How To Use Microsoft SkyDrive: Storing Files On The Cloud

How To Use Microsoft Skydrive CloudWith the launch of the preview SkyDrive apps, here’s how to use the service.

Cloud storage really isn’t that intimidating, but here’s the stuff that might have been missed in SkyDrive

Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage service is really, really great and very well rounded. The service offer 7GB of free storage straight away – and 25GB for users who have been using the service up to April 22 – and brings over the drag-and-drop interface that Dropbox popularized. Not to mention the service integrates Microsoft’s key products such as Word and PowerPoint, which is great for anyone using a Windows PC.

Though while it’s simple enough to drag files into a folder, there’s a lot more to SkyDrive. Here’s how to use the service to its full potential. This also means that if anything goes wrong with your PC, will have all of your uploaded files.

The first thing to think about is what to upload: there’s a 2GB file limit for uploads, and a maximum total storage limit of 125GB even if the paid tiers are considered. So while uploading the most important content is important, an external hard drive is also a solid addition.

Anyway, whatever is moved, copy and pasting files is the way to move them. Alternatively, if a file is being moved away completely from the desktop then just drag it over to SkyDrive. That’s risky though, because a SkyDrive downtime would mean the files were inaccessible.

Experiment with folder locations

The easiest way around this is to create two folders: one for desktop-only files, and one for SkyDrive-only files. A double layer of storage is also possible by storing SkyDrive files on an external HDD, or you could have desktop and SkyDrive files in the cloud. Get experimenting and see what works, and what feels most comfortable.

When SkyDrive starts, it asks for a folder destination. Choosing a custom SkyDrive folder means they can be re-downloaded if files were to be lost, but it wouldn’t be the whole a PC’s media. The most important content can go on a HDD while storing files on the desktop.

Personally speaking, don’t rely on cloud storage for essential content. The Xbox Live cloud saves haven’t worked flawlessly, so err on the side of caution.


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Jonathan is a writer on the technology and video game industries. He is comfortable with using Mac OS X and Windows; he began using Windows with Windows XP during his early double-digit years, and started using OS X in 2009 on a MacBook Pro. He began gaming on the SNES back in the 90s.

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