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How Do I Sync a User's Personal Folders to Egnyte?


In Windows, every user account receives a set of default folders that allow users to save and organize their personal documents, pictures, downloads, and other files. Now while using Egnyte you might feel the need to sync the user's personal folders to Egnyte. Using Egnyte Desktop Sync, you will realize that only the folders placed within the Shared/Private folder sync to Egnyte. However, you can still sync the user’s personal folders with Egnyte using folder re-direction, and here is how you can achieve this.


Users folders, preferably in the //Private/Username folder, will require a folder on Egnyte already created for the user's personal folder

e.g. Local Documents -> //Egnyte/Private/username/Documents

e.g. Local Desktop -> //Egnyte/Private/username/Desktop

The requirements are identical for other personal folders such as Music, Pictures, Favorites, Downloads.

Once the local folders are created, you can then re-direct the user's personal folder to the Desktop Sync using either Microsoft methods. 

  • Manual - You can manually change the user's personal folder directories to a new default using the steps shown here.
  • Registry Entry (Can be updated via API, or Group Policy - see Microsoft documentation for mass deployment)

         HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders


1. Once folder re-direction has been configured on the user's machine, all local data stored on the re-directed personal folders will sync up to Egnyte. Data added to Egnyte on the same folders will sync down to the user's machine.

2. Users are assumed to sync their respective personal folder directories at Egnyte
e.g. //Egnyte/Private/username/Documents

3. If the user de-selects the target personal folder at Egnyte, the user will get an error when opening or clicking a re-directed personal folders. The machine will function as normal, but no data will be available on the user's personal folders. Re-syncing the folders from Egnyte will remove the error prompt and will bring back the data previously on the personal folders.


Users that are syncing a top-level folder such as //Egnyte/Private or //Egnyte/Private/username will not encounter the error above despite un-selecting the personal folders at Egnyte. Since Windows re-creates these directories at machine startup, those personal folders will again be re-selected for sync due to the top-level sync rules.


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