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Antoine HESKIA
Contributor

Hi,

 

I have shared a folder from my OneDrive (for business) to an external user (external organization). He has also an O365 E3 subscription. When he click on the invitation email, he sees correctly the content of my folder and can edit any document. But on the toolbar there is no "sync" button to let him synchronize my folder on his computer. How can I enable this feature ?

 

Thanks for your help,

Antoine

74 Replies
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Solution

You cannot sync folders shared from a user belonging to another organization.

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Wow... This is crazy ! We did that for years with Dropbox. Are you aware to any plan regarding adding this feature ?

In the meantime, I guess I have to create a O365 group (or a MS Teams) to use SharePoint sync (with Groove for external organization).

 

Thanks,

Antoine.

 

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If I remember well, the ability to sync shared folders is coming but no ETA yet.... adding @Stephen Rice and @Stephen Rose to the thread

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Hi all,

 

Yep, pretty much what Juan said. We've got this feature on the roadmap but don't have any specific timeline to share just yet. Thanks!

 

Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

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Thanks for sharing this !

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I tried to share a sharepoint library with a b2b user. The user cannot configure the sync in the onedrive client, because he cannot add the account.
Will this be addressed as well? Still no ETA i guess?

Thanks
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Agreed, crazy! 

 

And to make it worse, this little tidbit is nowhere to be found in OneDrive Admin, O365 Admin, or any of the pages describing how to share to external users. 

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Oh, pretty please, make this happen, OneDrive/SharePoint team!

I've grown so accustomed to the new document sync that I can't really function otherwise. And yet now we have a client who requires us to keep all work in their SharePoint document library that they've shared with us... except I can't sync that to my PC, so there's no way I can work on it directly and will have to keep a copy locally and upload periodically.

The funny thing is I can see the "Sync" button in the document library, except the sync client won't let me finish the setup.

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The sync button being there and "attempting to start the process" is the worst part. It allows customers/users to believe that it should work while blatantly it's not a completed feature.

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Yes, something that I would really LIKE!

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After a few hours of testing, and 45 minutes of MS support call time, I can confirm again that there is no way for external personal account guests to sync a Teams Sharepoint folder in the OneDrive app. I also do not see any sign of this option on the OneDrive roadmap?  https://products.office.com/en-us/business/office-365-roadmap?filters=sharepoint%2Cmicrosoft%20teams...

 

This is an interesting issue since it starts in Teams, goes to Sharepoint, and then OneDrive - which dev team is responsible? Or can there be a sync option directly from Teams?

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This is really going more & more difficult to sync external libraries...

First we had to re-enable groove by adding the registry key to prevent uninstall of the "OneDrive for business" (aka groove) when installing the click2run version of Office (https://support.office.com/en-us/article/changes-to-the-previous-onedrive-sync-client-groove-exe-in-... )

We can still copy/paste the URL of the SharePoint library we need to sync, but most of the time, the sync start to fail and there is no way to fix it other than stopping the library sync, deleting the synced file on the compuer, restart the Library sync...

Anyway when it comes to SharePoint libraries created with Teams (Office365 Groups), the groove sync seems not to be possible !

 

This is really messy ! When everything will be available with the new client ?

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Great Antoine that you keep this issue fresh.  We are preparing to open a DropBox for Business account to support a few specific teams that must allow offline file sync with external team members. Obviously not our preferred solution, but we also do not want to get into the business of creating new Office 365 user accounts for every external user - they could add-up to more licences than our own employees!

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Hi Ian,

Be careful with Dropbox fur business. We were using it before. As far as I remember, If you share files with external people, they will be limited to 2GB storage (otherwise they will have to pay Dropbox for extra storage)...

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@Antoine HESKIA wrote:

Hi Ian,

Be careful with Dropbox fur business. We were using it before. As far as I remember, If you share files with external people, they will be limited to 2GB storage (otherwise they will have to pay Dropbox for extra storage)...


Exactly.  DropBox is no magic bullet, so I am hoping this message gets out as well :)

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Hi,

 

Is there an ETA on this feature yet?

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Hi @Mark Elliott,

 

Nothing specific to share just yet. Stay tuned though!


Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

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It is really frustrating that OneDrive still diesn’t offers this feature in 2018 where the majority has such a functionality since years. Please give this request a much higher priority
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Hi @Klaus Kresnik,

 

The team is absolutely focused on this and we're very excited to get this into your hands. Definitely keep an eye on message center and our OneDrive blogs for more information in the future!


Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

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HI Stephen,

is there a uservoice entry that we can all support to help this happen.

 

Thanks

Steven Reid

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@Steven Reid, absolutely!

 

The user voice tracking this item is here. Thanks!

 

Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

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What about now, are we there yet?

I have customers declining to use one drive for the sake of this 1 feature.

Please please make it happen soon - give us cloud resellers another killer feature!!!
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I too would like to see this.  The lack of this feature means we need to use other systems and not SharePoint for document collaboration and sharing.

