Integrate SkyDrive with Windows Explorer and fetch files remotely
The day after I wrote my article about Windows Live SkyDrive, in typical essence, Microsoft released an improved version of SkyDrive just yesterday! I must admit, the features are pretty cool and leave SkyDrive’s contenders well and truly behind. This article shows you how to integrate SkyDrive with Windows and fetch files remotely, using SkyDrive.
First of all, you can now download an application for Windows, your Windows Phone, Mac, iPhone or iPad, which lets you work with your SkyDrive and its files on any of these devices. With the Windows application, you can work with SkyDrive directly from the Windows Explorer, in other words, as if it was another folder on your computer. You can download this application here.
Integrate with Windows Explorer
From the Windows Explorer, you can now access your SkyDrive simply by choosing it from the locations menu. Your SkyDrive files appear and you can work with them exactly as you would with any other folder on your computer, such as moving, copying, renaming or deleting files.
You can also add files to your SkyDrive by copy / paste, or by dragging and dropping files, like you would with a USB stick. The files are uploaded to SkyDrive automatically.
What’s more, by double-clicking on any file, you can work and make changes to the file and the changes are saved immediately to SkyDrive. For instance, if I chose to open the file My budget, which is a spreadsheet, I can work on it using Microsoft Excel installed on my computer and once I press Save, my changes are automatically saved to SkyDrive. I don’t need to download files and then upload them again to save recent changes.
Fetch files remotely
This is all well and due if you’ve remembered to copy your files over to SkyDrive but what if you forget a file? You can fetch file remotely via SkyDrive! This is by far my favourite feature.
My desktop computer at home is always left switched on, since I use it to record TV shows, etc. When I’m out working, I take my laptop. Using SkyDrive, I can access my desktop computer’s files remotely, and more importantly, securely, and transfer a file across to SkyDrive to work with it. Whilst leaving a computer on when you’re not at home might not be practical for everyone, what if when you’re at work and you need a file, your partner, child or flatmate, could switch your computer on to allow you access it temporarily?
Once you choose your computer, click the tile you’d like to open, such as Documents, and you’ll be presented with a list of the files that are stored in that folder on your remote computer.
Select the file that you’d like to fetch and from the right-hand menu, click Copy to SkyDrive. The file is then transferred from your remote computer to your SkyDrive folder where you can work with it in the exact same way you work with your existing SkyDrive files!
How about that? And all these features are provided free by Windows Live SkyDrive! There’s no need to purchase remote desktop software and have to put up with all the complexities of setting it up just to reach your files.