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Prevent Users From Disabling Offline Files

When you're working with files as part of a network, In the event the connection Is lost, your network files are no longer accessible. You can however, work In an offline state, by enabling a native feature In Windows named Offline Files, which will then store the network files locally on your computer. Once you enable offline files, anyone can reverse the change- Intentionally or otherwise. In this tutorial, I will show you how to prevent any user from disabling It.

If you're not already aware, Offline Files Is a component of Sync Center that (as stated above), allows users to access their network files when the connection to the network/server Is lost. To read more about this, please refer to my tutorial posted here.

It's extremely simple to enable offline files via Sync Center In Control Panel, and just as easy to disable It by any user who has physical access to your computer. As such, I will demonstrate how to securely prevent anyone from making changes, by using the good old Group Policy Editor. Do note that the GPE Is only available In Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education editions. So let's rip Into this tutorial.

Step One:
To access the Group Policy Editor, open the Run menu, enter gpedit.msc and hit OK.

Step Two:

The Group Policy Editor will now open, so navigate to the following directory.
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Network > Offline Files

Then on the right pane, double-click on Allow or Disallow use of the Offline Files feature.

Step Three:
To the left of the window, click the Enabled radio button, and hit OK to finalize the process.

Step Four:
Offline Files Is now securely enabled. Let's check It out by first opening Control Panel, and selecting Large Icons via the drop-down menu.

Step Five:
Scroll down until you locate Sync Center, and click It as shown below.

Step Six:
Then click on the Manage offline files link on the left-hand side.

Last Step:
As you can see, the Disable offline files button Is grayed out, hence Offline Files will remain active at all times.

Final Thoughts:
When working with files during your computational tasks, It's Inevitable that some sort of disruption will take place. If you're In the process of finalizing a task and all of a sudden your network goes down, It's very Important to maintain the continuity. Offline Files allows you to do just that, thus the Importance of not only enabling It, but to keep It enabled Indefinitely. That's when the setting via this tutorial will serve your needs.

To reverse the change back to It's default state, thereby have the option to enable & disable Offline Files, go back to Step Three above, select the Not Configured radio button and hit OK.


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