So what can I do with MS SkyDrive?

I have 20GB avail thanks to my Office365 subscription, but I haven’t a clue what to do with it. Can I use it for backups? If so, how do IO set that up? (Win7 Pro). Or is it mostly for storing photos/music/etc?


Hi, duffer.

I only use it for back ups, but in theory it can be for anything, just like a “real” drive. No doubt someone who knows more than I will be along to either reassure, or excoriate, me.


Basically, SkyDrive combines backup and remote access for your stuff. I keep all my documents in it, along with a bunch of pictures and a few portable apps. I also use the Skydrive app on my smartphone to automatically upload my phone pictures.

It has three major functions: it automatically backs up everything in your skydrive folder, it makes everything in your skydrive folder available to any other computer, and it sync up with the mobile app.

In my personal case, I use a desktop and a laptop on a regular basis. All of my documents are set up to save to Skydrive, so they’re available on either computer at any time, as long as it has internet access. Since they both use Skydrive as the default location, I can just click open or save without navigating around. Also, if I’m using a University computer with Office 365, it can also grab my documents out of Skydrive, as can my smartphone. In addition, my phone automatically uploads pictures to Skydrive when it’s on a WiFi connection.

So is there anything it can do that Dropbox can’t do? I have both, but haven’t had time to check out Skydrive completely, and I’m wondering if it’s worth it to have Skydrive in addition to Dropbox.

Skydrive seems a little more integrated into office. In the new office skydrive is pre set as a quick location to save and open documents from. But you could add your drop box folder and it would be about the same. It is probably more integrated with hotmail like google drive is more integrated with gmail. But basically sky drive works about as well as dropbox, Box, google drive and sugar sync. It will also soon be renamed to OneDrive because it lost a trademark court case in Europe recently.

Very similar to Dropbox, for the most part. I believe you get more storage free (7GB vs 5GB).

The advantages of SkyDrive / OneDrive mostly come in if you use any other newer MS products. Xbox 360/One, Office 2013, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8 all integrate very effortlessly with it.

It is useful for stuff you want to bring to attention of the NSA.

It enables online collaborative editing of Office documents, almost like Google Docs, but through Office web apps.

With Windows 8, it syncs your user profile across computers (along with the settings for some MS apps, like newer versions of Office).

On the other hand, I don’t believe it supports delta sync EXCEPT for Office 2013 files – if that is correct, it means that whenever you change a non-Office file, you have to upload the whole thing again instead of just the changed bits. Office docs sync changes in real time because Office has its own internal Skydrive API that manages those changes. Other apps aren’t so lucky.

I use it for backups, for image sharing, for maintaining ‘living’ documents that I want to be able to edit from anywhere, and for synchronising things like my password storage app.

Onenote is also quite awesome when connected to skydrive. I make a note on my PC and it’s there on my phone, and vice versa

And that’s different from the competing services like Dropbox, Gmail, iCloud exactly how?

Perhaps because Microsoft willingly colludes with the NSA, whereas those others may not.

Please note that I am not blaming Microsoft for this, they are a giant vulnerable company that has to please their political masters.

I don’t have anything governments are interested in, and I’m not that struck on the Cloud ( which is a bunch of fragile ironware located not in a magical wonderland, but on earth in strange places ); but if I needed back-up cloud, I’d pay for something like BackBlaze. OK it costs $50 a year for unlimited data, but sometimes the cost of free is losing control.