SkyDrive is free online storage that's built into Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1. You can easily add files on your PC to SkyDrive to always have them with you on the devices you use. And you can browse your SkyDrive using the SkyDrive app or File Explorer in the desktop.
For SkyDrive tips and basics, see Getting started with SkyDrive.
Yes, you need to sign in with a Microsoft account to
browse your SkyDrive and keep your files and settings in sync. If you sign in with a local account, you can only use the SkyDrive app to browse your PC. To browse your SkyDrive files, you'll need to go to SkyDrive.com.
Most PCs running Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 are set up with these SkyDrive settings:
Photos you take on your PC (if it has a camera) are saved to your camera roll folder, and a smaller copy of each photo is saved to your SkyDrive automatically.
SkyDrive is selected as the default location when you save documents.
If you want to choose a different location for a document, you can.
Windows will save a backup copy of your PC settings to SkyDrive. If something ever happens to your PC and you need to replace it, you can easily transfer your settings to a new PC.
For more info about syncing your settings, see Sync settings between PCs.
You can change any of these settings in PC settings. To get there:
Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.(If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)
Tap or click SkyDrive.
The files you added to SkyDrive from your PC or previously opened on your PC are automatically available offline on that PC. Any files you created on SkyDrive.com or another computer are online-only to save space on your PC.
For info about making files available offline, see Getting to files when you're offline. For info about how online-only files (also called smart files) work, see Online-only files and files available offline.
Features in the desktop app are now built into Windows. The desktop app settings and status info are no longer available from the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar. If your SkyDrive has a sync problem, you can view more info about it by opening the SkyDrive app. If you install the desktop app on a PC running Windows 8.1, Setup won't appear. A setting will be installed that lets you use Office to work on SkyDrive documents with other people at the same time, but no other features will be installed.
Making items available offline is the new way to sync them, and you can now browse items you don't sync.
If you chose to keep your files and settings when you updated Windows, everything you originally synced in your SkyDrive folder will be available offline. Anything you add to SkyDrive from another location will be online-only by default and appear as smart files on your PC. To make sure that the files you want are available offline on your PC regardless of where you create them, you can make items available offline by following the steps under Getting to files when you're offline.
If you didn't keep your files and settings when you updated Windows, everything in your SkyDrive folder is online-only. To make sure that the files you want are available offline on your PC, make items available offline by following the steps under Getting to files when you're offline.
Files on your PC can't be fetched. You can't fetch files that are on a PC running Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, even if you install the SkyDrive desktop app. You can still go to SkyDrive.com to fetch files on other PCs that have the SkyDrive desktop app installed.
You might want to move any folders you already have on SkyDrive to the Documents and Pictures folders on SkyDrive to make them easier to work with in your apps.
Some desktop apps might not be able to open online-only files (even when you're connected to the Internet). If online-only files don't appear in a desktop app that you use, make the files available offline by following the steps to make files available offline earlier in this topic.
Go to SkyDrive.com to share SkyDrive files and folders with specific people or get links to share. You can choose whether you want to let people only view your files or also edit them. To get to SkyDrive.com quickly from File Explorer, press and hold or right-click the file or folder you want to share, tap or click Share with, and then choose SkyDrive. For more info about the sharing options on SkyDrive, see Share files and folders and change permissions.
You can't currently do this in the SkyDrive app, but you can by going to SkyDrive.com.
You can't switch between accounts in the SkyDrive app. When you sign in to a PC with your Microsoft account, you're automatically signed in to SkyDrive with that account. You can still get to SkyDrive files for a different account by going to SkyDrive.com.
Open File Explorer.
Press and hold or right-click SkyDrive in the left pane.
Tap or click Properties, and then tap or click the Location tab.
Tap or click Move.
Pick any folder that's on a drive formatted with the NTFS file system, and then tap or click Select Folder.
In the Move Folder dialog box, tap or click Yes.
Files can't be more than 2 GB in size. Some kinds of content are also prohibited. For more info, check the code of conduct. For work-related files, we recommend using SkyDrive Pro.
To recover deleted SkyDrive files, check your Recycle Bin on your desktop, or go to SkyDrive.com and tap or click the Recycle bin link in the lower-left corner.
No, the app comes with Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 and can't be uninstalled, but it can be unpinned from the Start screen. Press and hold or right-click the tile, and then tap or click Unpin from Start.
For the keyboard shortcuts for SkyDrive, see Keyboard shortcuts.
If you have problems with files not uploading or downloading, check out the tips in Maximize upload and download speed or run the troubleshooter.
If you're having problems getting to your files on SkyDrive, check SkyDrive service status.
For more help, ask questions and get answers from the community in the Windows forum.