Microsoft has its own way of delivering more for less to its consumers. One prime example of such philosophy is the company’s SkyDrive service, which has been integrated into both Windows and Office ecosystems, so users can sync their files directly to the cloud without having to rely on any third-party means. But while Windows 8 offers access to your SkyDrive account under both Modern UI and Desktop environments, you’re locked with only one option to access your cloud content on Windows RT, i.e. through the Windows Store SkyDrive app. On the bright side however, Windows boasts an interesting feature that lets you map your SkyDrive account in Desktop mode via the Map Network Drive option. This makes it easier to access your SkyDrive files without leaving the desktop mode. Read on to find out how.
To get started, fire up your web browser in Desktop mode, visit the official SkyDrive website, and sign in using your Microsoft account credentials.
Once logged in, right-click (or tap and hold) ‘Files’ from the left navigation pane and copy the link using ‘Copy Link Location’ (Internet Explorer Desktop mode), ‘Copy Link’ (Internet Explorer Modern UI), ‘Copy Shortcut’ (Google Chrome), or ‘Copy Link Address’ (Google Chrome). If you are using another browser, the option might have another similar name.
Next, open notepad and paste the copied link It should look something like this:
The xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx part after cid= is a string of alphanumeric characters unique to your account. Now delete everything before this string, and replace it with:
The final URL should appears something like:
Copy this link. Next, navigate to Computer and click or tap ‘Map network drive’ from the Ribbon UI as demonstrated in the screenshot below. If you have minimized the Ribbon, click Computer and you will see this option.
From Map Network Drive window, select the drive letter that you want to assign to SkyDrive from the drop down menu. And pasted the previously copied link into the Folder field. You can also enable/disable the ‘Reconnect at sign-in’ option here based on your preference. Once done, hit the Finish button.
When prompted to enter the login information, specify credentials for the same Microsoft account that you had used earlier to log on to SkyDrive in the browser, and click OK.
That’s it. You will now have a SkyDrive storage mounted as a network drive under Computer. You can also rename the drive to any name of your choice, if you wish.
The above tip works on both Windows 8 and Windows RT, and can come really handy on Windows RT due to the lack of a dedicated SkyDrive Desktop app.