I often get asked if its possible to map a SharePoint Online Document Library in Windows Explorer e.g. for easy opening of files a.s.o directly from Windows Explorer.
It is certainly possible:
Create a Document Library - in this example called "DocRepository". Since the name of my Office 365 tenant in this example is "mso365wiz" the URL to the Document Library is "https://mso365wiz.sharepoint.com/DocRepository"
In order to map the files in this Document Library in Windows Explorer the trick is to:
In my example the URL is "https://mso365wiz.sharepoint.com/DocRepository" and should hence be "\\mso365wiz.sharepoint.com@ssl\DocRepository" after the above changes.
You should now be able to access the Document Library from your Windows Explorer.
See also this support article
Update #1 (February 2012):
SharePoint Online in Office 365 uses forms based authentication and the user is authenticated using a SAML token. This SAML token expires every 2 hours (some say longer though). After that the mapped drive for the SharePoint library cant access the library unless the user signs in to the SharePoint Online site again from the browser, even if the user tick off "Keep me signed in". As an alternative you can add the URL of the document library to Favorites in Windows Explorer. You'll need to do that via e.g. Word.
Update #2 (May 2013)
Since the launch of the new Office 365 in the beginning of 2013, the above has become obsolete. SkyDrive Pro is now the way to sync files from SharePoint Online to your Windows 7 or 8 desktop. Read more here.
Thank you for this great article. I've just added my Sharepoint Online Library to my favorites. Is the SAML token going to expire after 2 hours as well with this solution? I'm looking for a solution where I can map my Sharepoint Library and were the SAML token will never expire...
As far as I know the "add to favorires" methods will work without any credential prompts (you wont get any Access Denied - thats for sure). But it should be easy to test though. Try saving a document before you sign into Office 365 first thing in the morning :-)
I tried the 'Add to favorites' method and am getting access denied when I click on the mounted folder after the SAML token expiration. Surely MS has thought about this scenario?
If MS Has thought about this scenario they didn't think it through at all!
EVERYONE I have put onto Office 365 wants this feature to be persistant and every last customer is bitterly disappointed when I tell them it can't be done without alot of mucking around.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Microsoft fix this!
Lets hope Skydrive Pro will be the answer sharepoint.microsoft.com/.../BlogPost.aspx
Is there already a solution for this horrible problem?
I want to have a map for my company documents, not surfing trough my browser, that costs many many extra time.
It's not that hard to have a simple description how to fix this permanent?!
Hi Jesper, my name is Johanna and I am struggeling with this Issue. My URL does not contain: https, nor .com.
How should I add the Internet or network address? (To add a map networkdrive folder)
It gives me error all the time :(
Thank you, your add to favorites trick worked. What the hell is MS doing? These kinds of tricks should be necessary for sophomoric apps, not MS stuff. Just wasted 2 hours of my life and 2 of my partner's to get this working. Can we bill MS for our time?
Here is a simple solution with many of the snags addressed:
1. Open IE explorer
2. Make sure it is IE 9, 10 won't work as of today 6-2013
3. Make sure it is 32 bit, 64 won't work
4. Sign in to office 365, check 'keep me signed in'
5. Open SharePoint site
6. Choose 'documents' to the left
7. Choose 'library' tab at top under office 365 icon
8. Choose 'Open with Explorer' about halfway across screen under 'export to excel '
9. Copy the URL of this newly opened file explorer window
10. At left under 'computer' right click 'map network drive'
11. Change the Drive: to 'S:' (for SharePoint) or whatever you want.
12. Paste the copied URL in the 'Folder:' box