Working with encrypted files in SharePoint and Teams

Working with encrypted files in SharePoint and Teams

Because SharePoint is is a web-based document management system, SmartEncrypt can't communicate directly with files stored SharePoint.  SharePoint uses a different form of communication for file operations to that of file operations on a local device, meaning that the SmartEncrypt driver is not invoked in SharePoint file operations. Files must be available locally to trigger the encryption/decryption process.

So that files stored in SharePoint can be used with SmartEncrypt, you will need to sync files SharePoint and Teams files to OneDrive. This lets you work directly in Windows File Explorer ensuring that SmartEncrypt is able to encrypt and decrypt your files as required.

Syncing files from SharePoint

To sync files from SharePoint to OneDrive on your local device:
  1. Select SharePoint from the Office/Microsoft 365 app and select the site with the files you wish to sync.



  2. Navigate to the subfolder or select the individual documents you wish to sync and click Sync  (how this appears will depend on whether you are using the classic or modern SharePoint view).


    Sync button in modern SharePoint view



    Sync button in class SharePoint view

  3. At the prompt, click on the Open Microsoft OneDrive button to launch File Explorer to view the synced files location



  4. You will now be able to access the synced files using File Explorer on your computer - look for the folder with the corporate icon and your organisation name in the left pane in File Explorer. You cannot select to sync to a different location.



Good to know...
  1. Once syncing is set up, all new files and updates will sync automatically
  2. Syncing only applies to the computer you are working on
  3. To sync the files on another computer, and follow these steps again on that computer.


Syncing files from Microsoft Teams and SharePoint

To set up syncing between OneDrive and your Microsoft Team:
  1. Open Microsoft Teams and browse to the Files section in the Teams channel you wish to wish to sync.
  2. If you only want to sync files from the current channel, click the Sync button, OR



    Note: If the Sync button is not available on Microsoft Teams, contact your IT Administrator who can enable this feature for you.

  3. To sync files from all channels choose the Open in SharePoint instead

  4. The SharePoint document library will open in your default browser 



  5. Click Documents, followed by the Sync button to sync the entire document library.



  6. A message will be displayed confirming the sync, along with the option to open the synced location in OneDrive.



  7. As with SharePoint sync, you will now be able to access the files in your Microsoft Team using File Explorer on your computer in the folder with your organisation name.



Good to know...
  1. By default, files from all Team channels are synced unless you choose to sync from a specific channel
  2. If you sync the whole Team, and someone adds a new channel, those files won’t sync until you add the folder in your OneDrive settings.

Managing synced locations

To manage folders in synced locations, or to stop syncing files:
  1. Right-click the OneDrive icon in the bottom right corner and choose Settings



  2. In the Account tab, click Choose folders for the location you wish to manage.



  3. Choose the files and folders you wish to be available on your local device by selecting/deselecting the associated checkbox(es)



Good to know...
  1. To improve your user experience when working with encrypted files stored in SharePoint and Microsoft Teams from within web browsers, you should also consider configuring your Office applications so that office files open in Office desktop apps by default, rather than opening in the browser as this will reduce the number of steps required to  (refer to the Other Resources listed below for more information) 
  2. In Teams, there is currently no way to open office files in the respective Office desktop app by default. 
  3. Opening links to Office files in Office desktop apps:
    1. Works only for links to Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files, stored on OneDrive or SharePoint, that you click in Word, Excel, Outlook, or PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 on Windows.
    2. It does not work for links from other Office clients such as OneNote, Skype, Microsoft Teams, etc. or SharePoint vanity domains.


  1. OneDrive - Known Issues and Limitations

Other resources

  1. Open a OneDrive or SharePoint file in the Office app instead of the browser

  2. Open file links directly in Office desktop apps

  3. SyncSharePoint and Teams files with your computer


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