How to Use Microsoft SkyDrive

Dennis Faas's picture

We recently received this question from an Infopackets reader:

"Hi there,

I'm interested in giving cloud storage a try, but I'm not sure which service to use. Can you help me out?


Roger T."

My response:

Hi Roger -- certainly there are a number of different cloud storage services worth trying. I've given both DropBox and Microsoft SkyDrive a try and, personally, I prefer the latter. In this guide, I'll show you how to get started using that service.

If you've recently upgraded to Windows 8 or have purchased a Windows 8 computer (including Windows RT, Windows 8 standard, or Windows 8 Pro), you'll find a Windows 8-style version of SkyDrive already installed on your PC.

However, if you're running Windows 7 or another Windows operating system, you'll need to open your browser and type 'Microsoft SkyDrive' into your favorite search engine. Upon reaching the SkyDrive site, simply click the 'Get SkyDrive' button to download the application.

SkyDrive is available for both Windows and Macintosh computers.

Configuring Your Microsoft SkyDrive Account

Once the file is downloaded, double-click the file to complete the installation. Once SkyDrive is installed, launch the program.

The next thing you'll need to do is sign up for a Microsoft account. If you haven't done that before, don't worry -- it's as simple as signing up for any other web-based service.

Once your Microsoft account is established, your version of SkyDrive will be synced with Microsoft's own servers -- so long as an Internet connection is available.

To back up important files and folders, simply open Windows Explorer. SkyDrive should appear on the left side of the window; clicking on the SkyDrive tab will open up a new window where you can create folders to back up information stored on your hard drive.

Next, go ahead and select the files you want to back up. Syncing them to SkyDrive is as simple as dragging them from their original locations on your hard drive and dropping them in a folder under the SkyDrive tab.

Sharing Files Using SkyDrive

One of the best parts about using SkyDrive is being able to share files and folders with friends, family, and colleagues.

To do this, open an Internet browser and log in to your Microsoft SkyDrive account. Here, you'll be presented with a Windows 8-style interface (even if you're running an older version of Windows).

From this screen you can create a new folder. Once that's done, right-click on that folder to open up a drag-down menu. Next, select 'Sharing.' You'll then be taken to a screen where you can email an invitation to the friend with whom you want to share files.

From there, they can download files, make adjustments, and then upload them back into the same folder for you to see.

Microsoft gives SkyDrive users 7GB of free storage to start. To increase that storage capacity, Microsoft offers several options (all based on an annual subscription), including 20GB for $10, 50GB for $25, and 100GB for $50.

If you want to use SkyDrive on a mobile device -- such as a tablet or smartphone -- then you can also download the SkyDrive mobile app. It's currently available in the iTunes store, Google Play Store, and Windows Phone Marketplace.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet