How do I make a OneDrive album public?

Back a year and a half ago when OneDrive was called SkyDrive this same question was answered here. Of course, Microsoft has made a lot of changes since then and the details have changed. In fact, the current procedure is not at all intuitive and might frustrate a lot of users.

Microsoft intends your OneDrive to be your “file cabinet in the cloud”. It is meant for your private use, but you can share any folder, album, or individual item with a specific person, with anyone you provide a link to, or with everybody on the Internet anywhere in the world. This last “share” setting is usually referred to as “public”. If you wish to provide access to an item in your OneDrive to any and all readers of your blog for example, you need to make that item “public”. It’s sharing setting has to be “Everyone”.

Anything in a folder, or album, including sub-folders and items in the sub-folders will inherit the share setting of the folder. It is possible to have an unshared folder and somewhere inside you may have an item, album, folder, photo, or document, that you may wish to share publicly. That is possible. There are some disadvantages to such mixed up sharing that are beyond the scope of this article. It is best to maintain a clean,easily understood sharing structure.  Things available to the public should be in one main folder that is public. That makes adding public material straightforward.

Here is the procedure for making a OneDrive album public

Create your folder or album that you wish to share with the world. By default a newly created folder is not shared, it is marked “Only me” as you can see in the illustration below. Note the white arrow, it shows that the folder has been selected. In the information pane the “Sharing” shows “Only me”.

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To share this folder publicly click the “Share” link in the information pane or the Share link in the menu bar. The next page defaults to the sharing with individual people option. Click the “Get a link” option on the left.

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The next page may be confusing, as the “public” option is not apparent.

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You may think that you want to get a link with the “View only” option and that is what is shown on this page. But note the options chevron (see red arrow). Click that! Now you see the “Public” option.

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Click Public, then click Create link.

You will get a longish link in the window that you can copy (Ctrl-C) to provide to your readers. There is also an option to shorten the link.

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Also note that the folder is shown as being shared with “Everyone” and that the setting is “Can only view”.

You can use the long link or the much shorter one which is much easier to type by others, if that is needed.

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On you main OneDrive page you will see the sharing setting right under the folder name. If the information pane is showing you will see the sharing setting there also. The globe symbol indicates that the folder is now public.

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Anything you put in this folder, including new folders, will also be public by “inheritance”.

Although your folder is public it is not easily found by others. Search engines do not show OneDrive folders. So you need to provide the link to you readers in your blog or on your site. If you don’t, it is like unlocking the backdoor to your store. You customers can’t find it unless they know the address of your place.

.:.

© 2014 Ludwig Keck

Can multiple SkyDrive Desktop Apps be used in Windows 8?

SkyDrive has been thoroughly integrated into the fabric of Windows 8. The SkyDrive desktop app brings access to SkyDrive right into File Explorer – Windows Explorer of prior Windows editions. An earlier post, from before Windows 8 was released, shows a method for providing access to multiple SkyDrive accounts (Can I install multiple SkyDrive apps on my desktop?). That method works just fine in Windows 8. This article expands on that and provides some additional information.

Only one instance of the actual SkyDrive desktop app can be installed, however, shortcuts to SkyDrive folders of other users of the PC can be placed on the desktop. The illustration here shows access to three SkyDrive folders simultaneously.

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First a review on setting up the PC.

  • Set up a user on the PC for each SkyDrive, that is for each Microsoft account. Set up the SkyDrive desktop app for each user on their respective desktop. Leave the users signed in at all times.
  • On the primary user’s desktop right-click on an empty spot; click New, then click Shortcut.
  • In the Create Shortcut menu click Browse the navigate to Computer > Users > other user. Click on SkyDrive (in the expanded list for the user).
  • Click OK, then Next. Give the shortcut an appropriate name then click Finish.
  • Repeat for the other users.

You may have to give permission to proceed during these steps.

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All normal tasks can be done in these folders – copy, move, delete, paste – just as in any other folder. The difference is that any changes in these SkyDrive folders will be synced with the SkyDrive in the cloud and the SkyDrive folders on other PCs, smartphones, etc. Of course, you need to be connected to the Internet for synchronization to take place. If you are not connected to the Internet, you can still make any changes like any other folders in File Explorer. When a connection is restored, the syncing will take place in the background.

imageLimitations:

There are some limitations with this arrangement. You can see the sync status symbols only on the local SkyDrive folder (the check mark indicates that the item is up to date). There is no indication that another user is signed out and thus the changes will not be synchronized.

imageYou cannot make changes to which folders should be included in the local SkyDrive folder. Such changes have to be made on the respective user’s desktop.

You cannot initiate sharing in the folders for the other users, you can do this only in the primary SkyDrive folder.

When rebooting the PC you need to sign in each user.

These are relatively minor inconveniences compared to the ability to easily access several SkyDrive folders on the same desktop.

.:.

© 2012 Ludwig Keck

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How do I choose the SkyDrive folders to sync with the desktop app?

The SkyDrive desktop app by default syncs, that is, copies to the computer, all folders in SkyDrive. If you do not wish to replicate all folders, you can choose which to sync. Here is how:

  • imageRight-click the SkyDrive icon in the notification area.
  • Click Settings in the small menu.
  • Click the Choose Folders tab
  • Click the Choose Folders button.

The SkyDrive folders will now be displayed with checkboxes in front. Uncheck the folders that you do not want replicated on your computer in the SkyDrive folder.

SkyDrive-sync-05The first time you do this you will see a notice as shown here. It says:

If you stop syncing files or folders, they’ll stay on SkyDrive but won’t be on this PC. If they’re already on this PC, they’ll be deleted.SkyDrive-sync-12

You can select root folder or sub-folders as you like.

  • Make the selections. Checked folders will be synced.
  • Click OK and click OK in the prior dialog.

The changes will be made momentarily.

Here are some screen shots showing the SkyDrive folder before some folders were removed from syncing and after, as well as the – unaffected – online SkyDrive.

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.:.

© 2012 Ludwig Keck

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How do I make a SkyDrive album public?

When you wish to allow access to a SkyDrive photo album to everyone and anyone on the Internet the share setting needs to be set to Everyone. When you create a new folder of album the sharing will be set to imageThis folder is not shared”.

To share the folder click the Share folder link.

imageThis brings up a dialog where you can specify email addresses and other specific ways to share. To make the album public click Get a link.

imageThis next dialog has a Make public button.

Click the Make public button.

The folder is now public. You will see a text box with a length URL. imageYou can copy this web address and share it with your friends. There is also a Shorten button. Clicking that provides you with a shorter web address.

imageThe information pane will now show that the folder is shared with Everyone.  There is an X to the right of this setting, the normal “delete” icon. Click that to remove the permission.

You can use the web address in emails to your friends or in blog posts and wherever you wish to provide a link to your SkyDrive photo album. Viewers do not need to sign in to see public albums.

.:.

© 2012 Ludwig Keck