Enable Work Folders

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Work Folders? Work files?

With Work Folders users can store and access work files on personal computers (BYOD), in addition to corporate PCs. Users have a convenient location to store their work files and can access them from anywhere. Organizations maintain control of corporate data by storing files on centrally managed file servers and optionally specifying user device policies such as encryption and screen password lockout. In short, it's a kind of OneDrive, Dropbox, GDrive, etc. but managed in business.

Supported servers

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2019

Supported Clients

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows RT 8.1
  • Windows 7 (Professional, Ultimate, Enterprise)
  • Android 4.4 and higher
  • iOS 10.2 and higher

Comparison of different Microsoft technologies

The following table describes the location of different Microsoft synchronization technologies and when to use them.

Work foldersOffline filesOneDriveEntrepriseOneDrive
Summary of the technologySynchronize files stored on a file server with PCs and devicesSynchronize files stored on a file server with PCs that have access to the corporate network (can be changed to Work Folders)Synchronizes files stored in Office365 or SharePoint with PCs and devices inside or outside a corporate network and provides document collaboration functionalitySynchronize personal files stored in OneDrive with PCs, Mac computers and devices
Designed to provide user access to work filesYesYesYesNo
Cloud serviceAny)Any)Office365MicrosoftOneDrive
Internal network serversFile Servers Running Windows Server2012R2 or Windows Server2016File serversSharePoint server (optional)Any)
Supported ClientsPC, iOS, AndroidPCs on a corporate network or connected via DirectAccess, VPN or other remote access technologiesPC, iOS, Android, Windows PhonePC, Mac computers, Windows Phone, iOS, Android

Server: Enabling Work Folders

Open Server Manager> Management> Add Roles and Features.

Go to File and Storage Service> File and iSCSI Service and check the Work Folders box.

Validate the addition of the IIS Hostable Web Core functionality.

Validate the installation.

If after installing the services does not start, consult this article, if not go on afterwards 😉

In Server Manager go to File Services and Storage> Work Folders.

Click on Tasks> New synchronization folder…

Select the folder that will contain the data.

Choice of the naming format for user folders, either we use the alias or the[email protected]This 2e choice avoids conflicts between identical aliases that exist on different domains.

Give a name to our synchronization rule.

Select the users and / or user groups who can connect to it.

Finally, select whether we need to encrypt the stored data and whether we need to apply an automatic computer lock and a password request.

Our server configuration is complete.

Activating an SSL certificate

It is possible to add an SSL certificate in order to secure the exchanges, to do this, request an SSL certificate from your Root CA or external CA. Once it's added to the server's certificate store, fetch the certificate thumbprint, then open a PowerShell guest and enter the following commands:

[cc lang = "powershell"] netsh [/ cc]

[cc lang = "powershell"] http [/ cc]

[cc lang = "powershell"] add sslcert ipport = : 443 certhash = appid = {CE66697B-3AA0-49D1-BDBD-A25C8359FD5D} certstorename = MY [/ cc]

Without SSL certificate

If you do not want to activate the SSL certificate, because it is a LAB environment, no problem, but you must not forget to push by GPO the registry parameter below, otherwise you will not be able to connect .

[cc lang = "batch"] Reg add HKLM \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ WorkFolders / v AllowUnsecureConnection / t REG_DWORD / d 1 [/ cc]

Client: Connecting to Work Folders

Windows 10 - manually

Go to Control Panel> Click System and Security.

Then click on Work Folders.

Click Configure Work Folders.

Log in with either your corporate email address.

Or with the URL, by clicking on the link under the email field.

By default the data is stored in the following path:
% USERPROFILE% \ Work Folders, the folder size can not exceed 10 GB.

We validate the security rules.

Let's be patient ...

Hey here! Our Work Folders are functional!

We can now access it via the explorer.

Windows 10 - Via GPO

To configure Work Folders via GPO, go to:
User Configuration> Policies> Administrative Templates> Windows Components> WorkFolders.

Then activate the GPO by specifying the access URL and the default folder (%USERPROFILE% \ Work Folders).


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Steven Bart

Founder of StevenBart.com - Vevey, Switzerland. I have been in IT since 2001, I work as a Workplace Architect and mainly deal with the administration of MEMCM (SCCM), the mass deployment of workstations and applications. Learn more about me.

    7 thoughts on “Enable Work Folders"

    • Hi Steven,

      We notice some trouble using Server2019, Workfolders, win10 1903 and using folder redirection.
      Any known problems or any experience using workfolders and redirecting all known folders to workfolders?

      Reply
      • Hi Bart,

        In my LAB I'm in Windows 10 1903, 1909 and 2004 and Windows Server 2019, I don't have any problems with Workfolders.

        However I had come across some articles that mentioned an error 0x80c80314 when encrypting data, if it's this error, you should try this operation:
        Turn off UAC, sign out and sign back, it should work again.
        If it works, turn UAC on again then sign out and sign back in, it will remain works.

        Is there a hint in the logs?
        Work Folders event logs are stored under Applications and Services -> Microsoft -> Windows -> Work Folders. The logs under Operational folder should be examined. ManagementAgent logs are used to show notification center, which can be ignored.

        Hoping this might help you.

        regards,

        Steven

        Reply
    • Hello Steven,
      A big thank you for your explanations which allowed me to install the workfolders between my server and my pc.
      A question: is it possible to increase the size limit of 10GB for the files to be synchronized? I am under w server 2019
      Yours.
      Michel
      PS: Your "contact" form does not work

      Reply
      • Hello,

        Sorry for my late response, I'm going back to service, I have some bugs on the site, I'm going to fix this contact form problem 🙂

        For your question, if it is not too late, it is possible to do it in PowerShell using the following command: Set-SyncShare "Share name" -MaxUploadFile "maximum size in bytes"

        Wishing you a happy new year and hope you have been able to resolve your problem.

        cordially

        Steven

        Reply
    • Hello

      very good tutorial:

      question:
      the Set-SyncShare commadlet "Share name" -MaxUploadFile "maximum size in bytes" increases the size.

      By cons I did not find the command to know the maximum size allowed.

      Do you have an idea

      please

      Reply
      • Hello,

        Thanks for your message, I don't have a particular order for the maximum size, but according to this article on Technet:
        https://docs.microsoft.com/fr-fr/windows-server/storage/work-folders/work-folders-overview

        It reads: “The maximum size for individual files is 10 GB by default. There is no per-user storage limit, although administrators can use the quotas feature of File Server Resource Manager to implement quotas. "

        Hope to have been able to answer your question

        Greetings and thanks again for your visit

        Steven

        Reply

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