Chapter 11: SkyDrive cloud storage

Microsoft has its own cloud-based storage solution called SkyDrive. It has its own tile on the Windows Start interface and it can be used to share data across multiple computers through the Internet. You'll be able to access SkyDrive if you have a Microsoft account, and it's important to note that it has a finite amount of space available. You can store up to 7GB worth of files using the default, free SkyDrive service, but if you want more space then you will have to purchase it.

The new-style SkyDrive app.
The new-style SkyDrive app.

Once you've opened the SkyDrive app, storing data on SkyDrive is as simple as right-clicking anywhere in the white space (or swiping up from the bottom if you're using a touchscreen) and clicking or tapping the 'Add' button. You can then browse to your desired folder and select all the files that you want to upload. If you want to see more details for the files that you are planning to upload, you can hover over the files with your mouse (or press and hold with your finger), which will bring up more details and a slightly larger thumbnail of the files. This is handy when browsing through photos.

Once you've selected all the files that you want to upload, simply click or tap on 'Add to SkyDrive'. You can click or tap on the indicator at the top-right of the app to check on the progress of the uploads. There are three folders already within SkyDrive that you can use to sort your uploaded files: Documents, Pictures and Shared. If you want to use these folders, then it's best to go into them first and then start the upload process from there. You could also manage files through SkyDrive's Web interface, rather than the app.

The good thing about SkyDrive is that you can easily share files with friends via email or social networks from within the SkyDrive app. You have to first set up your email account in the Mail app, and you also have to make sure that you have associated your Microsoft account with your social networking accounts.

You can use SkyDrive in a Desktop setting, too, for times when you don't want to use the new-style app. Simply download SkyDrive for Windows, for which there is a link present in the PCs section of your SkyDrive's Web interface, and you can then easily drag and drop files to the newly created SkyDrive folder, which will synchronise and allow you to easily share files across multiple computers and devices.

Using SkyDrive from the Desktop.
Using SkyDrive from the Desktop.

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Previous chapter: Backing up and restoring a Windows 8 computer

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