Microsoft Skydrive: now with selective synchronization

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 16, 2012

Microsoft has improved its file hosting and synchronization service Skydrive in wake of the deeper integration into the Windows 8 operating system. Some features are only available to users of the operating system, like the synchronization of account related preferences and customizations,  while the bulk of improvements are available for all systems. Microsoft Group Program Manager for SkyDrive apps Mike Torres revealed today that SkyDrive usage has doubled in the past six month period, which does not come as a surprise.

The company has released an update for SkyDrive today that brings selective synchronization to the service. Selective file synchronization gives you the option to sync only select folders with a system. Sometimes you may not need certain files on a system, and selective sync makes sure that those files are not synchronized with it. This can also be helpful if you run SkyDrive on systems with limited space.

With today’s release, you can now select which folders from SkyDrive are synced – making it easier to use SkyDrive with laptops or tablets with small drives. You’re in control. If you’d like to keep all your photos and documents in SkyDrive but only sync a folder of your most important documents to your laptop, you can do that – even if your desktop is syncing the full set. You can choose specific sub-folders to sync as well; you aren’t limited to your primary SkyDrive folders.

The new client is already available on the official Skydrive website. You can download and install it on your system to upgrade right away, or, you can wait for the built-in updater to pick up the new version instead.

You can configure folders syncing with a right-click on the SkyDrive icon in the system tray, and the selection of Settings and choose folders. Here you get the option to uncheck folders or all files in a folder so that they do not get synchronized with the computer anymore.

The update brings a new share option to SkyDrive folders on the desktop. Simply right-click any folder in the SkyDrive directory and select SkyDrive > Share to open the sharing options right on the SkyDrive website.

Updates have also been released for Android and Windows Phone 8 systems. Windows Phone 8 users can now search SkyDrive files and folders, and control photo upload and download sizes to reduce the bandwidth needed to transfer photos.

Android device owners benefit from a couple of new features, including the uploading of all file types from SD cards, the renaming of folders and files, and custom sort orders for every view.


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  1. Thomas said on November 18, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Hey Martin, Does SkyDrive benefits than delta encoding technology (like Dropbox) or not?
    I have not found any documentation about it, this feature is also really important. I’ve tried SugarSync and it was not using that! What about SkyDrive?
    I’m talking about this feature:

  2. imu said on November 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Wooow…! epic and I love it :))

  3. imu said on November 16, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    off topic but…
    Hi Martin, when you pin to start in W8 then what you get is default icon on the screen but this is not the case with or to name few.. I do think should be there too with its very own icon you should definitely do it for ghacks maniacs as I am.


    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 16, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      Imu, try now and let me know what you think ;)

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