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In Windows 7 (though I imagine it would apply to most modern Windowses) if I set a network share to be available offline, will Windows prefer to use a local version (assuming it is up to date) when I am connected to that network?

In other words, does it still access the network even if there is a locally available version.

The reason I wonder is so I can work with files from a slow network share more quickly, without having to deal with copying them down and making sure everything gets synced back up later by hand.

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thumbs up for an interesting question. Obviously the files are caches, but I don't know which file is actually accessed if they are the same 'versions' –  Mike M Aug 27 '09 at 17:10
    
just a parallel question here: I have had awful experiences with windows vista and XP "offline files", they don't keep good sync and eventually the sync info gets corrupted and you have to redo everything to have it working again. how was your experience with it? –  Cawas May 27 '10 at 20:27

2 Answers 2

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You can enable Transparent Caching to define the round trip delay before Windows will use the local copy on a read.

Normally, Windows will use the network copy unless you go offline.

There is a TechNet article on Windows 7 File Sharing and Offline Files Enhancements.

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Making a folder “Always available offline” creates a local copy of the folder’s files, adds those files to the index, and keeps the local and remote copies in sync. Users can manually sync locations which are not indexed remotely and are not using folder redirection to gain the benefits of being indexed locally.

if i read this correctly, the user will be working with a local copy and the folder will be synced (automatically or manually) when the network connection is available.

Source

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That's what I hoped when I read that too, but it's not the case :( based on the slowness it appears to be accessing the remote file system each read and write. –  Philip Jul 18 '13 at 19:27

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