Work Folders


Well-Known Member

i am trying to set up workfolders on a pc however am getting the error attached.

OS - Windows 10 - latest build - all windows updates installed.

Has anyone come across this or could suggest some resolutions.

Thanks in advance!



Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
Sorry to hear you're having problems. A couple of things for you. Did you add this "workfolders" folder to your PC or laptop? This is not a Windows System File. When you added it, did you use a local login account or a Microsoft login account? If you don't know the difference, basically a local account gives you all access to the files on your computer, but no access to the Microsoft app store to download or buy apps or games in the Microsoft app store. A Microsoft login account is associated with your existing E-mail address or a native Microsoft account such as an address or a Microsoft Live ID account.

Next, it appears you or the person you helping enabled file encryption or file compression on the W10 computer you are working on. In either case, this is bad in almost every situation unless you or your friend are advanced users, this should never be done. Especially if you are using a 3rd party program such as Bitlocker to encrypt your files and folders. Data compression should NEVER be used by home users.:noway: Period.

Most likely, this message is being caused by one of the new W10 programs that syncs settings between multiple computers for OneDrive, Microsoft's preferred Cloud storage app. It can also be caused by trying to put in Microsoft updates using the new WUDO (Windows Update Delivery Optimization) program which pulls updates from both Microsoft servers on a weekly push basis as well as from other computers on your home network or from random computers on the Internet to update any other W10 computers on your home network. It's quite possible that the encryption and or compression you or your friend have done on that computer is causing the sync to fail with WUDO, or the OneDrive cloud sync.

Both of these can be quite tricky to troubleshoot, but most likely to fix you are looking at either a Windows reset or a Windows reinstallation from factory media to resolve. First, though, MAKE SURE THAT BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY FURTHER REPAIR THAT YOU BACKUP ANY AND ALL PERSONAL DATA THAT'S ON THAT COMPUTER TO EXTERNAL MEDIA BEFORE PROCEEDING FURTHER!!!

After you've completed a current backup of your data on that computer, I suggest your use bootable W10 media such as DVD or USB stick to perform a Windows reset, or use factory media or factory built-in recovery partition to perform a Windows reinstallation. Generally, modern computers no longer provide discs or USB media with the computer, so if it's a store bought computer or OEM computer (Dell, HP, Acer, Gateway, etc.) you'll have to run a utility such as MEDIA RECOVERY to make DVD discs or USB stick that will restore your computer to it's original Out-Of-Box (OOB) condition you received it in when you first opened the sealed box the computer came in from the factory. If you need help doing this, please post back your Make/Model of computer and we can provide more specific directions for your make/model computer. When reinstalling your Windows from these factory discs or usb media, be aware that it will ERASE ALL DATA from your computer; hence the giant warning in RED above about having a current backup made on external media.

Next, once you've restored your Windows to it's factory state, do NOT install or add any kind of encryption or file compression either built in to W10 or from any 3rd party program you or your friend installed previously. Once this computer is working on the Internet again, you can then use File Explorer to create a "workfolders" folder on your computer's hard drive. If your Recovery Media has you create a new login account, you can create a Microsoft account login if you didn't have it before, or if you did, you will need to recreate it on this computer again. If you follow the OneDrive setup from W10, it will ask you if you wish to sync existing or new folders to your OneDrive account. You might wish to say NO to this, until you can test that you have access to this folder from your computer, and can copy/move/delete files into that folder using File Explorer. If you can, then you can go into OneDrive setup and add that new folder to your sync list and all should be well!:up:

A caution here; if you or your friend have any other W10 computers on that same home network where this computer lives, it would be a very good idea to disconnect all of them from your home network while you are configuring this original computer with the syncing problem. This is especially important if any of those other W10 computers are using either encryption or compression on their hard drives also. Windows will try sync with them, and most likely will still give you the error you got initially. Once you get the W10 computer working again with the newly created folder, you don't want it to connect to any other computer on that network that is using encryption or compression or both.

If you get the reinstalled W10 computer working, you can reconnect each of the other W10 computers you have on your home network one at a time to see if you still get the error message. If you do, then, you are probably looking at having to do clean installs of W10 on each of those other W10 computers as well, one at a time until all other W10 computers with encryption or compression turned on are rebuilt with new W10 installs.

