Connect to SharePoint from Windows Explorer

Many companies and organizations are using SharePoint for storing their documents, where they can be shared and used in different team settings. SharePoint allows flexible access controls and users don’t have to push documents back and forth via email.

Docentric gives users the option to choose SharePoint for storing report templates, as well as generated reports. Docentric report setup is used to define template storage location. Docentric print destinations, however, greatly enhance standard SSRS print destinations. Docentric’s File print destination supports, among other options, saving generated reports to SharePoint. By using placeholders, D365FO users can also set up dynamic target folder path and output filenames when saving reports to SharePoint.

With all those documents on SharePoint, what is the easiest way to work with them?

Users can work with documents in SharePoint portal using their web browsers, but they can also work with SharePoint straight from Windows Explorer.

This article covers a cloud scenario with SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business client in combination with Windows Explorer. This approach optimizes file synchronization process and offers high security, including multi-factor authentication on SharePoint.

Why Windows Explorer?

Windows Explorer simplifies working with files on SharePoint. You can use copy and paste and drag and drop files to or from SharePoint, for example. This process is simpler and easier compared to doing it in SharePoint portal in web browser.

It is also possible to map an entire site to Windows Explorer, making work with SharePoint documents even more effective.

Furthermore, you can map the document library as a network drive. You can now work with the content just like with any other drive: you can add, move, and edit files or folders.

Although possible, Microsoft doesn’t recommend mapping a network drive directly in Windows Explorer, which is possible from SharePoint settings in Internet Explorer 10 or 11.
See this article for more details >>

Microsoft recommends using OneDrive for Business client, which takes care of synchronization between the local copy of the content and the SharePoint in the cloud. This approach is described in the rest of the document.

Setting up a connection

In order to set up a connection you will need OneDrive for Business client. Depending which operating system and which Office version you are using, you may already have it installed.

If you don’t have it yet, you should download and install it first from its download page.

In our next step we will open SharePoint in our browser and sign in with our work account again, if we are not signed in already. Once signed in, we can choose the site in SharePoint portal which we want to synchronize. In our case we have a site with two subfolders. To start the synchronization process, we will click the Sync button.

Then we will confirm, that we want to open Microsoft OneDrive.

OneDrive might ask us for another sign in, where we will select our work account in the next steps, enter the password and confirm our login if we have multi factor authentication enabled.

After successful authentication the process guides us through several screens where we can just keep the defaults or set more specifically what we want to synchronize.

 

Now we have our SharePoint site synchronized and ready to use in Windows Explorer!

As you can see, this process is not so difficult. Now you can take advantage of working with a SharePoint site content just as you normally do when using Windows Explorer.

The ease of using Windows Explorer for working with SharePoint content has its traps, too. It is very easy to accidentally delete or move something unintentionally! Some extra caution can save you from such problems and embarrassing questions from your system administrators later on 😊.

See Also

Save Purchase orders to SharePoint in Docentric File Print Destination in D365FO >>

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