Work Folders in Windows 10/8.1

Windows 8.1 introduces a new feature called Work Folders. If you have to work from anywhere from your different devices, then Work Folders are just what you would be looking for.

Work Folders in Windows 8.1/10

Work Folders in Windows 8.1

Work Folders in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 is a Bring Your Own Device Enhancement, that will enable IT administrators to provide Information Workers the ability to sync their work data on all their devices. This is done by syncing user data from devices to on-premise file servers. In short, you can look at is as a free synced-storage alternative to  SkyDrive, that any business can self-host for their employees. Think of it as SkyDrive hosted in your own server.

To set up Work Folders open Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Work Folders. Click on Set up Work Folders. You will be asked to enter your domain email address or the Work Folders URL. Once you have entered these details, click on Next. You will see a message saying Finding your data on the Work Folders server.

You will also find the settings for Work Folders in Group Policy under:

Users > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Work Folders

Here you have to enable the Specify Work Folders settings and configure it.

Work Folders features:

  1. Provide a single point of access to work files on a user’s work and personal PCs and devices
  2. Access work files while offline and sync with the central file server when the PC or device next has Internet or network connectivity
  3. Maintain data encryption in transit as well as at rest on devices and allow corporate data wipe through device management services such as Windows Intune
  4. Use existing file server management technologies such as file classification and folder quotas to manage user data
  5. Specify security policies to instruct user PCs and devices to encrypt Work Folders and use a lock screen password, for example
  6. Use Failover Clustering with Work Folders to provide high-availability solution

Right now Work Folders, is available on Windows 10/8.1 only, but Microsoft will soon be releasing an add-on client for Windows 7 and an App for the iPad too. UPDATE: Windows 7 users may see this post on how to set up Work Folders in Windows 7.

You can read more about Work Folders on TechNet.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

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