This last part about testing multiple other W10 computers may not apply to you, but since you or your friend chose to use encryption or compression without fully understanding it, it's possible that you may have repeated that scenario on multiple computers. In a home network situation where all these computers are connected in a LAN (Local Area Network), this can be disastrous as you are syncing these computers both on a home network and to/from computers on the Internet. This may not apply to you or your friend and you only need to fix the one computer. I mention as if you or your friend are using encryption/compression without understanding it, that problem could be repeated on multiple machines which would be a monumental task to fix as discussed above.

Let us know how it goes,


Well-Known Member
Work folders is a system feature, it is a windows system feature no one has added it.

no file encryption or file compression is on the pc.

Your suggestion is basically do a fresh install of windows 10 in plain yes?


Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
Sorry to tell you there is now such windows system feature in Windows10 or any other earlier version of Windows. Someone DID add it whether it was you or your friend. Perhaps you are confused about this. If this is a Windows system feature, please post back the exact path to the executable for this program and where it physically resides in on your hard drive. For example, C:\Windows\System32\winver.exe.

If you look at the Error message image you yourself posted in Post #1, the title of the error message is:

Further down in the same Error message from your Post #1, you got:
"...Then launch explorer and go to the folder storing Work Folders (for example, C:\Users\Dina\Workfolder), tap or click Properties, then Advanced, and then clear the Compress contents to save disk space checkbox if it's selected."

The error message title specifically mentions a failure to encrypt files which suggests they have been encrypted. The same holds true with the 2nd message that mentions clearing the Compression feature if it's selected; again suggesting that the Workfolder folder has had compression set on it. Otherwise you wouldn't get either of these messages. These syncing messages do not come up on a normal W10 working system. I have 5 of them here, and none of them present this error message you have.

It sounds like you are very sure that neither of these options were set. Let's assume for a moment that this is the case and neither you nor your friend set these 2 options. That means to me it's quite likely you have a virus on that computer. Have you scanned for viruses with the built-in antivirus program, Windows Defender; or another antivirus program? If no viruses are found, then Yes, I would suggest that a W10 Clean Install would be the next thing to try. That would be the usual procedure; discount a virus infection, then eliminate Windows corruption of system files by repair or reset.

let us know how it goes.


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

I've never tried to do this so I can't be much help but maybe you can find something in here that will give you some information...

I guess this is kind of a Windows way of doing what Drop Box does, (the way that I share files on my devices) at least that's the way it sounds to me, as I said I don't have any experience with it.

Work folders in Windows 10 - Windows Help

You might want to do the Stop Using Work Folders thing, in the first link and start over.
I'm not sure if encryption is required, if not you may be able to solve you problem by choosing not to use it.



Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
@Mike: Thanks for posting this video!:teeth: I hadn't heard of it before, but then it's only an available feature on a Corporate IT Domain network, and I'm long since out of that game. I'll take it from here and explain that to the OP below. Thanks for the assist. <<<BBJ>>>

Luke: Sorry about that, but you didn't mention you were trying to setup a feature on a Corporate IT network. From Mike's video in Post #5 above, that explains why it wouldn't work if you tried to setup on a home W10 computer. This feature requires that you have a Server in a Corporate network managed by their IT department which hosts the Work Folder storage. This also requires something called a Domain network login, also provided by the Microsoft server software. This login allows special access to resources on a Corporate network such as shared folders, Intranet, and Extranet. If you don't know what these features are you can google them or look them up at

If your intention was to use the Work Folders for multi-device Cloud storage access on a home computer running W10, such as the Dropbox or OneDrive Cloud storage apps, then clearly this won't work for you or your friend. I suggest either of these free home user Cloud storage apps. I happen to use both of them. I will also mention that in Mike's video, the default storage for the new W10 Work Folders is 25GB. My free Dropbox account only gives me 5GB storage. I think the free OneDrive account you get with W10 gives 10GB storage. However, if you or your friend happens to have a new Microsoft Office365 annual subscription, Microsoft now provides you with 1TB or 1,000GB of Cloud storage for your account, which is quite substantial. I have this now with my Office365 subscription and have begun using it this year. You might consider any one of these 3 options instead of the Work Folders option. They all work quite well.

