Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Disconnected from the Network

The login screen and entering your Username and Password are the same at all times whether you are connected to the Warwick network or not.

Once you have entered your Username and Password you will see the desktop as normal, the following message will pop-up in the bottom right hand corner of your screen. This is because with no connection to the network your computer is isolated from certain services such as networked storage.

some services are not available message

This does not mean that nothing will work. What it means is that NOT everything will work as it would if a network connection was present.


Built in software, such as the Office applications will be still be available. Software delivered by IDG that you have already installed from the Software Center should be available - unless it requires a connection to the network to work, such as connection to a license server.


Printing will not be available to networked printers.

File storage:

With no connection to the network, H: drives and shared folders are not available. However, some folders and files from H: can be accessed. This is because, with Windows 10, a feature called "offline files" has been enabled. The folders that you can access are: Desktop, Favorites and Documents. With this feature Windows automatically creates an encrypted copy of each file in these folders on your computer. These copies are called offline files. You can work with these files even when you're not connected to the network, and the next time you connect your laptop to a network socket on campus, Windows will automatically synchronise your offline files with the original files on the network.

Important Note: If you are using your laptop off-campus and have not connected using the VPN we strongly advise you to take a backup of your data. Any work that you have saved to your laptop is stored locally and may be lost if the laptop has a catastrophic hardware failure or is lost or stolen. It is important that you do this whenever you work on a document without a network connection. You could save to your OneDrive for business account. You should not rely solely on ‘offline file synchronisation’ because the data is at risk until you successfully synchronise. If there is no backup, and synchronisation fails, IDG will be unable to recover any files that are lost.

You can access these folders (Desktop, Favorites and Documents) in the normal way.

offline files that are synchronised

Working with offline files

Working with offline files is easy....... providing a simple process is followed.

Windows synchronises changes with offline files on your computer the next time you connect to the network* from that computer. As a result when you work on one of these files off-line you should connect to the network* to synchronise that file before you make any changes to the same file from a different computer connected to the network* (laptop or desktop).


What if I forget and work on a file off-line without synchronising.... and then change the file from a second machine?

If you have changed the file on a second computer after changing it on a laptop that is disconnected from the network, a synchronisation conflict will occur when you connect the laptop to the network*, and Windows will ask you which version of the file you want to keep.

*via a network socket on campus.

Please note that no other folders or files are available from your H: or shared drives.

Please also note that while you are Working off-campus your laptop computer will not be checking it's Windows activation and will not be receiving any changes pushed out by IDG. You should therefore connect on the VPN fairly regularly (preferably once a week at minimum) to get them or bring your laptop onto campus to run the updates.