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Office 1904 - files on redirected folders wont open when offline

We use redirected folders for users desktops, these are redirected to a server 2012 R2 share. When users are not on the network offline files allows them to open the files on their redirected desktop.

We are using windows 10 1803 and 1809.

If a user has Microsoft office 1904 or later installed when they try to open a file from the desktop when offline they get the message "Sorry, we cant open \\Filename because the server isnt responding" This happens for all office files.

The files are there and can be opened with other programs, e.g a csv file will give the above message when excel tries to open it but i can open is using notepad just fine.

If we go back to office 1903 the files open as usual, we have also tried office 1906 but this still gives the error.

Does anyone know of anything that has changed in office recently that could be causing this?

Also see this Technet Forum for users with same issue:

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/8f00aab4-9499-4109-ba0d-28500bda305f/excel-offline-files-folder-remap-quotsorry-we-cant-open-serverfolderremapusermy?forum=Office2016ITPro

https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/2210052-office-1904-files-on-redirected-folders-wont-open-when-offline

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Rob Hall shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

9 comments

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  • Vaughn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I also have clients with this issue.
    Doing a work around is a lot of work and time.
    Please help ASAP.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We have two of our clients currently affected by this and are expecting more down the line. Microsoft needs to pull finger and sort this out A S A P.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I would like to get some clear communication on this from MS. Have seen several places where Microsoft documentation makes offhanded remarks about redirected folders being an outdated solution, but no official word on what their plans for this feature are. It would be nice to know if/when they are planning to phase out that feature, so we can decide if we should move away from it to Work Folders or Sharepoint.

    As of right now, the MS techs I've communicated with have told me that they are working on it, but have no ETA for a solution. My company supports about 100 different networks that utilize this feature and would like to get out ahead of it if MS is going to treat it as less important than a random software patch.

  • DaveM commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This has crippled our executive staff. The workarounds are difficult and impractical. Very worrying situation.

  • Jonathan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    All our staff now how this lovely problem. Please fix asap! Getting tired of having to install older office versions and disable updates.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Same issue here. I dont want staff connecting to random hotspots or public wifi when out of the office just so they can open offline Microsoft files.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Thank you for posting this. We are also seeing this issue as well.

    Only office-related files types (.xlsx, .docx, etc.) cannot be accessed from an Office app (Excel, Word, etc.) when the file is saved on a redirected folder location, and the computer is disconnected from the Internet.

    This needs to be addressed! Our business uses redirected folders for our Desktop and Documents directories. Most of our staff travels a lot, and are in locations that don't have Internet. They should still be able to access their Word and Excel files that are saved in redirected folder locations when there is no Internet.

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