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Do we have an eta on this? On the voice tracking it just says 2019, which we're currently in. Without this ability, OneDrive for business is effectively useless for us.

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Hi all,

 

I don't have anything specific to share just yet but we hope to have more news to share soon. Thanks!

 

Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

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Thanks for feedback!
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@Stephen Rice wrote:

Hi all,

 

I don't have anything specific to share just yet but we hope to have more news to share soon. Thanks!

 

Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II


 

Good stuff, cant wait for this basic functionality to be implemented at long last.

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Great that you keep us updated so we know this thread is monitored.

 

Can you share if it also will be possible to Sync folders shared to "Anyone" with just a link? And with that I mean the following:

sharing.png

 

Or will it only be possible to external users to share if they actually authenticated and we use "Specific people" to share?

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Hi @Jonas Back,

 

In order to sync content from another organization once this feature is released, you will need to have a guest account in that organization's directory. Sending someone a link that works for anyone doesn't result in that guest account being created so you won't be able to sync content. Thanks!

 

Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

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Hi Stephen,

We have guest accounts setup and they are still not able to Sync from our organisation when they log in with their organisation's details, even though they have been granted access to the libraries.
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 Hi @Adam_Spencer ,

 

Sorry, I should have been a bit more clear :) Syncing of external shared folders is not available yet but, when it becomes available, you will need to have a guest account (i.e. links that work for anyone will not work). Thanks!

 

Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

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Having just persuaded a client organisation to move away from DropBox to SharePoint, they're a little cross with me about the inability to add external users to SharePoint sites including Sync. Bearing in mind all the documentation that is out there about how to Enable External Users in SharePoint, there was nothing about this bombshell. +1 for adding a Guest User (no licence) in the client tenant who can then sync to OneDrive. Thanks!

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This feature is available most everywhere else, I can only assume your infrastructure was not built for it or it is intentionally being held back.

Over a year ago there was an announcement it was available but never actually worked and here we are still talking about it.

Like some others here, I've tried to champion Microsoft as a solution and have been left looking like a fool on multiple occasions.

PLEASE get this done - we are in the process of rolling out Microsoft solutions.  If we cannot get these basic features to work, our users will wander elsewhere and you will lose another customer.

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Hi @Choking ,

 

I'm sorry for any confusion around the release date here. We absolutely understand the need and I can promise you that we want to get this out there just as much as you want to use it. Unfortunately I don't have anything new to share just yet except to say that we are making progress and we hope to have more to share out soon. Thanks,

 

Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

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Thanks for a quick response.

I'm not trying to be petty or threaten at all but we have to have a solution and will have to move on.

 

What about assigning a OneDrive license to them?  Making them something more that a contact?  Anything??

If we create an internal account it would work but that isn't a manageable solution and would involve an email that they can't use.

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https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/roadmap?featureid=33413

CY-March 2019

I wouldn't put money on this though.  As noted earlier, this was released a year ago and pulled.

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Hi @Choking,

 

Assigning the user a full license and managing them would also let you do this.

 

We do strive to keep our roadmap dates up to date though as you've noted, there are ocassional changes. In this case, I can tell you that cross organization sync is currently in public preview for Office/Windows Insiders and so there is definite progress being made. Thanks!

 

Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

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Thanks for the frequent responses that help to keep this issue warm, Stephen.  I'd be happy to help with the testing if you want to connect off-line.  I just transitioned "off-systems" for my 6-month mandatory cool down- being unable to sync is causing some process issues as mentioned elsewhere in this thread.

 

Best,

Ben Morrison (Populus Group)

Project Manager (Recruiting)

MS Military Affairs

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Hi Ben,

 

If you sign up for Office & Windows insiders programs, I believe you can try this out for yourself now (since it's rolled out publically for those programs). I'm not sure what the process is for joining those programs though :) Thanks,

 

Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

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Hi Choking,

    What we did for our team was the external partners provided the contractors (including myself) with an O365 for Business subscription.  Once the security and legal reviews were complete, those external addresses were added to the appropriate SharePoint groups, and we were able to access the necessary information.

    As external users though, we still can't sync (as mentioned in multiple areas in this thread).  I hope that helps for at least information access.  I can say that using non-hosted, small scale Access 2016 databases doesn't really work without being able to sync.  On the bright side, Stephen mentioned it's already on the insider builds, which usually means it's not too far off (barring any stability or other serious bug finds).

 

     Also, if this is causing friction with your customer, I would recommend waiting on transitioning to Teams.  Even with a full subscription, I get pulled in as a "Guest user", which doesn't allow contact lists, meeting link creation, etc.  Swapping back to my "official" business account results in IMs "bouncing" to team members that have a different email domain.

 

Best,

Ben

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Hi Ben,

 

Thanks for the input.

