Microsoft SkyDrive Finally Gets Its Desktop App

Until now, the main difference between the way that you use Dropbox and Microsoft; SkyDrive is that the latter is only available via a web site.  There's no officially supported way to mount your SkyDrive as a virtual drive in Windows 7, to which you can copy and save files.

As of today, that's changed.  Microsoft has finally released a Windows app that integrates your SkyDrive into the operating system.  So now you have a drive which you can use just like any other, but which is held in the cloud and automatically synced to your other computers too.  Safe, secure, and reliable.  Well, as much as any cloud-based service can be.

You can get the SkyDrive Windows app from  You'll need to sign up for a Windows Live ID if you don't already have one.  And be aware that Microsoft has cut the storage allowance for new accounts, so you only get 7 gig for free instead of 25.  But it's still more than the 2 GB which you get for free with Dropbox.



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by DeanHK (not verified) on 7. August 2012 - 5:55  (97326)

Under any normal circumstance I would think, "haha, silly XP users not upgrading to Windows 7 and complaining about a program not working on their dated OS". But I realized the SkyDrive app doesn't work on XP while at work on our shitty old slow XP machines.

On one hand I don't blame Microsoft for not supporting the dated old OS which they said they wont continue to support. But on the other hand there's so many cheap work places that still give us XP machines to work on. Another reason to go buy myself a Windows 8 slate when they come out, so stuff just works.

by moi (not verified) on 25. April 2012 - 15:37  (92601)

Has anyone had a problem with internet speed since loading the SkyDrive App?

After loading the app and going to Win7 Explorer I'm finding that my access speed is really slow. If I reboot and don't go to Explorer the speed is fine until I load Explorer. Even shutting Explorer doesn't help until a reboot.......

Any ideas other than remove SkyDrive??

by JTH (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 20:25  (92561)

Who holds the encryption keys for Sky Drive?

Is it HIPPA compliant?

I'm quite the Idiot with networking stuff. Dropbox takes this into consideration in designing their service. They got lots of things right from the start. I'm happy with their service but not security.

My Vista and Win 7 computers refuse to talk to each other. This makes their Snyc center useless to me.

I don't think I want to waste my time with Microsoft and their proprietary attitude ... even for free. That they would not make it work on XP is beyond belief but not surprising.

Spider Oak is HIPPA Compliant but not certified which is good enough for my needs. But Spider Oak brags that they are more difficult to use than Drop Box. There's that arrogance thing again. I need their security policy for my work but have to put up with a complex interface. I pay for 100GB of storage and backup. One day I will fully migrate my syncing needs from DropBox to Spider Oak ... If I can figure it out ...

by MidnightCowboy on 24. April 2012 - 18:50  (92558)

Now Google joins the fray with 5G for free:

by User of the world (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 17:58  (92557)

No good for Win Xp Sp3 I get Error executing program! (5) or is not a valid Win32 application.

by Oxa on 25. April 2012 - 1:24  (92565)

If you want to see SkyDrive as a virtual drive in Windows XP, try using SDExplorer:
It's better than the traditional SD interface, but does not synchronize like the app does.

by Jenn (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 17:45  (92556)

Thank YOU so much for this information. I went to Windows Live today, and was still able to snag the 25 GB instead of the 7 GB, found the link under Manage Storage.

I have never used SkyDrive but this is definitely a nice hunk of storage to have.

I have a free DropBox and to me SkyDrive seems a little more complicated to use but at least due to your HEADS UP here, I've got time to read about it now.

Thank YOU so much to all who take their time to inform and help us.

Have a GOOD DAY !!


by Sdede (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 17:41  (92555)

When I logged in right now, SkyDrive simply said, "click here for a free upgrade to 25Gbs" :) Also, when I dragged a 1GB file for uploading, it stated that the file cannot be uploaded because it is larger than the 300MB limit. Apparently they are changing things on the fly....

by George on 24. April 2012 - 17:20  (92554)

An alternative to this new client from Microsoft is the free version of the Gladinet client ( Gladinet works fine for me now for a while and is not restricted to SkyDrive only. You can mount other popular online storages as well, like Google Docs.

by JF (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 16:23  (92552)

Confirming that the app doesn't seem to work in XP - as mentioned above by others.

Confirming that Skydrive with 25 Gb works if you have had the account for some time and uploaded something - and that you are offered for a limited time to keep the 25 Gb free, instead of being cut down to 7 Gb.

by S Ross (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 15:59  (92550)

Please tell everyone with a current skydrive account, that you MUST go to your skydrive and select "Upgrade your account" to keep the free 25gb of storage. It states "for a limited time only". Apparently if you don't do this, you will be cutback to 7gb at a future date.

by fb (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 17:16  (92553)

thank you for the heads up on this. i've gone and upgraded. i know more isn't always better, but in this case, 25 seems way better than 7. :-)

by Martin Chua (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 14:49  (92543)

Another useful feature of Dropbox is its LAN Sync function. With LAN syncing (enabled via Preferences), Dropbox will look for the new file on your LAN first, bypassing the need to download the file from Dropbox servers, thus speeding up the syncing process considerably.

Also missing is the support for Linux, Android & BlackBerry phones.

