Can I put a shortcut to SkyDrive on my Windows 7 desktop?

You certainly can, however, you need to use Internet Explorer 9. Sign in to your Windows Live account. Click “SkyDrive” on the menu bar to display your SkyDrive contents page.

If your browser is maximized, click “Restore down” and resize the window so you can see some blank area of your desktop.

In the browser address field note the small SkyDrive logo in front of the address. Move your pointer to that symbol. The message balloon will say “Drag to taskbar to pin site”. Drag the little logo to a blank area of your desktop. The SkyDrive logo will be bigger and the imagemessage balloon will say “Create a link in desktop”. imageJust let go the mouse button to drop the link. You will now have a desktop shortcut to your SkyDrive.

If you opted to “Keep me signed in” the last time you signed in to Windows Live, this shortcut will launch your browser and take you right to your SkyDrive page. Just double-click the icon.


© 2011 Ludwig Keck



How do I pin SkyDrive to the taskbar in Windows 7?

The Windows Live SkyDrive is easier to use than ever. Here is how to pin a SkyDrive shortcut to your taskbar in Windows 7.

Note: You can do this only when using Internet Explorer 9.

Sign in to your Windows Live account, on the menu line click SkyDrive. imageWhen your SkyDrive page is displayed note the browser address field. It will show a little SkyDrive logo ahead of the address as shown in the illustration here.

When you hover the pointer over that logo the little message flag says: “Drag to taskbar to pin site”.image

Do just that.

The SkyDrive logo will then appear on your taskbar. Whenever you want to open SkyDrive just click on the logo.

If you have elected to “Keep me signed in” the last time you signed in to Windows Live, Internet Explorer will launch and go right to your SkyDrive when the taskbar logo is clicked.

That’s all it takes.image

But wait! There is more: That link on the taskbar can do more than just take you to your SkyDrive files. Right-click on the icon and you can select to go directly to see just your documents or just your albums. The same way as if you had clicked Documents or Photos on the drop-down menu from SkyDrive on your Windows Live home page.

You can even start a new Web Apps document, but, alas, it will be in the SkyDrive root, not inside any document folder.

Want to go to your Windows Live home page? Click on the taskbar SkyDrive icon. When your files page is displayed, click on image“Windows Live” in the upper left – that takes you right to your home page.


© 2011 Ludwig Keck


Do I need a account to share a SkyDrive photo album with friends?

The short answer is “No”. You do need to have a Windows Live ID. If you use Hotmail, Live Messenger, XBox LIVE, you have a Windows Live ID. If you have an MSN or a Office Live Small Business email address, you have a Windows Live ID.

If you do not have a Windows Live ID, you can open a new account or register an existing email address from another service as your Windows Live ID. You can sign up at

With a Windows Live ID you get SkyDrive where you can store and share photos and documents.


© 2011 Ludwig Keck


Is there a way to send SkyDrive albums as slide shows?

Yes, you can send links to existing SkyDrive albums or slide shows at any time. Here is the procedure:image

Sign in to your Windows Live account (

Go to Your albums.

Select the album you wish to share.

Click Share on the menu bar.image

Click Send a link on the drop-down menu.

This will bring up a window with an address entry box and a message box. Enter the recipients email address and also enter any message that you wish to accompany the link.

The dialog looks like this:


You can enter multiple addresses to send the link to any number of recipients.

NOTE: If your album sharing is set to Everyone (public) the recipients will not need to sign in with a Windows Live ID.

If the album is set to one of the other sharing options, the recipient will need to sign in using the email address, the one you use in sending the link, as the Live ID. If the recipient does not have that address set as a Live ID it can be done from the sign in page. 

The recipient receives an email with this type of message:


When the recipient clicks View album a browser window is launched and the slide show comes up.

If the slide show was prepared with Windows Live Photo Gallery > Slide show > Share slide show > SkyDrive a movie of the slide show will be uploaded to SkyDrive. This will be a “My movie.wmv” file created by Live Movie Maker. The email link will start the slide show and play it through.

If the link is to an album of individual picture files, the link will start with the first picture. The recipient needs to click the “play” button to play the slide show. See illustration here:




Where are the thumbnails stored for a post with a SkyDrive album?

