Thereâ€™s a new application that integrates the Windows Live SkyDrive service into Windows Explorer. Simply called â€œSkyDrive Explorer,â€ this software turns your SkyDrive folder into just another location you can access directly from Windows. Once installed, as with local folders, you can drag-and-drop files into your SkyDrive folder or you can copy files hosted in SkyDrive back to your PC.
Using SkyDrive Explorer
After running the downloadable executable, you have to connect to SkyDrive by clicking on the icon that appears in your Windows Explorer window and signing in with your Windows Live ID.
After thatâ€™s complete, you can then navigate through your SkyDrive folders and move content around through copy and paste operations. You can also rename or delete groups of objects â€“ something thatâ€™s much easier to do from within an Explorer window than on the web.Â
Another handy feature is the ability to right-click on SkyDrive files or folders to access the SkyDrive URL which points to its online location. This URL can then be shared with anyone you choose.
The complete list of features in this application include the following, according the the SkyDrive Explorer website:
- View the structure and contents of folders in SkyDrive
- View files information (type, size, creation date in GMT format)
- Create new root folders and subfolders
- Copy files into the storage
- Delete files and folders
- Copy files from the storage to the computer
- Copy folders and subfolders from the storage to the computer keeping their structure
- Use Drag & Drop for files operations
- Rename files and folders
- Create links to SkyDriveâ„¢ folders on your computer
- Copy URL of the selected object(s) to the Clipboard
- Automatic check for the latest version
- Bidirectional languages support
SkyDrive Explorer is a free download for Windows XP, Vista, Windows Server 2003/2008, and Windows 7 PCs (32-bit and 64-bit versions). However, the software is still in beta, so all the typical caveats apply.
Still in Beta
When I asked around on Twitter about it the other day, I got some mixed reviews. Some people said it was slow and it crashed on them while others said it was pretty good. My experience so far is that it does seem a little buggy. Some folders come up with all their files intact while files in other folders seem to have an unknown file extension making them unreadable, even when copied down to your PC. (This only happened with a few image folders so far, though).
Thereâ€™s still some room for improvement in the application, too. For example, an expanded right-click menu for your online files would be nice. At the moment, it only offers â€œcopy,â€ â€œrename,â€ â€œdelete,â€ and â€œcopy URL.â€ It would be nice to see â€œopen,â€ â€œprint,â€ and â€œpropertiesâ€ added. And for the image files, it would be useful to see thumbnail previews.
However, these complaints are minor given the overall usefulness of the application. The service was fast enough and hasnâ€™t crashed on me (yet). And hopefully, future updates will offer even more improvements. In any event, SkyDrive just got a whole lot more useful for me.
You can download SkyDrive Explorer for yourself from here.