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I am using Windows 10 and just setup Offline Files for 3 folders I'm currently working from (28 sub-folders, 550 files, 185MiB). I prefer working from local copies of the files for performance reasons although our network folders perform pretty well. I also want my work to sync with the network location the files come from so I don't have different versions from the network.

When I navigate through the offline files on my computer it takes several seconds to simply change directories, its much slower than just using the mapped network folder.

I do not have any performance issues on my computer, I have tons of ram, a very modern 4 core 8 thread processor, very fast Samsung SSD, etc...

I setup offline files so that I wouldn't have to worry about sync'n files, and for performance. However, so far offline files is the worst performing method of file browsing, what's going on?

I'm trying to avoid setting up 3rd party version control or 3rd party sync apps, if possible. I am open to suggestions, however, if Offline Files is a poor solution.

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Offline Files saves data in C:\Windows\CSC directory which admins do not have access to without registry changes. This is a big issue for me as I want to work with the files and directories directly.

I have chosen to try SyncToy or FreeFileSync as alternatives;

SyncToy download page

FreeFileSync homepage

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I too noticed that browsing the "Offline Files Folder" in Windows 10 can be extremely slow. After playing with the feature a bit, my conclusion is that you don't need it most of the time.

First, to make clear what we're talking about, if you go to the Windows 10 Sync Center, click "Manage offline files", and then click "View your offline files", it opens a folder called "Offline Files Folder". It's the browsing of this folder that can be extremely slow, and I also found that Explorer would crash quite often while browsing the folder.

The good news is that you don't really need the "Offline Files Folder" to work with offline files. Normally, you'll interact with all of your offline files at their normal online location, be that a UNC path or a mapped drive letter. That's where your applications will see the files, and that's where you browse in Explorer to select which files to make "Always available offline" (by right clicking, or in the "Easy access" menu). That's also where you can see which files have been made always available offline, by setting your Explorer view to Details and then adding the "Availability" column. Each file will be shown with an availability of "Online-only" or "Available offline". When working offline, the Online-only files will either be totally missing from the filesystem, or will be shown with a blank page icon that has a grey X at the lower left-hand corner. Access to offline files is speedy, just like with any other file on the system drive.

The "Offline Files Folder" is really only good for some specific maintenance tasks. If you right click a server, file, or folder there and then click "Delete Offline Copy", it will delete the offline copy of all sub-folders and files, and change the availability back to Online-only. If I was having a problem with offline files, the first thing I would try would be to delete everything in the Offline Files Folder and start over.

After using offline files for a bit, I've found the feature to be more trouble than it's worth. It often complains of sync conflicts when it shouldn't, and sometimes forgets when I have told it to work offline. I gave up on the feature and now I just copy files manually. Offline files hasn't seen any new features since Windows 8, and probably doesn't have much of a future. Microsoft is more interested in Work Folders and OneDrive these days.

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