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Working with Desktop Sync

To save your work in Alfresco, just work on your files in the C:\Users\<username>\Alfresco folder, and everything in the folder will be automatically synced to Alfresco.

Understanding Desktop Sync icons

Desktop Sync always ensures that the files in your C:\Users\<username>\Alfresco folder are synced with Alfresco. It adds status icons to your files and folders so you know the application is working.

You'll see icons in two different places: in the system tray and over individual files and folders.

System tray icons

Icons that appear over the Desktop Sync icon in your system tray represent the overall status of your Alfresco folder.

Here's what each of these icons means.

Icon name System tray icon Description
Green tick A green tick shows all your files are synced and accessible from your desktop.
Red cross A red cross indicates there are conflicts that need to be resolved by the user. Something isn't working properly and your file(s) are not being synced.
Pause A pause icon indicates that Desktop Sync is paused due to invalid server credentials or there's nothing configured to sync.
Warning A warning icon indicates that either: 
  • Desktop Sync failed to get a successful server health check. Contact your IT team if you see this warning when you're having problems working with your files.
  • An update is available for Desktop Sync (i.e. the installed version is older than the one provided by your IT team).
Offline An offline icon indicates that Desktop Sync isn't connected to Alfresco and you are working offline. Check your Internet connection to resume syncing your files.

Context menu icons

Icons that appear over individual files and folders represent the status of that file or folder.

Here's what each of these icons means.

Icon name Context menu icon Description
Green tick It's synced - A green tick on a file indicates that the file or folder is in sync with the server copy.
Refresh arrows It's in use - Blue arrows indicate that Desktop Sync is waiting for the application to release the file or for free space to become available, or a server file to be checked in.
Red flag It's in conflict - A red cross on a file or folder indicates that update/rename/delete has conflicted with a server-side change and we were not able to automatically resolve it. You need to decide which version to keep.
Grey arrow It's checked out by another user. A grey arrow indicates that the file is checked out by another user in Alfresco. The file is locked, so you can't make changes until the file is checked in, or the check out is cancelled.
Blue arrow It's checked out by you. A blue arrow indicates that the file is checked out by you. The file is locked on the server, so others can't make changes until the file is checked in, or the check out is cancelled.
Grey pencil It's read-only. A grey pencil indicates that you don't have permission to edit this file. This could be due to insufficient privileges on the server, or the file has been declared as a record.

Explorer menu actions

You can access Desktop Sync actions through the Windows File Explorer context menu by right clicking on a file or folder.

Action Description
Sync Now Use this option when you want to sync content immediately.
Check Out When you check out a file, it's locked in Alfresco, so that other users can't overwrite it while you make changes offline. This also applies when working with multiple files in Explorer.
Check In Shown only when you have one or more files checked out. Select this option when you're ready to upload a new version to Alfresco. See working with multiple files in Explorer for more.
Cancel Check Out Shown only when you have one or more files checked out. You can cancel editing to unlock the file(s) without saving changes. See working with multiple files in Explorer for more.
Resolve Shown only when you need to resolve a conflict. Selecting this option opens a screen where you can decide to keep your changes or the changes from the server.
Declare as Record Shown only when Alfresco Governance Services is running. Select this option to declare the file as a record. See Declaring records for more.

Note: Files previously rejected as a record can't be automatically declared again. See Managing unfiled records for information on resetting the status.

Share Shown only when you right-click a file (i.e. not a folder). Select this option to share a link to a file. See Sharing files for more.
Update Desktop Sync Shown only when a newer version of Desktop Sync is provided by your IT team. Select this option to update Desktop Sync. See Updating Desktop Sync for more.

What are conflicts?

Whilst Desktop Sync ensures that content is kept up to date silently, under normal operation there may be circumstances where Desktop Sync can't resolve differences between a file stored on your desktop and the corresponding file in Alfresco. When the sync changes can't be updated automatically you are asked to resolve the conflict manually. This happens when a file has changed in both locations since its last sync, making it difficult to determine which changes to save.

For example, a conflict occurs when you update a file in your Alfresco sync folder and an update to the same file has happened on the server since the last sync. Desktop Sync will give you a choice of resolving the sync conflict by either choosing to keep your changes, or discarding your changes in favor of the latest copy from Alfresco.

For more information, see Sync conflict resolution matrix.

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