Mapping SkyDrive to Windows Explorer

You’ve heard about SkyDrive: it’s a nice piece of 25 GB of online storage space where you can upload your documents and access them from anywhere you want. SkyDrive is part of Windows Live where you can find other ‘goodies’, like Office Web Apps. It is inconvenient to upload and download your documents using web browser. Wouldn’t be nice to have this ‘drive’ mapped to Windows Explorer? After many questions from colleagues, students and family, of course, I decided is better to put instructions online. There are several instructions on the web about this but some are inaccurate. Here is how you can do it:

1. You have to have Windows Live ID (Hotmail, Messenger, XBOX Live) account so you can log in Windows Live. If you don’t have one, you can easily create one later.

2. you will need 2007 Office System applications, or Office 2010 applications. Screenshots were made using Word 2010. In fact, I made screenshots using OneNote 2010 (Windows+S).

3. Start Word, click on File and go to Save & Send, then choose Save to Web. Here you can sign up for Windows Live SkyDrive or log in with existing account. Click Sign In.


4. Enter your credentials to sign in. If this is your private computer, and you don’t want to enter credentials anymore, choose Sign me in automatically. Otherwise, know that this is not the best practice from security point of view.


5. Once logged in, choose, for example Public folder and click Save As


6. See the URL starting with https:// ? Copy everything except https:// to clipboard: where BLA-BLA is your unique number that is greyed out.. Note that actual URL might be different from one in this example.


7. Now click Cancel. You’re not saving anything, already got what you need in Clipboard! Open Windows Explorer and right-click on Network. Choose Map network drive…



8. Choose drive letter you want, and in Folder area paste URL copied two steps back. You will have to edit it so it looks like this:



Remember to replace forward slashes (/) with backslashes (\). One nice security option I recommend is to use SSL.

Press Finish.


9. And voilá! There is your SkyDrive storage in Windows Explorer. Happy SkyDrive-ing!

Don’t expect lightning speed transfers: this is online drive, remember?