Published June 11, 2021

Microsoft Lists: Sync your lists for improved performance and offline access

Reference ID: MC261538 | Effective: July 1, 2021

MC261538 – Your lists now automatically sync to your Windows device, improving performance when you work with your lists and allowing you to continue your work even when you’re offline or lose your internet connection.

  • Lists sync is powered by a new general-purpose sync engine that gets packaged, installed, and updated through the OneDrive sync app’s existing update mechanism.
  • The data is stored in a local database and requests are handled through a secure localhost HTTP server. Lists sync runs as a separate background process (Microsoft Nucleus.exe).

Lists sync is currently only supported on Windows devices (Windows 10 or later) running the OneDrive sync app.

Key points:

  • Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 68809
  • Timing: Microsoft will roll this out beginning in early July and will be complete by early August. Additionally, Microsoft will update this post with specific how-to documentation once available.
  • Rollout: tenant level
  • Control type: user and admin control
  • Action: review and assess

How this will affect your organization:

After the Microsoft Nucleus.exe is installed and running, the sync process begins when a user first navigates to any list or to the Lists web app. All eligible lists that are visible from the Lists app will be synced.

Common operations on lists, such as changing list views, sorting, filtering, and grouping happen locally and finish quickly even on very large lists. All of these operations continue to work offline. Edits sync between your device and the cloud and you can resolve merge conflicts if there are any.

This feature is on by-default for all eligible lists.

To configure Lists sync on users’ devices, use below Group Policy objects (GPOs):

  • DisableNucleusSync: Prevent Lists sync from running on the device (default: not enabled).
  • BlockExternalListSync: Prevent users from syncing lists shared from other organization (default: not enabled).
  • DisableNucleusSilentConfig: Prevent users from getting silently signed in to Lists sync with their Windows credentials (default: not enabled).
  • Control Access from unmanaged devices: Blocks or limits access to SharePoint and OneDrive content from unmanaged devices (default: not configured).
  • Control access to SharePoint and OneDrive data based on network location: Controls access to SharePoint and OneDrive resources in Microsoft 365 based on defined network locations that you trust (default: not configured).

What you need to do to prepare:

You might want to notify your users about this new capability and update your training and documentation as appropriate.

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