Supported desktops are those purchased by the University, joined to the University’s infrastructure and managed. Benefits include login with a University IT account, self-service software installation, IT support and the release of new updates and patches. 


Windows 10

The University Windows 10 supported desktop. It contains a number of features to simplify using your computer. 

In 2017, the University introduced a Windows 10 supported desktop, which includes Office 2016. All new Windows devices are built with this operating system which Microsoft will update regularly to bring the latest features.

Windows Offline Files

Microsoft designed Offline Files to give access to files and folders stored on network shares even when no network connection was available. Laptop users benefited most from this technology but it has also been used by many organisations on desktops to provide additional resilience.  

Alternative and more effective solutions are now available. Microsoft is no longer developing the functionality and is encouraging organisations to disable Windows Offline Files as it is unable to support new security features to protect user data. As such UEA is now disabling this technology. 


Problems with Offline Files

Performance: Offline Files can reduce the performance of your device. All files are saved to an offline cache and are made available if no network connection is available. Researchers with large or multiple files will particularly see a performance loss when using Offline Files. 

Data loss: The sync process used is unreliable. Sync conflicts and errors can result in files or folders not saving correctly potentially leading to data loss.  

Other technologies are more effective: Ivanti File Director (DataNow), Microsoft OneDrive for Business 


How do I resolve Offline Files sync issues? 

This guide will tell you how to perform an offline file sync in Windows and how to resolve any conflicts.

First of all locate the Sync Centre icon. This may not be immediatley visible, you may need to click on the arrow (>) icon in the bottom right of the Windows taskbar to reveal it. When you see an icon that looks like the one below double click on it.

This will open the Sync Centre where you can perform the next part of this guide.

Then right click on the offline folder icon and select Sync Offline Files. This will then initiate the sync.

Once the sync is complete you will be informed if there are any issues below the progress bar. Click on the conflicts link to see what they are.

To resolve an issue right click on the file in question and select View options to resolve.

More often than not you will receive the prompt below.

If this is the case you always want to choose the option to keep the version on the computer as this file has not synced properly.

Continue to do this with all the conflicting files until you have a full sync.


How do I turn-off Offline Files? 

It is important that Offline Files is successfully synchronised before it is turned off to ensure your files and folders are saved. Without a successful sync your data is at risk. When you have a successful Offline Files sync IT Support can help to disable this. ITCS now has a self-service method that will enable users to disable this themselves once they are happy that their data is synchronised here