I have a new laptop that I use for both home and work. It runs Windows 7 Ultimate, and is joined to the domain at work. It is okay to use this laptop for both work and personal activities, and I even have an account set up on the local machine in addition to the work domain account specifically for this to help keep the two separate.

At home, I have a file server that I use to share files and printers with my wife's laptop, this new laptop, and my old desktop which will now become the family machine. My MP3 library is on there, among other things.

What I want to do is use Windows' Offline Files feature to keep a synced copy of my music library on the laptop. That part is easy. What's tricky is that I want to share this offline cache between both the local account on the laptop and my work domain account. I could do them both separately, but then I have two copies of a very large music library stored locally. This also means twice the sync burden, when the domain account is rarely connected to the file share. I really want to be able to sync from the local machine account only, and have the domain account be able to use the synced files.

I know where the offline file cache is kept (\Windows\CSC), and I can find the cached files (not encrypted), but permissions on the cache are set up weird, and so using that cache directly is not trivial.

Is it possible to share Windows' Offline Files cache between two user accounts? If so, how do I set it up?


Apparently I have a fundamentally incorrect assumption in my question. I should have actually tried the cache on both accounts before posting, because it's already smart enough to handle this correctly. Only one copy of the files is created.

I noticed in looking at the actual cached files that it grouped the files in the \Windows\CSC folder by namespace, but nowhere was it ever divided by user. So I tried mapping a drive from my domain account and it detected that the cache existed.

Now woe befall me if I ever add a server at work with the same name (there's no domain segregation in the file system either, just server/share name). But at least it works for both accounts now.

Update: I didn't work for both accounts after all. It only worked while testing because I was still on my home network. In practice, once I left the home network the domain account could see the mapped drive but had a permission denied error when trying to access the files.

To finally make everything work I used SyncToy to sync the mapped drives on my home account to the public folders in Windows, so I can see those files on all accounts.

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