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Synchronization Manager \windows\system32\mobsync.exe

Synchronize offline files and prepare remote files for offline use.

To Open

Start Programs Accessories Synchronize

Internet Explorer Tools menu Synchronize

Command Prompt mobsync


Using a network, you can open and edit files stored on remote computers. However, if your network connection is not always present, such as on a laptop that is connected to the network only when it’s in its docking station, you may choose to work with "offline files.” Offline files allow you to open files remotely, work on them when you’re disconnected, and then update them at a later time when the connection has been re-established.

Naturally, you could just save remote files on your own hard disk manually, edit them, and then transfer them manually to their original locations, replacing older versions where necessary. However, Windows XP’s support for offline files is much more convenient and is made possible with the Synchronization Manager (see Figure 4-93).

Figure 4-93. Help reduce document version conflicts with the Synchronization Manager

The main window, entitled Items to Synchronize, lists the files and folders currently set up for offline use. However, you can’t add new files to this list here. Instead, use Explorer to navigate to a remote folder shared on another computer. Then, right-click on the file(s) or folder(s) you wish to use offline and select Make Available Offline. This will start the Offline Files Wizard, which will guide you through the rest of the process, including whether or not files will be automatically synchronized. The final result is that the files or folders you’ve selected will show up as a new entry in the Offline Files folder and will also appear in the Items to Synchronize window. Once the desired files and folders have been set up for offline use, you can use the Synchronization Manager to synchronize offline items manually, as well as choose the synchronization preferences. Here’s how synchronization works:

  1. A file is placed in a shared folder.

  2. The user on another computer makes that file available offline (using procedure explained above).

  3. The remote user then begins to edit the file and continues to edit the file after being disconnected from the network.

  4. The next day, the user reconnects to the network and uses the Synchronization Manager to update the remote file with the one that has been edited.

  5. If the Synchronization Manager finds that the file has been modified by another user since it was made available offline, a warning appears. This prevents two users from inadvertently editing the same file, which of course, would result in someone’s work being lost.


  • The Synchronization Manager also allows you to schedule synchronizations, either whenever the computer is idle or at predetermined times.

  • The Offline Files Folder is also found on the Desktop; it can be turned on or off from the Offline Files Wizard and accessed when you make files available offline.

  • The Offline Web Pages folder can be found in c:\windows\Offline Web Pages.

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