Work Folders: FAQ

Work Folders is a place to store your work files so that you can get to them from all of your PCs and devices, even when you’re offline.

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How do I set up Work Folders?

Work Folders won’t work until the IT administrator for your organisation has set up your account. Once your account has been set up, here’s how to get started:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Search.)

  2. Enter Work Folders in the search box, then tap or click Work Folders.

  3. Tap or click Set up Work Folders, then follow the on-screen instructions. If Work Folders can’t find your settings, contact your IT admin to see if they’ve set up your account.

Note

  • If you've upgraded to Windows 8.1 from Windows 7, you might need to set up Work Folders again.

Where are my files located?

Files that you save to Work Folders are located in the following places:

  • On the PC or device where you saved the files in Work Folders. Unless you changed the location when you set up Work Folders, your Work Folders are saved in your user profile here: C:\Users\username\Work Folders, where "username" is your Windows username.

  • On your organisation’s server.

  • On any other PCs or devices on which you’ve set up Work Folders.

How do I move Work Folders to a different location on my PC?

We recommend using the default location for the Work Folders folder. By default, your Work Folders are saved in your user profile here: C:\Users\username\Work Folders, where username is your Windows username.

You can change where Work Folders stores your files. Here's how:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Search.)

  2. Enter Work Folders in the search box, then tap or click Work Folders.

  3. Tap or click Stop using Work Folders.

  4. Tap or click Set up Work Folders.

  5. On the Introducing Work Folders step, tap or click Change, then choose a new location to store your Work Folders.

Note

  • You can choose a location on another drive with more available space as long as the drive is formatted with the NTFS file system and always stays connected to your PC.

What if a Work Folders location doesn't work?

You won't be able to use certain locations on your PC that are reserved by Windows or encrypted. If you try to choose one of these locations for your Work Folders folder, you'll see a message that says "This location doesn't work".

The following locations are reserved by Windows:

  • The Windows folder or its subfolders.

  • The Program Files folder, the Program Files (x86) folder or subfolders of either location.

  • The top-level folder in your user profile (typically C:\Users\username, where username is your Windows username) – it has to go in the \Work Folders subfolder instead.

  • The top-level folder of a drive – it has to go in a subfolder instead.

  • The Documents folder, or any other folder that redirects to another location.

  • Folders that are already encrypted using Encrypting File System (EFS) – BitLocker Drive Encryption works fine.

If a location you want to use for your Work Folders folder is encrypted, you can choose a different location or decrypt that location and then try again. Here's how to decrypt a location:

  1. Open File Explorer by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the top-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, then clicking Search), entering File Explorer in the search box, then tapping or clicking File Explorer.

  2. Browse to the encrypted location.

  3. Tap and hold or right-click the folder, then tap or click Properties.

  4. On the General tab, tap or click Advanced.

  5. Under Compress or Encrypt attributes, untick the Encrypt contents to secure data checkbox, tap or click OK, then tap or click OK again.

How do I know if my Work Folders are up to date?

Work Folders should stay up to date as long as your PC or device is connected to the Internet and you can manually sync your files so you can be sure you have the latest version. Here’s how:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Search.)

  2. Enter Work Folders in the search box, then tap or click Work Folders.

  3. To sync your files, tap or click Sync Now.

Why are the files in Work Folders coloured green?

The green colour means that the files and folders are encrypted. Encryption helps keep your work files secure if your PC gets stolen or if someone else uses your PC with their own account. Your organisation decides if the files should be encrypted.

How do I decrypt a Work Folders file?

You can't decrypt an encrypted file in Work Folders, because your organisation decides if files should be encrypted. But if you save a personal file in Work Folders and later move it out of Work Folders – for example, into OneDrive – your organisation's security policies still apply to the file. The green file name means it's still encrypted by your organisation, and if you leave your organisation, you might not be able to read or view the file. Follow these instructions to remove your work's security policies from your personal files:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Search.)

  2. Enter File Explorer in the search box, then tap or click File Explorer.

  3. Browse to your Work Folders location (usually located at C:\Users\username\Work Folders, where "username" is your Windows username).

  4. Move your personal files out of Work Folders and into OneDrive, your Documents folder or somewhere else on your PC.

  5. Press and hold or right-click the files or folders you want to decrypt, then tap or click Remove enterprise control.

If you move the decrypted files back into Work Folders, they'll be encrypted again.

Why do I have to enter my password more than once?

Your organisation controls the Work Folders password policy, so if you’re asked for your password even though it hasn’t changed, it’s probably because of your organisation’s policy. However, if your organisation uses Workplace Join, which lets you connect to network resources like internal websites and business apps, you can decrease the number of times you’re asked. Here’s how to join a Workplace:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, click Settings, then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Tap or click Network, then tap or click Workplace.

  3. Tap or click Join, and follow the on-screen instructions.

What should I do when Work Folders lists files with errors?

Sometimes files don’t sync properly. If this happens, Work Folders lists the files and a reason that they didn’t sync. Here are some things that you can try to fix the problem.

  • Closing the files

  • Move the files out of Work Folders, click Sync Now, then move them back into Work Folders

  • Restarting your PC

How do I stop using Work Folders?

If you stop working for your organisation, you should remove your personal files from Work Folders and stop using it. Here’s how:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Search.)

  2. Enter Work Folders in the search box, then tap or click Work Folders.

  3. Tap or click Stop using Work Folders.

How can I get help with Work Folders?

To get help from your organisation’s Work Folders IT administrator, follow these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Control Panel in the search box, and then tapping or clicking Control Panel.

  2. Tap or click System and Security, then tap or click Work Folders.

  3. Tap or click Email tech support. Your email app opens with a new message that includes details about your Work Folders.

  4. Add a message explaining what you would like help with, then send the email.

For more help, ask questions and get answers from the community on the Microsoft community website.

If you're an administrator and want to find more info about Work Folders, go to the Work Folders Overview topic on TechNet.

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