Offline Files is a feature of Sync Center that makes network files available to a user, even if the network connection to the server is unavailable. Users can use offline files (if enabled) to make their network files always available offline to keep a copy of the files stored on the network on your computer. In today’s post, we will identify the cause and then provide the workaround as well the permanent solution that you can try to help redress the issue of offline files icons displayed without an icon overlay in Windows 10.
Offline file icons displayed without icon overlay
In Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019, it may happen that File Explorer does not display the offline file icons correctly.
You can identify an offline file by the overlay that shows an “x” character in the lower-left corner of the file icon. Instead, the offline files may be displayed by having a “normal file” icon. This icon is indistinguishable from a non-offline file.
You could encounter this issue because of a change in the shell that causes Windows to fail to detect files as offline files; as a result of which, File Explorer does not show the icon overlay.
If you face this issue, you can redress it using either of two methods as outlined below:
1] To work around this issue, use a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path to open the folder. For example, use \\server\share\path.
This method works if “\\server” refers to the local computer or a remote computer. By using this workaround, you can verify that the file in question is actually offline.
Obinna Onwusobalu, Windows Insider MVP, MCSA, MCTS, MCITP, has studied Information & Communication Technology and is a keen follower of the Windows ecosystem. He runs a computer software clinic. He says it's best practice to create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your PC.