Windows Live Writer has an insert option for adding a SkyDrive album to a post. When Add online album is selected, an “Insert Photo Album” dialog opens. It may ask for a sign in before showing all the albums on your SkyDrive. Click an album icon and thenimage click Insert to get the process started. Live Writer downloads the pictures from the album in order to create the graphics. An example of a SkyDrive album is shown at the end of this post.

Live Writer creates a folder for the downloaded images and newly created thumbnails on your boot drive under Users\yourname\AppData\Local\Temp\WindowsLiveWriter-xxxx. imageThe album will be shown by a collection of thumbnails, the album title, and a couple of hyperlinks. A new “Photo Album Tools” Ribbon tab is available whenever the album art is selected. The most useful and interesting tools are in the Album styles section of the tab: A half dozen layout styles are shown. The first, default, layout, shows the thumbnails the same way as pictures are shown in a photo email. Two other layouts show the pictures in a flat imagearrangement, the remaining three show randomly oriented little pictures. The thumbnails can be rearranged with the “Shuffle photos” tool. Just click on this command and observe the new arrangement. Continue until you are happy with the presentation. When the post is published to your blog, the created display pictures are uploaded to the blog image store. imageIn this case, this being a blog, the images wind up online in the blog’s Media Library. If one of the random display options is selected this will be one image of the entire arrangement. For the other three layouts, Squares, Grid right, and Grid left, the individual thumbnails are uploaded to the blog media library.

As you would expect, Windows Live Writer does a fine job of cleaning up after itself. In the case of this post, the temporary store contained over 3 GB of material. Once the post has been published this folder is emptied and removed.

Now, aren’t you glad you asked? This allowed me to tell you a little about how Windows Live Writer offers another really nice feature and does a great job of managing it.

Here at last is the demo album. Enjoy!



How do I upload a folder to SkyDrive?

UPDATE 5 June 2012: SkyDrive has been greatly improved. The SkyDrive app for the desktop now allows using SkyDrive just like any other folder on your computer. See How do I install SkyDrive in Windows Explorer?


Windows Live provides users with a large online storage area, this area is normally used for photo albums and for document storage. From SkyDrive the “Add files” option does not permit uploading folders. Folders can be uploaded by mapping a SkyDrive folder as a network drive so it can be shown in Windows Explorer.

How to map a folder is described in: How can I see my SkyDrive photos in Windows Explorer? The procedure for a document folder is the same as for an album. Keep in mind that the entire SkyDrive cannot be mapped, it has to be an individual folder.

Once mapped, the folder can be used, almost!, like any other folder on the computer.

A folder with contents, including other folders, can be copied to the SkyDrive folder by just dragging as illustrated here (or the Ctrl+CCtrl+V keyboard shortcuts can be used).


The selected folder will be copied to the SkyDrive folder – since this is an Internet upload, the time will depend on the connection speed.


Once the folder is uploaded it is accessible in Windows Explorer. It is, of course, also accessible from SkyDrive. Below is a view of the newly uploaded folder in SkyDrive by the process illustrated above. Is all the contents is there?

That depends! Windows Live and SkyDrive are in a state of flux at the time of this writing (November 2010).


The procedure described here currently works only for Office documents and plain text documents (DOCX, XLSX, PPTX, TXT). If files of another type were in the uploaded folder those files will not make it to SkyDrive at this time!

The Office documents can be inspected or edited online using Web Apps. Just click on the document title and the appropriate Web App is launched.



What is the difference between Office, Photos, and SkyDrive?

When signed in to Windows Live, the menu bar at the top provides access to Hotmail and Messenger and to the user’s SkyDrive. The individual commands provide access to the documents or photos portion.


Each of the commands also provides a drop-down menu to select the specific item or task desired. Clicking on the “Windows Live” title also presents a menu. The menus are shown here.


Under the Office command the documents and document folders can be reached. From Photos the albums can be displayed. When SkyDrive is clicked (left menu) all of the items on the SkyDrive are shown.

The different option just provide for quick access to the items of interest, there is no other difference.