How do I add a SharePoint document library to Favorites in my Windows Explorer?

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SharePoint can connect a site to your PC in a way that makes it easy to navigate without going to your web browser. It's not a complicate process to set up, and can be advantageous in some scenarios.

CAUTION: I do not advocate this as the primary way of interacting with SharePoint Online. Some of the features will not be available when using this method, and it may lead to unexpected situations. The primary use case for this method, in my opinion, should be to add new files to document libraries.

Here's what the end result looks like:

NOTE: the difference between SharePoint Sites and SharePoint (the entry one down from SharePoint sites in the above image) is that SharePoint sites is pointing to the live, online SharePoint location, whereas SharePoint is pointing to the locally stored, synchronized copies of SharePoint document libraries that you added via OneDrive for Business 2013 sync tool.

So here are the steps for adding document libraries in this fashion:

  1. Sign in to your SharePoint site using Internet Explorer
  2. Navigate to the document library
  3. Click on the Library tab
  4. In the Connect & Export group, click on Connect to Office
  5. Click on Add to SharePoint Sites
  6. You may get this message:
  7. Select Yes to continue.
  8. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to your user profile (usually C:\Users\[username]). It may take 1-5 minutes for SharePoint Sites to appear, so if you don't see it right away, go make yourself some tea or coffee, and come back.
  9. Once you see it in your user profile directory, simply drag it to your Favorites area in Windows Explorer, and that's it!

Troubleshooting

If you get errors trying to open the site after adding it to the SharePoint sites location, make sure that:

  1. *.sharepoint.com is in your Trusted Zone in Internet Explorer. Go to Internet Options > Security tab, and add *.sharepoint.com and *.live.com to the Trusted Zone site list.
  2. You've chosen to stay signed in when you logged in to your Office 365 tenant. If you haven't, sign out, then sign back in and check the "Keep me signed in" checkbox.
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