Our issue is all about sync though, we need to be able to take a data set out into the field and work offline then sync upon return.  Manual download/upload isn't a replacement and with so many other solutions out there doing this it makes it impossible to promote the MS route.  Hopefully March is a true deadline.

I'm surprised you're getting good sync results with Access DBs.  Sync mechanisms usually struggle with DBs - either blocking them altogether or having issues recognizing change.

We have high hopes for Teams but as you note it will be a while before the dust settles and we know what is there.

 

Choking

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Going offline for field work and coming back to sync makes complete sense, especially if versioning is enabled to prevent any accidental overwrites / data loss.

 

I'd be remiss if I didn't point out some key factors for our Access experience:  First, it's not being "hosted" on SharePoint- it's only stored there.  Second, we're a small team (less than 15), and generally it's only in use by 1-2 users.  Finally, I've automated the import function so those users aren't making any design changes, just running reports or queries.  If it was larger scale or if there was a larger user population, I'd probably move it to a full-blown SQL instance.  :)  Regarding your comment on sync mechanisms, I think you're absolutely right.  You can open it through the SharePoint interface and it will work, but is locked as "read-only."  To get full permissions, you have to be able to sync the folder... which is what brought me here once my 6-month "systems break" started. 

 

I took a break from the Server admin field while I went to school- do you think there's anyway a federated or cross-domain trust could help with your issue?  Again, I haven't messed with that sort of thing since Server 2012, so I'm a bit behind the times.

 

Best,

Ben

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Ben,

 

It might but I can't bet on customers having a tenant/domain to cross connect.  We have created a SharePoint site and messed with the backend security to get something working but that was unsupported and similar to assigning licensing to outside IDs, no longer convenient.

 

Thanks

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This feature is called "B2B Sync" and more information on it is available here:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/onedrive/b2b-sync

That doc also contains links to joining the Windows or Office Insiders program.

HTH,

SA.

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Thanks Sven -

 

So let's see if I understand this -

Microsoft is enabling this feature but ONLY on a B2B basis - in other words, they will only allow this if both ends have a Microsoft licensed account.  That's better but only slightly.

 

If I use one of the competitors - BOX, DropBox, Google, etc., we can share to someone without them having a license - they only need to create a free account.

 

There are some that require a license of course.  The issue is maintaining those accounts and subscriptions.  This partial method will help on occasion but is unpredictable - I might as well go about creating and paying for 'guest' accounts so that we know it will work.  Although that might lead to email address conflicts with existing accounts.

 

Example - we have our sharing set to allow external users but the share to email must match the MS account to be used.  This allows for better security and matching of accounts as you manage your shares.  So what if the email isn't the same as the guest's 'business' MS account?  Probably not common but that's one hurdle for the user/admin.  What if they don't have an MS account at all?  That's another hurdle for the user/admin.  Oh, let's not forget that we have to instruct users to instruct guests to click the link for 'organization' account or they'll be lost down another rabbit hole.  It's pretty ridiculous to allow web access but not sync.  Users should be able to expect consistent behavior and not have to wonder if the share will work.

 

Again - I'm only trying to give users something that works and not have them coming back to me asking why they can't use brand X that they have seen which doesn't have any of these restrictions.

 

Also - am I missing something in this document?  It talks about the Windows Insider signup but doesn't explain where it is used.  The Office Insider link just spins.  They talk about several admin portals for sharing but don't point to specific settings that enable B2B functions.  Is there no further setup needed?  Is it enabled for 'Insiders' only??

 

-Choking

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We are working on a large study that involves sharing a large number of photos on OneDrive.  We have added quests via Active Directory who are able to edit files and create directories.  But they have not been able to move and reorganize photos as they need to.  We would like them to be able to Sync to their desktop so that they could cut and paste files as they can with a GoogleDrive.    I have people in my organization that want us to move all of our files to GoogleDrive for this reason. 

 

When will guests have the ability to sync to their desktop and move or copy files as needed for them to be able to collaborate with us on this project??  Isn't this a primary objective of Office365?  To allow multiple people within multiple organizations to collaborate on projects??

 

Thanks

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No Joy -

So this is still in beta and to use it you must be an 'Office Insider'.  Except the portal to sign up for Office Insider has been down for several days - I assume it is offline intentionally given the large roll-out of various changes in the Office suite happening lately and there being no interest in dealing with test subjects at this time.

 

Anyway, you can use the reg key to push your OneDrive client to an Insider version without registering as an Insider - except that does nothing for the mobile client on iOS or Android or MAC OS for that matter.  And of course there is no one in support that has knowledge of this topic.

 

Still Choking

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Hi @Choking,

 

I double checked with the feature owners and you should be able to try out this feature if you are an Office Insider OR a Windows insider (so you do not need to be enrolled in both). We are continuing to make good progress here and hope to have more news soon about when this feature will be generally available. Thanks!

 

Stephen Rice

OneDrive Program Manager II

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Thanks Stephen,

 

No word on the iOS client though, right?

 

Choking

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