Microsoft SkyDrive has emerged as a powerful tool in the cloud for those looking to connect e-mail, pictures, videos and more online. Since its introduction, Microsoft has tweaked, upgraded and evolved SkyDrive into a service that can truly compete with level footing against Dropbox, Google Drive and more. If you have recently upgraded or bought a computer with Windows 8, taking advantage of your Microsoft Account and SkyDrive can be a great way to get involved in the cloud.

This guide shows you how to get started with SkyDrive in Windows 8.


How to use SkyDrive in Windows 8

Since SkyDrive comes with Windows 8, you can click the Metro app icon to open it.


When you set up Windows with your Microsoft Account, it automatically configures SkyDrive to work that information. While SkyDrive will still be available if you set up a local account, you will get much more out of it if you utilize a Microsoft Account.


You will be given a brief introduction and video tutorial to how to use SkyDrive. Read through and watch the video if you have never used it before. Otherwise, we can jump right in.

In the beginning, you can work with three primary folders: Documents, Pictures and Public. Documents and Pictures are set up to those folders on your computer whereas Public is what others choose to share with you.

If you click the “Drop Down Arrow,” you will be given a few other options mainly to navigate around. This includes heading back to the main page for SkyDrive, as well as recent documents you have synced and your public folders.


Click “Recent Documents.”


If you have uploaded or worked with Microsoft Office-based documents on SkyDrive, they will appear here. This includes what you have synced to your computer as well as what you have created in SkyDrive as well.

Head back to the main screen, click the “Drop Down Arrow” and then click “Shared.”


This is where you will receive documents, pictures and more that have been shared with your through SkyDrive.

Once more, head back to the main screen and hover over one of the boxes.


This will open a pop-up that gives you a basic breakdown of what is going on in that folder, such as the date it was last modified, size and who else it is shared with.


If you right-click a folder, it will open the options toolbar at the bottom of the app.


This will give you some more options to work with your SkyDrive folders.

Now, click “Upload.”


If you have not synced folders to work with SkyDrive, you can manually upload files this way.


Simply navigate to what you want to upload, click on it and then click “Add to SkyDrive.”


Now, back to the toolbar, you can click “New Folder.”


This will allow you to create a new folder and name it for use on SkyDrive.

Then, click “Manage.”


This will allow you to rename, delete or move folders between one another.

SkyDrive in Windows 8 works even more seamlessly than it does in a web browser. If you are already using SkyDrive or want to give the cloud a try, this is the way to go in Windows 8.


How useful is the cloud through SkyDrive in Windows 8?

One of the best inclusions in Windows 8 was the additional of syncing Microsoft Accounts. Once you create one and utilize it in Windows 8, you can use SkyDrive even more seamlessly through your new operating system. Whether you use another cloud service or were already a convert to SkyDrive, this makes SkyDrive one of the most powerful ways to sync your files, folders and share with others through the cloud when using Windows 8.