Syncing, viewing and organizing in SharePoint

Sync versus Explorer View

Q. What’s the difference between syncing from a SharePoint library and viewing in Explorer?

Pin to Quick accessA. One method downloads files; the other doesn’t. Many people find it easier to consume SharePoint library content as they would have previously, on a network folder. That functionality is available in SharePoint on the Library tab using the Open with Explorer button in the Connect & Export Group. If you find the button grayed out, switch to Internet Explorer (not Microsoft Edge) for the browser. Once it opens, you can add it to Favorites (Pin it to Quick Access in Windows 10). This provides a link to the content, requiring you to be online to see it.

Syncing (synchronization), on the other hand, downloads a copy to your hard drive in such a way that each time you edit the file there it updates the one in SharePoint. To avoid cluttering your hard drive, select certain libraries and/or folders as you need them. Un-syncing them doesn’t delete them from SharePoint it only removes them from your computer.

Calendars & Tasks

Q. We currently use shared Calendar and Task Folders to manage projects. Can we do this in SharePoint?

Calendar and TasksA. Yes! The Project Site template comes with its own calendar and task list. You can also add these apps to any SharePoint site. From each app, click on the Connect to Outlook button in the Connect & Export group. Now, when you’re looking at your Outlook Calendar, you will notice the shared SharePoint calendar in Other Calendars. Do the same for your Tasks app to see it in Tasks in Outlook. Whatever access is provided in SharePoint will carry through in Outlook.

In other words, if you have contribute permission to the SharePoint calendar, you’ll be able to add appointments in Outlook. These will appear in SharePoint when Outlook performs a Send/Receive. Now, you can manage your own shared resources instead of having to engage the Exchange Administrator when you need to make changes.