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Getting started with SkyDrive and Windows Phone 8

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | April 3, 2013
While Apple users have iCloud, and Android fans have Google Drive, Windows Phone devotees have SkyDrive. SkyDrive is Microsoft's free online cloud storage service and every Windows Live account automatically receives 7GB of free storage space, which can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection--including, naturally, Windows Phone 8 handsets.

While Apple users have iCloud, and Android fans have Google Drive, Windows Phone devotees have SkyDrive. SkyDrive is Microsoft's free online cloud storage service and every Windows Live account automatically receives 7GB of free storage space, which can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection--including, naturally, Windows Phone 8 handsets.

There are a couple of different ways to use SkyDrive with your Windows Phone 8 device. Windows Phone 8 has some basic SkyDrive integration built in so you can save and backup files to SkyDrive, even if you don't want to download the SkyDrive app from the Windows Phone Store.

SkyDrive is integrated into Windows Phone 8 mainly in the Photos, Office, or OneNote apps. For example, when looking at a picture in the Photos app, you can save that picture to your SkyDrive by tapping the More button (three ellipsis in the lower right corner) and then 'save to SkyDrive.' You can also set up your Photos app to automatically save photos and videos to SkyDrive, by going to Photos > More (...) > Settings > SkyDrive and turning automatic upload "on."

Likewise, when you save a document or spreadsheet in the Office app, you can choose to save it to SkyDrive by tapping the 'save as' button and choosing "SkyDrive." You can access these SkyDrive documents (even if you don't have the SkyDrive app) by going to the Places screen in Office and choosing SkyDrive. The OneNote app automatically syncs with your SkyDrive account, saving a copy of any notebooks and notes that you've made on your phone to the cloud. To manually sync your OneNote notebooks, open the OneNote app, tap the More ellipsis button, and tap 'sync.'

Your SkyDrive account is also available in other apps--especially apps that access photos. For example, if you want to choose an avatar picture for Skype, you'll be able to choose photos from both your phone and your SkyDrive account. Also, if you want to choose a lock screen photo, you can select from photos in your SkyDrive folders.

You don't need to download the SkyDrive app to be able to use SkyDrive as a resource on your Windows Phone 8 device. However, if you want to be able to manage your SkyDrive files and folders--for example, if you want to be able to move, rename, and delete SkyDrive files--you will need to download the app (or access your account through the web service). Once you have downloaded the free SkyDrive app from the Windows Phone Store, open it by tapping on it in your app menu. You will be prompted to sign into your Windows Live account (even if you've already signed in on your phone).

 

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