SharePoint Data on your local PC

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SharePoint Data

If your organisation has moved to the cloud, there is a good chance you are using SharePoint to store your data. This article shows you how to access that data easily on your local PC. You do not have to use a web browser.   This method makes the data accessible to all of the applications installed on your PC.

Why SharePoint?

One of the Medical Practices we support wanted to move to the cloud and make the most of the Microsoft subscriptions they are paying for.   Paying for an onsite server and having to refresh their infrastructure every 5 to 6 years is no longer necessary.   We moved them to cloud based services and they immediately realised the benefits in doing this.    SharePoint was used to store the practice data that the server was previously hosting.

The Old Method

Most people are familiar and comfortable with using Windows File Explorer on their local PC to use and manage their data.    Drive letters containing data stored on the server are mapped to the local PC once the user logs on and everything is accessible from within File Explorer.   The example photo below shows what I mean.

FileExplorer

Local drives and server drives are shown in File Explorer and you can click on any of these and explore all of the files and folders that you have access to.

The New Method

Once all of your data is in SharePoint, it is typically accessed using a web browser.    Screen shot below.

SharePoint DataYou can also use Microsoft Teams to get to your data in SharePoint as teams works as a front end to SharePoint.    You are looking at the same data, just through the Teams application instead of a Web Browser.

Teams Data

The most common problem reported

Now that the data has been moved to The Cloud and lives in SharePoint, the biggest issue we find users have is emailing attachments.    To get your attachment out of either SharePoint or through Teams, users had to download it to their PC and then attach it to their email to send it.

There is a much better and easier way.

Make the files stored in SharePoint accessible to Windows File Explorer and access them the same way you did before they were moved to SharePoint.    The files will also be available to all of the applications installed on your PC.

SharePoint Data in file explorer

The only difference is your files located in SharePoint do not show up in a drive letter like they used to.    They now show up under your organisation, which in our case is shown as “IT Networks Pty Ltd”.

SharePoint in Explorer

To email a file that is stored in SharePoint, follow the steps below.

  1. Click on the attached File Icon as you normally would Attach File
  2. Choose Browse this PC Browse PC
  3. Find your organisation and browse for the file you want to attach organisation

There is no need to download a file to email it as an attachment.

To set this up, follow the great article published by one of our engineers that gives you step by step instructions.

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