OneDrive and SharePoint Windows Integration

Once you have synced your OneDrive and SharePoint content to your computer, there are various options you need to be aware of to manage this content.

Please see the instructions for syncing SharePoint libraries here.

Sync Status Icons in Windows File Explorer

When you sync files from SharePoint or OneDrive you will notice an additional icon next to the files. When you initially sync your OneDrive or SharePoint library, the files are not automatically downloaded, they appear in Windows File Explorer but are only downloaded when you open them.

The icon next to the file shows you its current state:


When you right-click on any file or folder, you will see the options to change these states:


Always keep on this device – selecting this will allow you to access and edit the file without an internet connection. When you are next connected to the internet any changes you have made will be synced.

Free up space – selecting this will free up the space used by this file or folder. These files will still be visible but will not be available without being connected to the internet.

Sync Errors

If any of your files show a red cross next to them, it indicates there has been a problem syncing the file.

To find out what the error is, locate the OneDrive icon near your clock at the bottom right of the screen – this will also have a red cross showing. Click on this to view more details.

Common Problems

  • File name or path is too long - shorten the file name or folder name
  • File size too large – files over 20GB in size cannot be synced to OneDrive
  • Invalid characters in the file name – file names cannot contain the following characters < > : " | ? * / \
  • Sync Conflicts – if two users have made changes to the same file, you may get a conflict, usually this will result in two files being created. You will need to decide which one to keep.
  • Not enough space – either your OneDrive is full or you have run out of space on your computer.