I think I will stick with Dropbox.

by clas on 24. April 2012 - 14:31  (92541)

i had a skydrive acct and get the 25g. and i got the new app. so this is what i found. i set up a folder on my computer for skydrive. the skydrive "drive" shows up on explorer. i copy and paste something to that drive and sure enough, in a while, it gets uploaded to skydrive...however, if i go to the folder i made on my computer and delete that entry, it also deletes it from skydrive. so i would have to keep an extra copy of whatever i wanted on skydrive on my computer and if anything happens to that folder or its contents, it gets deleted from skydrive...seems to be at odds with keeping stuff safe in the cloud. or am i missing something?
one more thing. i really dont like to use windows i use explorer ++ ...the skydrive "drive" will show in windows explorer but will not show in explorer++ ...

by Mike Feury (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 15:47  (92547)

"if anything happens to that folder or its contents, it gets deleted from skydrive...seems to be at odds with keeping stuff safe in the cloud. or am i missing something?"
The desktop app is meant for Dropbox-like functionality. To backup stuff for safe keeping, upload directly to your SkyDrive account [ie don't go thru the desktop app/folder] like you always did before the desktop app existed.

"i use explorer ++ ...the skydrive "drive" will show in windows explorer but will not show in explorer++ ..."
I use Directory Opus instead of WinExp and SkyDrive shows up fine without any DOpus update. Since my C: drive is an SSD [ie space is expensive], I changed SkyDrive's default location to my normal D: drive during the app installation, and DOpus picked that up just fine.

by clas on 24. April 2012 - 16:03  (92551)

hi mike, thanks for the reply. after thinking about it for awhile and also getting your reply, i made some decisions on it. i got rid of the skydrive desktop app. i will continue to use sky drive but only when i wish. i use a little free program called yadis backup to do my syncing on the computer and between internal and external and flash drives and it works great...along with macrium reflect for imaging and an external drive i think i am set. i still have a little trepidation on putting anything important into the cloud. and i looked at that directory opus you mentioned but too pricey for me..ahhah...thanks a bunch for the input.

by lordamit (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 13:49  (92540)

I was not able to find out things like selective sync, pausing sync - the two most useful things offered by dropbox.
Without these things I will prefer to stick with the web app of skydrive and dropbox at my desktop.

by Tallyman (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 12:59  (92529)

I dunno. One would've thought it was easy enough to explain the situation here. But no. Microsoft (not for the first time) is utterly useless when it comes to providing information -- and sadly, this Gizmo article doesn't really help to clarify.

1. I already have a Windows Live ID and Skydrive came with it. I've had it for quite a while. But I've never uploaded anything to it so perhaps that explains why it says my storage limit is 7GB. As to the free 25GB allowance, there's no mention of that to me but I can pay £6 a year for a 20GB expansion. Still. It'd be nice to know just where this link is to the reportedly free extra GB??

2. This laptop is on Windows XP. I've no idea if this OS is compatible with the SkyDrive app because, because. . . Microsoft doesn't tell me. Yes, it's busily hyping the 'new Skydrive app' on the main page of my Skydrive account, but not a word is there about OS suitability.

Following the link and then clicking on application download produces no information, either. The Skydrive app is suitable for PC or Mac. And that's all it can be ar$ed to say. According to an earlier post on this thread, Windows XP can't run this new virtual drive. So. . . is that the case or not? I really don't want to have waste time downloading an offering from Microsdoft which the company is too arrogant / too lazy to even explain the system requirements needed.

Clarification would be most welcome. Thanks.

by satrow on 24. April 2012 - 13:06  (92531)
by Tallyman (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 15:50  (92548)

Thanks, satrow. Saved me a waste of time and trouble. Quite why you're able to provide me with a clarification comprising all of 11 characters, including commas, and Redmond cannot, says all there is to say about Microsoft.

I'm in the UK, and there's absolutely no link anywhere from my Windows Live (yuk, Gawd but I loathe that title) to the American 'loyalty' offer.

Can it be that Microsoft is limiting this offer to the USA only, and its 'loyal users' here in the UK (and possibly, Europe-wide) don't count at all???????

Surely not. Such arrogance would be quite, quite unacceptable. . .

by rich (not verified) on 25. April 2012 - 0:49  (92563)

"Put the SkyDrive app on all your computers— Windows 7 , Windows Vista , or Mac OS X Lion—and you never have to worry about forgetting a photo or file again."

by Sdede (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 12:34  (92523)

Another difference between SD and Dropbox is that you can keep any sized file on dropbox, and SD has an upper limitation of 100MB files.

by UAnonymous (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 13:30  (92536)

Not anymore!
"2.What are the new features? ... Increased upload sizes: Now you can upload and share files up to 2 GB."
Well, 2GB is not "any size", but still pretty damn generous!

Thanks for the heads up Rob, I haven't been using SkyDrive for some time because of the 100mb limit and would've probably missed out on this!

by pratomorone (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 9:48  (92515)

regretfully, MSFT chooses not to tell us the system requirements for this product. Message says that it is not a valid win32 app on XP SP3.

by Ferdynando (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 6:08  (92509)

Never seen this one before - 'has to be installed 'without' admin rights'

How do I do this?

by pvilan (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 4:09  (92503)

It does not work in XP-



by dropbox_skydrive_user (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 2:25  (92498)

You will see the 25GB upgrade link on the skydrive website itself,not the app.

Thanks alexxx46 (and Gizmo Hot Finds folks) for the "18GB" tip.

by BM (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 11:28  (92519)

Hello all, sorry for my question: cant see the 25Gb upgrade link!! Any chance of help on this, please???
Thanks in advance.

by Martin Chua (not verified) on 24. April 2012 - 14:33  (92542)

You can click Manage Storage somewhere at the bottom left screen, it will bring you to a page offering a Free Upgrade! button.

by alexxx46 on 23. April 2012 - 23:47  (92492)

Even with 25 gb of storage space received earlier, one has to confirm he's willing to stay with this amount, otherwise it is cut to only 7 gb. So hurry up guys.
Thank you Robert, for your valuable info.

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