regarding "Make Avalible Offline" of OneDrive for business

Frequent Contributor

Hi there,


we have a client who want to use OneDrive for business for editing. someone will use the feature of Make Avalible Offline in OneDrive App. my question is the same user open the same file twice, the OneDrive app will open the local file or it will get the same file from their personal site once again if they want to edit it by using "Open in Word Online". normally if we edit the same file, when we open it in the browser, it should be openned from the web site even though the file has been saved in the local disk (Offline) ... is the concept correct??


10 Replies
Depends if you have the latest version of Word installed that supports auto save. If so, then you'll open it twice online and co-author on the document. By default OneDrive tries to open directly with the OneDrive / SharePoint URL so you are online with the file editing. You can manually switch this off so that the file always opens locally then sync's but if you open the file on the web while this occurs then when you "Save" the document you'll get an error that the file is locked and you can't save. If it's closed and sites a while then you'll get a out of sync error and it will try to sync changes / overwrite prompt at that point.

If your word doesn't have auto save on or is older then when it opens if the online is set then it will lock the file from editing so you will only be able to read only from web until it's released by closing / timing out.

@Chris Webbso that mean,

first time: I use the feature of "Make Available Offline" --> the file will be saved in the local disk --> I edit it on the word app --> at this time the file come from my disk of mobile device.


second time: I edit the same file but I use the feature of "open in the word online" --> I edit it on the browser, meantime the file will be opened straightly on the browser ( the file will NOT be opened from local disk. even though last time I opened it on the local )



best response confirmed by Will # _________ H (Frequent Contributor)

No, just because you make it available offline doesn't mean it'll edit on the local disk, it will only do so if either A. You are offline, or B. You have the option in onedrive client on Office tab "Use Office application to sync Office files that I open" unchecked, this is on by default. So anytime you open a file connected to onedrive, offline sync or not, it will open Online if connected.

Office web always opens online file. 


I see what your asking thou, they are not separate, soon as you update the file on Office web, it will sync to your Local file. And vise versa. There is no separate file. If you edit offline on the offline copy local disk, once you get back online it will upload and update the online copy. If you opened on the web and made changes while you edited that offline file while offline, then you will have a sync conflict that you need to correct. 

@Chris Webb 

Thank you for your explanation indeed. put simply, even though we use the function of "Make available Offline" to edit the document, the document still stay online. BUT I am a little bit confusion, how I should explain this mechanism to my client.?? because they always think "available Offline" mean we download the document on our local disk. is there any documents I can refer to??

It does download the file offline to local disk. It's just when you open that file, a check is made by the office client and it will open it directly online if you are connected(if the option is enabled as described above). Otherwise if opens the local disk copy.

If the file is not an office file, it will always open on the local disk when Make available Offline is enabled.
so I think even though the file was downloaded on the local disk, next time we click the file and opened it in the browser directly, at this time the file should be different from the copy on the disk.
It won't be because you are always syncing via the client. Unless you turn off / pause sync (and unchecked the option in the client discussed above), open the file local, edit, and open on browser will it be different.
whatever whether or not we allow "available offline" it is always the same file... unless we turn off / pause sync, if we do it, the file will located on the local disk. if the logic like this, when we allow "available offline", where the file is??
It's on your local disk......and will be used when "Offline" like it says.

If you are online it will open the file directly from OneDrive Online if it's an Office file.

Any changes you make Online, or via Office web will sync back to the "Offline" copy of the file as they happen.

The only time the files open from the local copy is when you are offline, the file is not an office file, or you have that option unchecked.

Those local file changes will sync back to OneDrive via sync client as changes are made if you are online, if you are offline the changes will be uploaded next time you are online.

Awesome, very clearly. thanks Chris