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sync to skydrive

Microsoft’s new SkyDrive is a great entry in the cloud storage wars The Cloud Storage Showdown - Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive & More The Cloud Storage Showdown - Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive & More The cloud storage scene has heated up recently, with a long-awaited entry by Google and a revamped SkyDrive from Microsoft. Dropbox has gone unchallenged by the major players for a long time, but that’s changed... Read More — it competes toe-to-toe with Dropbox, Google Drive, and the rest. However, it has some limitations – like many cloud storage services, SkyDrive doesn’t allow you to synchronize any folder on your computer, only folders inside a special SkyDrive folder. It also doesn’t run on Windows XP, leaving a lot of users out in the cold. We’ll show you how to overcome these limitations and use SkyDrive the way you want to.

The tricks here aren’t officially supported, so they may stop working in the future. However, we tested them ourselves and they work well today.

Sync Any Folder to SkyDrive

Perhaps the easiest way to synchronize any folder with SkyDrive is with the third-party SkyShellEx utility. It adds a special right-click option to folders that allows you to quickly synchronize that folder with SkyDrive. Download the x64 version if you’re using a 64-bit version of Windows or the x86 version if you’re using a 32-bit version of Windows. (See our post here How to Choose Between 32-bit & 64-bit Windows Operating Systems How to Choose Between 32-bit & 64-bit Windows Operating Systems When you install Windows, you can pick between the 32-bit and 64-bit version of the operating system. We help you choose the version that is right for you. Read More for instructions on determining which version of Windows you’re using.)

After installing SkyShellEx, right-click any folder and select Sync to SkyDrive. A special link to that folder will appear in your SkyDrive folder and SkyDrive will begin to sync it. To stop syncing the folder, right-click the special link folder inside your SkyDrive folder and click Stop Sync to SkyDrive.

sync to skydrive

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You don’t need a third-party utility, though. You can do the dirty work yourself with a single command from the Windows Command Prompt. The SkyShellEx utility creates a “directory junction” on the Windows NTFS file system How To Reformat Your FAT32 Drive To NTFS - And The Advantages Of Doing It How To Reformat Your FAT32 Drive To NTFS - And The Advantages Of Doing It You may not know it, but choosing the right filesystem for your drives is actually pretty important. Although the main idea of all filesystems is the same, there are many advantages and disadvantages over each... Read More – the junction points to a directory elsewhere on the system. From SkyDrive’s point of view, the directory itself appears in the SkyDrive directory, so SkyDrive syncs it normally.

For example, to sync the folder located at D:\Folder with SkyDrive, you’d run the following command in a Command Prompt window:

mklink /J  “C:\Users\USERNAME\SkyDrive\Folder” “D:\Folder”

Remember to replace USERNAME in the command above with your Windows username.

sync to skydrive windows

Set up directory junctions on all your computers and SkyDrive will sync files between those folders – for example, if you have some files in C:\YourDocuments, it will keep the files in sync between the C:\YourDocuments directories on each of your computers. If you don’t set up directory junctions on each computer, you’ll still find your files available in the SkyDrive folder – a good backup solution What Is The Best Backup Solution? [Geeks Weigh In] What Is The Best Backup Solution? [Geeks Weigh In] Ten years ago an external hard drive – or even a physical disc such as a CD-ROM – was the only practical way to back up files. Consumer-grade network storage solutions were primitive, expensive and... Read More .

Use SkyDrive on Windows XP

Microsoft won’t allow you to install the official SkyDrive application on Windows XP, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use SkyDrive anyway. We recommend using SDExplorer, a third-party program. The free version doesn’t have all the additional features offered in the paid version, known as SDExplorer Advanced, but it should still serve you fine. After you install SDExplorer, double-click its icon in the My Computer window – SDExplorer exposes your SkyDrive as an actual drive on your system.

sync to skydrive windows

After you double-click it, you’ll be prompted to log in with your Windows Live ID (soon to be known as a “Microsoft account”). After you do, you’ll see the contents of your SkyDrive in SDExplorer.

sync to skydrive

If you’d prefer an officially supported solution, you may want to try one of SkyDrive’s competitors – both Dropbox The Unofficial Guide To Dropbox The Unofficial Guide To Dropbox There's more to Dropbox than you might think: you can use it for file sharing, backing up your data, syncing files between computers and even remotely control your computer. Read More and Google Drive A Look At Google Drive, Google's Long-Awaited Cloud Storage Service A Look At Google Drive, Google's Long-Awaited Cloud Storage Service After more than 6 years of rumors and a long-ago cancellation because "files are so 1990", Google Drive is finally here. Coming with 5 GB of free storage space, a Dropbox-like desktop sync client, and... Read More work on Windows XP, as do many other cloud storage solutions. Microsoft is uniquely invested in pushing you to upgrade from Windows XP How to Upgrade From Windows XP to Windows 7 or 10 How to Upgrade From Windows XP to Windows 7 or 10 If you're still running Windows XP, it's high time to upgrade! Whether you want to move to Windows 10 or Windows 7, the process is mostly the same. We explain it step by step. Read More .

Do you know any other tips and tricks for SkyDrive? Leave a comment and share them!

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