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January 2, 2014
Use Microsoft Outlook’s Skydrive to store personal files

For those of you using Microsoft’s Outlook email, now is a good time to become familiar with the SkyDrive feature. Here’s how you can store your personal files, such as pictures, documents, music and even videos so they are accessible anywhere you have an Internet connection.

This past year there has been much said and offered to users regarding “cloud” storage. Don’t get caught up in the phrase “cloud storage.” This is just another way of saying that you can store your personal files on someone else’s computer. In the case of SkyDrive, your files will be stored on Microsoft’s computers. Let’s show you what your SkyDrive looks like and how to use it.

There are a couple ways to view and use your SkyDrive. I will explain how to use it while you are in your Outlook email, viewing it from the desktop mode.

Go to your desktop and open an instance of Internet Explorer (the blue “e”) and then sign into your Outlook email. Once it opens, at the top-left, click the down-arrow next to the word “Outlook” and then select “SkyDrive.” Here you will see folders already set up for you to add files or you can create other folders and name them as you wish.

The menu bar in SkyDrive is used similarly to the menu bar in Outlook, where the features available will show up in the colored bar where the word “Outlook” appears. First, you’ll see “Create” and “Upload.” Go ahead and click “Create.” You’ll notice a drop-down menu where you can choose “Folder,” “Word document,” etc. Click “Folder,” select a name for your new folder and then click “Create.” Your new folder is added to those already present.

In order to copy files into this folder, click your newly created folder once to open it and then click “Upload.” Here you will go to where your file is saved on your computer. For example, let’s say you wanted to upload a picture or pictures from your “Pictures” library. Double-click “Libraries” and then double-click the “Pictures” library. Next, depending on where you have your picture(s) saved, click once, the picture you intend to copy to your SkyDrive, and then click “Open.” A small box near the top-right will indicate your file is uploading and when it is done, it will say so. At this point, your chosen picture is added to the folder you created. You can select more than one file at a time to upload to save time.

Keep in mind, when you upload a picture to your SkyDrive, it is a copy, leaving your original on your computer. As mentioned, you can do this for just about any file that is located on your computer.

There are some limitations though. You are given 7 gigabytes of storage for free and you have the option to purchase more space if needed. Your remaining amount of space in your SkyDrive is located on the left side. The file size is also limited to 2 GB, so anything larger than that cannot be uploaded.

You can use your SkyDrive as a backup of your files instead of a flash drive or other storage medium. Next week, I’ll cover more options about SkyDrive where you can automatically sync your computer’s files with your SkyDrive and making your SkyDrive files available while you are offline.


Scott Lindsay actively promotes learning the computer, regardless of age, to better one’s life and circumstances and has helped thousands of people over the past 13 years to become better computer users. He can be reached at

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