The server drafts location you entered for offline editing is not valid (updated)

At some point in your struggle with Office 365 off-line applications (Word 365, Excel 365, PowerPoint 365 etc.), when trying to save any changes to Options dialog, you may run into following error:

The server drafts location you entered for offline editing is not valid or you do not have permission to access that location. Specify a location on your local computer.

In short, this has nothing to do with Office and most likely, you (or someone / something else) deleted your c:\Users\[username]\Documents folder. Closing Office 365, re-creating this folder should fix this problem.

Update (Feb 28, 2021)

An update as per RandomStranger’s comment below:

I was doing some research, and its work, maybe this will help some of you. Try this :

1. Press the Win+R to bring up Run, type in regedit and press Enter

2. In the Registry Editor, navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Common\Offline\Options

3. Right-click on the right side and select New > String Value

4. Name it Location, double-click it to start editing it and in the Value data field put C:\Users\admin\Documents\SharePoint Drafts value

5. Click OK to Confirm

Then close and re-open Word/PowerPoint/Excel and check the issue again.

Thank you!

Original post (Sep 4, 2020)

The problem is not directly in removed folder, but in a stupid Microsoft 365’s bug that causes the Server drafts location field to be read-only. So, on contrary to what is written in an official documentation, you cannot simply specify a new valid location in this field.

If you delete your c:\Users\[username]\Documents folder then in the same time you will also remove the c:\Users\admin\Documents\SharePoint Drafts folder. Any Office 365 component will be looking for this folder and rising above mentioned error due to not finding it.

Since bug introduced by Office 365 developers, you won’t be able to fix this in Office and effectively — you won’t be able to click OK to confirm any change in any section of options for the selected Office 365 component. The only component that is not affected is Excel 365. In that program, after clicking OK to above depicted error, Options dialog is closed and introduced configuration changes are (probably) saved.

To fix this:

  1. Close all copies of all Office 365 applications.
  2. Open your user folder (i.e. c:\Users\[username]).
  3. Create Documents folder inside.
  4. Start any Office 365 application, go to Options and click OK.

to verify that problem has been resolved.

You should also see that the Server drafts location field is no longer empty (as previous), but contains path to c:\Users\admin\Documents\SharePoint Drafts folder instead.

5 comments on “The server drafts location you entered for offline editing is not valid (updated)

  1. RandomStranger

    This do not fix my problem.

    I was doing some research, and its work, maybe this will help some of you

    Try this :

    Press the Windows key + R to bring up RUN, type in regedit and press ENTER.

    In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following location:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Common\Offline\Options

    After you have selected the “Options” folder on the left, right-click on the right side and select NEW > STRING VALUE.

    Name it as Location – then double-click on it. In the Value data field, C:\Users\admin\Documents\SharePoint Drafts

    Click OK – then close and re-open Word/PowerPoint/Excel and check the issue again.

  2. AQuinn

    Just tried it and the location does show in my PowerPoint Options > Save > Server Drafts Location field. However, I’m still getting the error :( I’m trying to add the Quick Access Toolbar below the ribbon and for some reason when I select that it’s triggering this error… Any ideas?

    1. admin

      It is not about if you have the location, but rather which location you have there. Which folder does it point to? Is the location specified in this field accessible by your Word / Excel / PowerPoint? Maybe it not exists or maybe you need an Administrator (or other) rights to access it.

      It is a common pitfall that many programs tries to write their configuration to Program Files or other “protected” folder and you have to either always run such program as an administrator or change the location, where it saves config (if possible). Check, if this isn’t your issue here. Check, if specified folder is valid and accessible by all users.

      If this won’t help you, check if an updated solution (based on RandomStranger’s comment above) works for you. If not, then I am out of ideas, sorry.

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