Shared Folder restrictions and warnings in SharePoint Workspace 2010

This article describes restrictions associated with shared folders as well as activities that may result in warning prompts.

Folder restrictions

SharePoint Workspace disallows sharing the following types of folders in a shared folder:

  • A folder on removable media, such as a CD-ROM or floppy disk.

  • A folder on a network drive.

  • Any folder within the SharePoint Workspace data directory.

  • Any folder for which you do not have write permissions; that is, folders in which you cannot create new files.

  • Any folder already being synchronized in another SharePoint Workspace account.

  • A folder with a name that starts with .hg

Additionally, SharePoint Workspace posts a warning given the following circumstances:

  • If you select the root folder of a computer drive for sharing. This activity is strongly discouraged.

  • If you select any folder within the Windows system directory.

  • If you select a folder (or parent) folder that you are already synchronizing in another shared folder.

    In this case, it is important to be aware of the following security issue: Folders shared in multiple shared folders are available to members across all those shared folders. You should be certain that all members in all shared folder are authorized to access all the data in all folders.

File restrictions

The following files and file types cannot be shared in a shared folder: Any file that has a file name that starts with a ~ character or .hg; all files with a gfs, tmp, bak, sav, or lnk extension.

Additionally, files with the following attributes cannot be shared in a shared folder: Hidden, System, Temporary, or Offline.

To see a list of shared folder restrictions, open the Folder Synchronization Properties box.

SharePoint Workspace cannot synchronize any files that are larger than 1 GB. Additionally, SharePoint Workspace will stop synchronizing any shared folder that exceeds the following limits: More than 5000 files or a set of files that exceeds 2 GB in total size.

In addition to the file types that are specifically restricted from file sharing, there are other types of files that may not work well in a shared folder. These include file types that have dependencies on other files in order to run properly, or files from applications that run properly only on the computer where the application was originally installed. Examples of these file types include Outlook PST files, Quicken Quickbook files, and Access database files.

Recommendations for optimal performance

For optimal performance in a shared folder, keep the following in mind:

  • Avoid adding large files (>50 MB) to a shared folder.

  • Avoid adding large numbers of files (>100 files) at once.

  • Avoid storing large numbers of files (>500 files) in a shared folder.

These numbers are recommended based on SharePoint Workspace's minimum system requirements. Systems exceeding the minimum requirements will be able to handle larger numbers of files with less performance degradation.

Other factors that may impact performance include:

  • Degree of change to files in the shared folder. The more frequently files are changed, the more performance is degraded. Larger workspaces can function with less degradation if they do not have a high degree of change.

  • Download settings of workspace members. Members who use manual download settings avoid requiring other members to send data on each update. This improves overall performance for all members.

  • Starting and stopping SharePoint Workspace frequently. For optimal performance, keep SharePoint Workspace running.

  • Running earlier versions of SharePoint Workspace. All members of the workspace should use the latest version of SharePoint Workspace to ensure optimal performance.

In addition, pausing communications for a workspace also pauses the synchronization of local changes to the workspace. In larger workspaces, pausing communications until updates are really needed can help overall performance.

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