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Windows 8 deep-dive: Get to know your SkyDrive app

Alex Wawro | Nov. 14, 2012
Most cloud storage services already offer apps for accessing their servers from every major platform, but Microsoft is taking the model one step further by weaving its cloud storage service directly into Windows 8—if not every major component of the new Windows universe, including Windows Phone 8 and the new Office Web app.

Also, don't forget that everything you store on SkyDrive is subject to the Code of Conduct for Microsoft services, and that you can have your Microsoft account suspended for uploading anything that Microsoft believes to be in breach of that code. Microsoft frowns upon (among other things) material that depicts full or partial nudity, vulgarity, and gratuitous violence. Your SkyDrive account will be monitored for potential violations, and if Microsoft chooses to suspend your account, you will lose access to everything tied to your Microsoft account. That includes (but is not limited to) your SkyDrive account, your Xbox Live account, and the Windows Store.

Key options and settings

No matter which device you use to access SkyDrive, youll see the same familiar lineup of blue rectangular tiles after you log in with your Microsoft account. The options and settings available to you depend on which version of SkyDrive you're accessing, but for the purposes of this article we're going to highlight how you use the Windows 8 app on a tablet, smartphone, or PC.

Using the Windows 8 SkyDrive app is pretty intuitive: Tapping a file will open it, and tapping a folder lets you dive right into it. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen (or simply right-clicking if you're rocking a traditional mouse and keyboard) on the main SkyDrive page brings up a bar with options to organize your SkyDrive by uploading new files, creating new folders, swapping between a tile-based or detailed view of your SkyDrive files, or selecting everything at once. To upload files to SkyDrive via the Windows 8 app, just swipe up from the bottom and tap Upload, then use the file browser that opens to find the file(s) you want to upload, tap them and hit the Add to SkyDrive button.

You can share your files and folders with other apps and the Internet at large by tapping the Share charm, and you can use the Search charm to search for files and folders within your SkyDrive. You won't find much of interest in the SkyDrive Settings menu, just a visual representation of how much available storage you're currently using and an option to upgrade your storage plan by tapping the Manage storage button.

SkyDrive tips and tricks

SkyDrive has a Recycle Bin that works just like the recycle bin on your Windows desktop, and files you send there dont count toward your SkyDrive storage limit, so you can use it as a temporary holding area for files if you accidentally go over your storage limit. Be careful when doing this, as Microsoft guarantees preservation of files in the Recycle Bin for only three days after you discard them. Files may remain in your SkyDrive recycle bin for up to 30 days, but Microsoft will erase them sooner if the recycle bin grows larger than 10 percent of your maximum SkyDrive space.


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