Unless your friend is trying to connect to a Corporate IT domain network from home to share files through the Work Folders, and if he/she is then they will need to contact their IT administrator for use of Domain login to complete the Work Folders setup. And, today, most IT departments in businesses that use a corporate domain network and allow home users to access it tend to use something called a VPN or Virtual Private Network to create a very secure encrypted connection between the home user's PC and the corporate network servers. If your friend's IT department does use VPN for home user access, you'll also need to have them ask the IT administrator for a disc or an install link in order to install a small piece of software on their computer at home called a VPN Client in order to make this private connection work. If you and your friend know nothing about a Domain login or VPN client login to their corporate network, that would explain why the error message you are getting shows the Sync failure on encryption and compression. Encryption keeps outsiders who don't work for that company from breaking in and stealing their proprietary information, and the compression is usually used to keep the files being transferred from Company to Home and Home to Company as small as possible to preserve bandwidth on the connection into the Company network.

Hope that explains it better for you. :wink:



Well-Known Member

We have work folders working on all other windows 10 home laptops which are all joined to the corporate IT network and they work completely fine.

We have about 30 working.

Mike is right in recognising that it does not need to be encrypted however we have diagnosed that the problem may be because the WinRE environment has become corrupt. Due to the WinRE becoming corrupt the work folders cannot encrypt the directory of the path for the work folders meaning it will not sync.

We are going to attempt a repair of this. Will let you know the outcome.


Well-Known Member
Restore of WinRE did not work. Will have to perform clean install of windows 10.


Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
Aaaahh, then my suspicion was right that you were using it on a Domain-based business network login, not a stand-alone home computer environment. Thanks for the additional information on what you're doing here. I might ask, is this particular W10 laptop the same make/model as the other 30 laptops you have working with the Work Folders feature? I mean are all the other 30 laptops say all Dell Inspiron 15-3000's for instance? Or do you have a mix of models? For example, 10 Dell Inspiron 15-3000's, 10 Dell Inspiron 15-5000's, and 10 Dell Inspiron 15-7000's? Or a mix of brands; such as 15 HP dv7-7000t's; and 15 Acer Aspire E5-531-P4SQ's?

I am basically asking whether this laptop (the 31st laptop?) hardware configuration you've had the problems with is the same as any of the other 30 laptops that you have successfully got working with your corporate domain logins with? And the reason for that is, that you could use a good Image Cloning software such as Macrium Reflect to simply Clone one of the bootdrives that's on the same exact laptop make//model that does work already, and simply attach the hard drive from the current problem laptop by removing it and connect it to one of the working laptops with a SATA-USB adapter for under $20 such as here: Vantec 2.5" / 3.5" / 5.25" SATA / IDE to USB 2.0 Adapter - Model CB-ISATAU2 -
User Macrium to Clone the working laptop's hard drive, connect the laptop hard drive for the problem laptop to one of your working laptops with the SATA-USB adapter I listed, install the Macrium on the W10 of the working laptop, Clone the Image to the problem laptop's bootdrive, reinsert the Cloned hard drive back into the problem laptop and reboot; and voila, everything should work the same as the working laptop including the Work Folders option. Hopefully! :pray:

Bear in mind that this solution would only work if the Motherboard in the working laptop (source laptop) is IDENTICAL to the Motherboard in the problem laptop (target laptop).

The advantage you have with my solution is that if you reinstall your W10 (a Clean Install) as you propose on the problem laptop, you then have to reinstall ALL your programs and reintegrate your data from a network drive or external drive or Cloud Storage account, and that could take days or weeks depending on how many apps you have on your Corporate laptop load. My solution can do all of that in about 4-6 hrs. if you know what you're doing.:up: You might have to wait a week to get the SATA-USB adapter shipped to you if you are not near a large city. But, if you are you can find one of these adapters at a big chain computer store such as Best Buy, Fry's, or MicroCenter, and pick it up immediately.

Let us know how it goes. We'll all be interested on whether it turns out ok for you.;)


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