In today’s post we look at the cause and recommended workaround, if when you try to open a file while working offline in Windows 10 and the attempt fails – the error message that’s displayed in this situation varies, depending on the application; Word, Excel, PowerPoint fail with the following error:
Sorry, we couldn’t open ‘\\severname\fileshare\filename
Sorry, we couldn’t open Offline file error
You might encounter this error if you have Windows 10 installed and special folders (for example, Documents or Favorites) are redirected to a file share, where the user data in the redirected folders are cached locally through the Offline Files feature. Also, Windows Information Protection (also known as Enterprise Data Protection) is enabled on the system and you’re using an application (in this case, Word) that are managed by Windows Information Protection – If you try to open a file while working offline in this scenario, the attempt fails.
This issue occurs because the Offline Files feature does not support Windows Information Protection.
If you cannot open a file while working offline, Microsoft recommends you use one of the following methods:
- Open the file by using an application that’s not managed by Windows Information Protection.
- Open the file while you’re working online (connected to your corporate network).
According to Microsoft, there are no plans to update Offline Files to support Windows Information Protection.
It’s recommended that you migrate to a modern file sync solution such as Work Folders or OneDrive for Business.
And that’s it, folks!