Earlier today I tweeted a link to an article over on the How-to Geek about mapping SkyDrive folders to your PC and even though it is a couple of years old the process still works.  I did seem to discover a quick method to finding the key info you need to map those folders to your PC and once you have identified your unique identifier for your SkyDrive adding additional directories on your machine is very easy.

The key here is to browse to your SkyDrive in your browser and take a look at the address bar once you have logged in and selected one of your folders.

You will be looking to identify your unique CID which appears in the address.  It actually appears twice in fact.  Once in between the cid= and & then again between id= and %. You can see the area you want to look at in the screenshot below.


Once you have grabbed that identifier you are ready to map your SkyDrive folders to a drive on your PC.

Just open up Windows Explorer and click on your Computer entry.  You should now have a menu option to Map network drive:


Click on that to bring up the dialog box for mapping the drive:


Select what drive letter you want to use and then type in the following address in the Folder box (replacing with your own info for the cid and directory name): Name From SkyDrive

For most situations the remainder of the dialog is fine.  Hit the Finish button to let the mapping process occur. You may get prompted to provide your SkyDrive log in credentials during the mapping process.  If you do make sure you select to save the credentials in the pop up dialog box.

Once the process is complete a new window will open up to show you the mapped drives contents.

Your mapped drives will now appear in Windows Explorer under the Network Location area:


I did rename these drives and you can do the same.  The initial naming conventions has a long address along with your unique identifier.

A few caveats I have discovered since setting these up:

  • You can easily repeat this process for any folder you have up on SkyDrive – just replace the directory name in the URL above.
  • These are not the speediest mapped drives so be cautious when adding folders with a large amount of files.
  • You can not directly save any items to these mapped drives.  New items must be added via the web interface to SkyDrive.  This is unfortunate and does provide a limitation to having them mapped. 
  • You can also use the Add Network Location which uses a folder instead of a drive letter.  However, even with this method files can not be saved in the folder.
  • Despite being unable to add files to these mapped directories at SkyDrive I am able to change the name of files without any error,

In the long run this may not be ideal if you want to save items in the cloud directly however, having one click access to files stored on SkyDrive using my Windows Explorer does prevent me from having to open a browser, login and navigate to that folder to access files.  So it does save some time and effort.

What do you think – useful or not?