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Not using the cloud is almost impossible these days. You can use the cloud for emails, document publishing and of course storing, backing up and sharing files as well.

We have reviewed quite a few online storage services in the past. Microsoft’s offering Skydrive Get 5 GB of free Storage with Windows SkyDrive Get 5 GB of free Storage with Windows SkyDrive Read More is right up there with others when it comes to storage space, offering a staggering 25 GB of online space. In addition we also showed you how you can edit your Office documents stored in Windows Live Skydrive with Office Webapps How To Get an Early Preview of Microsoft Office Web Apps How To Get an Early Preview of Microsoft Office Web Apps Read More .

One of the most annoying aspects of nearly all online storage solutions is that you have to use a web browser to upload and manage files. Some of them offer Java applets to upload but there are a number of other operations that you may want to perform on the files you have in your account. Doing them in a web browser is generally not the best way to do such things. It would be nicer if you could integrate Skydrive into the Windows shell. Wouldn’t it?


Skydrive Explorer is one such application that lets you do just that. With Skydrive Explorer installed you can easily access your Skydrive account just like any other drive from inside My Computer. A meagre 1.23 MB download, Skydrive Explorer installs in a jiffy. Once installed you will see a Skydrive Explorer System folder listed inside My Computer.

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Double click on it and you will be prompted to log into your Skydrive account. You can then view the contents of your Skydrive account just like any other folder without having to use the web browser.

You should note that folders may take some time to load since Skydrive Explorer needs to send a request and then process it before it can display the relevant information to you. You should therefore avoid working directly with files stored in your Skydrive folders. The right way would be create a local copy, edit it and then copy it back to Skydrive. That said, the performance is acceptable and a large part of it would be attributed to your connection speed.

Skydrive Explorer lets you perform almost all the file/folder management tasks that you can need:

  • You can create, delete, rename multiple folders in a single go.

  • Copy files to Skydrive folders from your hard drive which would then be uploaded to your Skydrive account or copy the contents to your hard drive from the account.

  • You can also right click on any folder and then copy its URL to the clipboard. Visiting the URL in any web browser would take you to your Skydrive account, right to where the file is located. You can easily use this functionality to share files with others by adding them to the “Public” folder.
  • Create shortcuts to a Skydrive folder on your desktop for quick access

With a little effort you can easily use Skydrive to backup your important files. You can use software like the previously mentioned Directorysync pro Easily Sync Your Folders Without Dropbox Easily Sync Your Folders Without Dropbox Read More or Freefilesync to keep two folder synchronized with each other. Let’s say you synchronize the Documents folder on your Skydrive account with the Documents folder for your user account in Windows. Now changes to any file or folder will be automatically communicated to your Skydrive account – just keep in mind the 50MB file limit!

You can also have a look at previously mentioned Gladinet Map Online Service As a Network Drive with Gladinet (Windows) Map Online Service As a Network Drive with Gladinet (Windows) Read More and see which one would you like to use in case you are looking for a way to access your Skydrive. Which is your favorite online storage service and how do you access it?

  1. Herpey
    January 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Hello, it seems that neither Directorysync pro nor Freefilesync is able to sync with Skydrive explorer folders. As it is not a regular drive, it does not appear in the directory picker :-( (on XP)

  2. vanessa
    November 23, 2009 at 10:02 am

    i tried transferring a 100 mb file and as soon as 4 seconds are left for transferring, it didnt work.. boo

    • Gonzalo Novoa
      November 23, 2009 at 10:11 am

      Maybe you want to re-read the article and the skydrive page in the part that says that the maximum file size is 50mb ;)

  3. Gonzalo Novoa
    November 13, 2009 at 8:27 am

    What's the main difference from this and Live Mesh? I haven't tried Skydrive yet, so I'm curious as a current Live Mesh user... :)

  4. mchlbk
    November 12, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Great article.

    Any idea how to set up something similar to this in linux? It would be cool to be able to acces and sync SkyDrive from both Windows and Linux machines.

    Michael

  5. James
    November 12, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Does this work for Windows 7 yet? When I installed it before it would keep crashing and restarting Explorer when I tried to access a folder in the drive.

    • Varun Kashyap
      November 12, 2009 at 12:03 pm

      Yes, I am using it on Windows 7. Was the login successful? Check connectivity as well

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