Showing SkyDrive storage in Windows Explorer

I got this tip from a colleague (David Weeks) and I thought I would share with you all on how to see your Windows Live SkyDrive storage in Windows Explorer, something I have tried and failed to do in the past.

1. Visit SkyDrive ( and login with your Live ID.

2. If you have not used SkyDrive before click on the My Documents folder.My Documents in Windows Live Skydrive

3. Now look at the address bar. You should find your unique ID there in the URL ( - see the screenshot below; it’s in the greyed out area and is unique to you). Copy this ID to the clipboard, as we’ll need it shortly. Use the back button in IE if you don’t see the ID right away.
Unique ID in address bar

4. Now, open your Computer in Windows Explorer (either go Start menu / Computer, or just press WindowsKey +E to go straight there), and you’ll see “Map Network Drive in the menu. Click that.

5. Which Network woudl you like to map?In the new dialog box that choose your drive letter using the dropdown. I will be choosing S: for mine (Sky Drive). Now in the Folder field (just below the Drive dropdown) type, \\\your_skydrive_id\^2Documents (replacing “your_skydrive_id” with the ID you copied in Step 1). Press Finish  and wait a little while, and you’ll get a logon box… enter your Windows Live ID and press OK. You won’t see all folders in your SkyDrive storage – you could try changing ^2Documents to the name of another folder name which you can see in the web view, if you want to upload to that too.

Hint: it’s also possible to browse straight to your SkyDrive storage without having to map a drive – if you simply paste \\\your_skydrive_id\^2Documents into the dialog at Start / Run (or WindowsKey+R), you can jump straight to the folder.

6. Connect to’ll now have mapped your Network Drive, and might notice that you have your Unique ID included in the name. So for security, just right mouse click on the name within Windows Explorer, choose rename from the drop down and call it anything you want.

Now that your Skydrive account is configured, you can  copy all the documents you wish to upload to your Skydrive account to this newly created network drive. You can also create folders here, too, all of which will be Private by default. To change their sharing option log in to your Windows Live account using your browser and change it from there.

Of course, there are other ways to put stuff on SkyDrive. Windows Live Mesh can sync up to 5Gb of data from elsewhere, it is possible to drag & drop multiple files into the browser view, and it’s possible to save straight from within an Office 2010 app (eg in Word, go to Save & Send on the File menu, and choose Save to Websee here).

All of which proves, there are many ways to do the same thing. Choose whatever one works for you best…


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Comments (8)

  1. Can't get this to work. says:

    I have my CID value correct but the logon screen doesn't accept my username/password and just reprompts me.

    Does the path end with "^2Documents" (from the blog text) or "%5E2Documents" (from the hover text)?

  2. robmar says:

    errr – will need to double check – have you tried the other option?


  3. Old_Info says:

    On Windows XP this is not working anymore

  4. Evan says:

    I've done this and it's all set up, and I can view files that are already in skydrive. But when trying to drag and drop files into skydrive, I can only transfer microsoft office formats. Any other formats give me a dialog box that says "Need permission to do this" and the options "try again" and "cancel" Other formats can be uploaded via the skydrive website and appear in explorer, but I cannot save files back to skydrive this way. Any ideas?

  5. Ken says:

    I was able to map the drive, but not allowed to sync my photos… 56KB gave the strange error "File too large for the destination". I guess it only works one way, which is a shame really.

  6. Pablo Garfunkel says:

    As of today, 21-Oct-2011, it does not work (Win 7 Enterprise 32 Bit).

    Tried to set it up today.

  7. Confused says:

    How do I get my CID?  I have tried the one in my displayed in my browser and it doesn't work.

  8. Annoyed says:

    Very low file size limit. Is there a more efficant way!?

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