Windows 7 refuses to enable Offline Files, Sync Center will not stay enabled

I just had a super headache of a problem, I had Windows 7 laptops that would not, for the life of me, keep sync center enabled. I’d enable it, and then after a reboot it would be disabled again, nothing in the logs, just disabled. I got creative and forced it to be enabled via a GPO, but still! After a reboot it would be disabled.

I read a bunch of KB articles, and the final result was a combination of Oplocks and re-initalizing the offline files cache. Here is what I did, and I’m happy to report that it’s worked on more than one computer having the same issue:

Enable Opportunistic Locking

  1. Open Regedit
  2. Navigate to HKEY_Local_Machine\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters\
  3. Create a new REG_DWORD titled “EnableOplocks” and set it to “1”
  4. Navigate to HKEY_Local_Machine\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MRXsmb\Parameters\
  5. NOTE: Create a new key “Parameters” if it does not exist under MRXsmb
  6. Create a new REG_DWORD titled “OplocksDisabled” and set it to “0”
  7. Reboot the computer

Reinitialize the Offline Files Cache

  1. Open Regedit
  2. Navigate to HKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\NetCache
  3. Create a new REG_DWORD titled “FormatDatabase” and set it to “1”
  4. Reboot

You should now be able to enable offline files (If not already being enforced by a GPO) and it will ask you to reboot, afterwards it should remain enabled.


11 thoughts on “Windows 7 refuses to enable Offline Files, Sync Center will not stay enabled

    1. Sean LaBrie

      in a GPO navigate to: Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Network\Offline Files

      Then edit the policy: Allow or disallow use of the Offline Files feature

  1. Mark

    I currently have that enabled, however when i take the computer off the network all local files disappear. Currently i have desktop, documents, and favorites redirected to a network share. If i go to the machine and enable sync center it works the way i want, on or off the network the documents are available If sync center is off, when the machine is off the network nothing is available. I’ve been racking my brain over this for days. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Sean LaBrie


      So let’s check a few things:

      1) On the shared folder on the server, under the share’s properties, under the caching button, let’s make sure offline files are enabled on the share
      2) Let’s make sure sync center is enabled on the PC, either via GPO or manually
      3) We’ll need to make a GPO to apply the sync center settings to the PCs so of which are the following:
      3a. GPO for the Users (applied to the OU where the user accounts are) User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Network\Offline Files\
      3b. Administratively assigned offline files – Assign the folders in question (desktop, mydocs, etc)
      3c. Synchronize all Offline Files before logging on – enable if you want to force syncing
      3d. Synchronize all Offline Files before logging off – enable if you want to force syncing
      4. GPO for the Computer Accounts (Applied to the OU where the user’s computers are) Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Network\Offline Files
      4a. Subfolders always available offline – Enable this for force the sync of subfolders that are within desktop, mydocs, etc, you are probably going to want to do this
      4b. Allow or disallow use of the Offline Files feature – Use this to force offline files to “enabled”
      5) After these policies are in place, if you run a “GPUPDATE /FORCE” from the command prompt of the PC it should update and then reboot, then during the next logon/logoff the files should be synced to the PC and available offline.
      6) Sync center needs to be enabled in order to get the files offline, so don’t disable it.



  2. DIL-IT

    I’m having the same issue!

    I’ve added the registry settings EnableOplocks and OplocksDisabled it enabled the offline files and stayed enabled after a reboot. I the sync’d 80gig of data and restarted and it’s reverted back to disabling offline files!

    1. Sean LaBrie

      I’m sorry, but in this particular instance, this is all I can offer you for advice, sorry but it was something I struggled with as well, and this was the only solution I came up with.


  3. Wade

    First, thank you so much for sharing this It doesnt work for em wither (or its only a one time fix). For me the OpLocks disabled setting keeps changing to “1” after a reboot. Is that supposed to be happening?


  4. Stephane MEUKIEJE


    this also works for me despite that i have not yet restarted the computer.
    i am really greatful.

  5. Jon

    This is the answer.
    Make sure CSC gets formatted or at least manually deleted if you’re still having trouble!


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