresponding desktop app.


When the desktop app opens, access your Synced SharePoint document library, then select the file from that document library.

file open

Keywordsfile corruption; corruption; changes do not save; changes not saving; syncing files; SharePoint; saving; updating; changes; Adobe CC; Creative Cloud; Adobe Creative Cloud   Doc ID90990
OwnerHeidi C.GroupUW Stout
Created2019-04-11 15:36:57Updated2023-12-11 09:37:34
SitesUW Stout
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