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FILR: Synchronizing only part of a Home Directory (I:)

Computing Services Technote #610 v0

Title: FILR: Synchronizing only part of a Home Directory(I:)
Applies to: UofR Employees and staff
Section: Network
Owner: Manager, File & Deployment Services
Last updated: May 2, 2023


This note describes the procedures to setup FILR desktop synchronization to only synchronize a part of your home directory.

MyFiles Explanation

Myfiles consists of two sub areas:

  1. Your Home Directory which for almost everyone corresponds to your Novell I: drive.
  2. Your personal storage. This is a separate area for files stored directly on the FILR server.

Why Synchronizing Your Whole Home(I:) Directory Can be Bad

Synchronizing all of your MyFiles is undesirable in a number of situations:

  • you have confidential files or files protected by privacy law in your MyFiles area that you wouldn't on a laptop/PC in case it gets stolen. This could be mitigated by disk encryption software.
  • You are storing Groupwise archives in your I: drive. These are typically large with a lot of files and frequent additions.
  • Synchronizing down to your laptop/PC is usually not desired.
  • You have large files you don't want synchronized due to limited network bandwidth and/or hard disk limitations on your laptop/PC .

"Offline" vs. "Online Only" folders

In order to control which files to synchronize down to your laptop/PC, Filr uses the concept of "Offline" and "Online Only" folders. When you set a folder as "Offline", a copy of the folder will always be available on your local machine. This helps when you have limited network access or bad internet connection. You can easily work on your files and the changes will be synced back to the servers whenever you have good internet connection.

On the contrary, when you set a folder as "Online Only", by default, this folder, and all its sub-folders/files, will not be synced to your local machine, except if you browsed the folder or opened the file. In other works, when you mark a folder as "Online Only" the folder will, initially, be empty and will remain empty even if you performed "Sync All" for all Filr folders. "Online Only" folders will not be affected by "Sync All" process. The only time by when this folder will contain files is when you start browsing and opening files. When you open a file in an "Online Only" folder, Filr downloads a copy of this file to your local machine (only this file not the whole folder). This local copy will be cached in your local system for sometime, then the system will automatically delete it. You can control how long your file is retained. Check section 4.6.4 in on how to modify the number of days for which you want the locally cached files to remain on your local system.

Setup Online Only Folders

To configure which folders you are going to set as "Online Only" Folders:

  • Login to the web interface at , and in your My Files personal storage create a folder called PSSync(short for Personal Storage Sync). This will be the place you will put folders/files in your personal storage area that you want to be synchronized down to your laptop/PC with the desktop client.
  • Look at your I: drive and Filr personal storage and figure out if you want to synchronize everything or just some folders. Make a list of what you want to synchronize.
  • Now login to your laptop/PC and browse to filr folders that you would like to mark as "Online Only".
  • Right-click the file or the folder.   

Click Make Available Online-Only.

Setup Offline Folders

To make a file or folder available offline:

  • Right-click the file or the folder.
  • Click Make Available Offline.


Procedures for selecting only some directories in your MyFiles area to synchronize down to your desktop are described.


Desktop Application for Windows Guide
Desktop Application for Mac Guide

Revision History

v0, 2014-12-03, Initial version
v1, 2023-05-02, Updated the technote as per the latest filr version