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Sync Center/Offline Files Missing in Laptop w/ Windows 8.1 Pro

Posted on 2014-09-04
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Last Modified: 2014-09-09
I have a new Lenovo laptop with Windows 8.1 Pro that is recently joined to the company domain.  The user would like offline files enabled.  Normally I would have to unjoin from the domain, open sync center, manage offline files, enable, reboot, rejoin domain.

***On this laptop, there is no Sync Center or any option to enable Offline Files.***

Is there a feature that needs to be installed?  Is Group Policy blocking it somehow?

I hear Terminal Services can prevent it if that's enabled; how do I check if that is enabled?
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Question by:tjking45
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Expert Comment

by:Matt D
ID: 40304688
Open Control Panel.  In the search type "Sync Center".

Also see Work Folders: FAQ
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40304692
Sync center is part of Windows 8.1 Pro. it is available in Control Panel on my computer. Is that where you looked?
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Author Comment

by:tjking45
ID: 40304736
I have searched for Sync Center, Offline Files, Manage Offline Files.... nothing.

I went into Control Panel, Folder Options... the 4th tab, Offline Files, is not there.

@Matt:  We don't use Work Folders on our domain.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40304756
You need to ask your administrator as they likely removed it. Windows 8.1 Pro out of the box includes it. If it was removed by or because of Terminal Services, the administrator will have to help you.
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Author Comment

by:tjking45
ID: 40304767
I am the administrator.   :|
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Author Comment

by:tjking45
ID: 40304772
We have set up 6 identical laptops recently and 5 of them are fine except for 1.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40304796
It would appear the user abused the laptop if their laptop is the only one that does not work.

Try running System File Checker. Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator and run SFC /SCANNOW. Allow to complete, run a second time, restart and test.

There is a new DISM command you might try:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /Scanhealth to check for issues.
DISM /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth to fix problems.

Both scans take a long time.

If "nothing works" try a Windows 8 Refresh (Activity Center, Recovery options).
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Accepted Solution

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tjking45 earned 0 total points
ID: 40304826
I was able to get it to come up.

I moved the laptop to it's own OU in AD, enabled a Group Policy to disable Offline Files, and then disabled the policy.  After the policy applied and a reboot, the Sync Center appeared.

I wonder if some policy was applied locally and needed to be turned off/refreshed.  This user has only had the laptop 2 days and they don't have Admin rights so I don't think they could have abused it too much.

Thanks for the help.
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Author Closing Comment

by:tjking45
ID: 40311633
I figured it out eventually.
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