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

This document discusses some of the common symptoms of incorrectly accessing files in SharePoint and how to address those 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# 94271.

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

Please follow the instructions provided by Microsoft (click on the link below).

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


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 Microsoft Files saved in SharePoint

You should either open your documents directly from the desktop app related to that file type, OR open the file from the document library that you have synced to your file explorer as described above.

Editing Adobe Creative Cloud files saved in SharePoint

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

If you have performed the steps to sync your document library to your file explorer, and you open the document through the desktop app, the changes to your Adobe files will automatically sync to the cloud just as changes to Microsoft Suite documents will sync.

Keywords:file corruption; corruption; changes do not save; changes not saving; syncing files; SharePoint; saving; updating; changes; Adobe CC; Creative Cloud; Adobe Creative Cloud   Doc ID:90990
Owner:Emily E.Group:UW Stout
Created:2019-04-11 15:36 CDTUpdated:2019-10-22 11:16 CDT
Sites:UW Stout
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