Updates to the SkyDrive apps for Windows and Mac

Updates to the SkyDrive apps for Windows and Mac

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Last month we released preview versions of SkyDrive for Windows and OS X Lion, along with big updates to our iOS and Windows Phone apps. We also announced a new, more flexible approach to personal cloud storage that allows power users to get additional paid storage up to 100GB.

It’s been an incredible month since! Our goal was to build a cloud that seamlessly connects your files to the apps and devices you use every day, and we’ve been thrilled with the response so far. In just a few weeks, more people were using SkyDrive apps than have used Mesh. People using SkyDrive for Windows or Mac are now our most engaged users – syncing files across several devices, sharing with SkyDrive.com, and working together with Office Web Apps. At the same time, we continue to listen and respond to your feedback across forums, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook.

We recently rolled out an update to the SkyDrive app for Windows Phone that fixed a few minor bugs, and we have a small bug-fix-only update to our iOS app on the way as well. Today we’re also starting to push updates to the SkyDrive apps for Windows desktop and for Mac, which will appear automatically on your PC or Mac over the course of the next week or so. You don’t need to do anything, as the updates occur automatically in the background.

Here are a few of the improvements and fixes in the updates:

  • SkyDrive for Windows desktop will power a cool new feature in the upcoming Windows 8 Release Preview, available the first week of June. Right from the Photos app in Windows 8, you can fetch photos stored on your other PCs that have SkyDrive installed – no matter where you are or how many terabytes of photos you have stored on the PC you are accessing. We’ll have more to say about this shortly, so stay tuned.
  • SkyDrive for OS X Lion no longer shows an app icon in the dock when running. We’ve definitely heard the feedback that it wasn’t necessary. Smile
  • Your SkyDrive folder now updates more quickly and reliably when changes are made on other devices, including SkyDrive.com.
  • The limit on the number of total files in the SkyDrive folder created by the apps has been raised from 150,000 to a whopping 10 million! This should unblock some power users from easily adding lots of files to their SkyDrive folder.
  • We made lots of smaller bug fixes to improve overall reliability.

Our primary goal throughout this preview period for our desktop apps is to really nail the fundamentals. This means we want the synchronization process to be fast and dependable, and for your SkyDrive folder to “just work,” so that it simply feels like magic.

By the way, if you’d like to see if you’re running the latest build, you can see the build number by clicking Settings (in Windows, this is in the right-click menu for the SkyDrive system tray icon, and on the Mac, it’s on the application menu) and then About. The build number to look for is 16.4.4111.0525. But again, if you’re still running an older build (if the last four numbers are lower than 0525), there’s nothing you need to do. You'll get the update automatically in the next week or so, provided the SkyDrive app is running.

Thanks for all of your support and great feedback over the last month!

Mike Torres
Group Program Manager, SkyDrive Apps

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  • I've found SkyDrive incredibly incredibly useful so far. I have a laptop, desktop machine (server/media center) and iPhone - all of which I use with SkyDrive with. I used to use a mash-up of Live Mesh, iCloud and SkyDrive to try and get the best of all worlds, but am gradually moving more and more towards SkyDrive. From researching/experimenting, the biggest things missing from SkyDrive for me are:

    1) Local / LAN syncing. If I add files to my laptop, they end up being uploaded and re-downloaded over the web to end up on my desktop machine. If I add a large number of photos (ie, having just got back from a holiday), I'll often add them manually to my desktop and laptop with SkyDrive temporarily disabled - which isn't ideal.

    2) Deltas-only file uploading. Experimented with this yesterday. If I alter the metadata on a large photo for example, the whole file is uploaded, rather than just the change.

    3) A recycling bin. I've noticed through experimenting that when files are deleted on SkyDrive, they move to the local recycling bins on my laptop/desktop. Would also be useful for there to be a recycling bin in the online interface, so files can be recovered without re-uploading.

    4) The ability to add any directory to SkyDrive (perhaps have it operate in the same way as the Documents/Photos/etc libraries in Windows 7?). I've worked around this by using symbolic links from the SkyDrive directory, which seems to work nicely for now.

    5) Internet Explorer favourites syncing. Worked around this by creating a symbolic link from the SkyDrive directory to the Favourites directory. Only problem then, is that my iPhone favourites aren't kept up-to-date.

  • euron
    1 Posts

    Looks like there is support for a huge number of camera RAW formats in SkyDrive.......please can we have support for Adobe DNG seeing as the codec is openly available for Microsoft to use !!!!  This has to be a no-brainer. Or does this already exist ?!

  • Hi My skydrive account "phoenixpeng@live.com " cannot purchase more storage , every time I click the manage storage, there said "no more storage plan avaliable ,please check later" ?  I dont know what happened? please check and give me a feedback over my email at phoenixpeng@live.com Thanks a lot.

  • Eduru
    5 Posts

    Dear sir , Its great to listen that from you

    However If the following features added to Skydrive App it would be big advantage to its users

        1. Ability to sync any required folder or files on PC.

        2. Ability to download only the selected folders from Skydrive.com to a new device(PC or Mac)

        3. Ability to resume uploads

    Still Skydrive is my best cloud storage..

  • Hello when we get new msn messenger????

  • abm
    268 Posts

    Please consider the following requests:

    Sharing feature on SkyDrive: answers.microsoft.com/.../9c22caca-75b1-4c01-bb00-9cb6947b7315

    Hidden files on SkyDrive: answers.microsoft.com/.../40696d1e-9ee0-47fd-ab01-6bf3a26357d1

  • mtcerio
    9 Posts

    I used to use SkyDrive to upload my photos (and I still do), and now witht he new windows app I also use it to share documents among my computers. However I am forced to share hundreds of picture folders, which I would not care of. In addition, those picture folders apper in the root of my skydrive, so to find the "documents" folder is a pain every time I try. I think it's necessary to have the option to sync only some folders, or at least to exclude all the photo-type folders.



  • GuHi
    1 Posts

    I am using Mac OS X 10.7.4 on a case sensitive HFS+ filesystem. Unfortunately, the old SkyDrive app could not be installed on a case sensitive filesystem. Has this been fixed?

    I am not interested in making the SkyDrive filespace case sensitive. I can live with it being case insensitive. However, allowing the SkyDrive app to be installed on a case sensitive filesystem would be greatly appreciated.

  • Ronald
    22 Posts

    It would be really convenient if desktop notifications would be added to SkyDrive app, so especially when shared files are synced, the app alerts you that someone has updated or added files.

  • Hi Hotmail Team,

    This is Pankaj from Teracom Limited, India. We are using hotmail activesync as our email server. We have some mac users in our organization, for those users we have procured office 2011 with outlook but not able to configure outlook with exchange activesync as outlook connector for mac is not available. Please look into this and provide some solution to configure outlook on mac. Please note that we don't want to configure outlook with pop3.


    Pankaj Pareek

  • Leila
    12 Posts

    It's weird that SkyDrive gives 25GB free space for old users and 7GB free to new users but imposes 2GB limit per file. Whereas Google gives us only 5GB free space but limit is 10GB per file. Please increase the limit or make it unlimited like some other storage services out there (SugarSync?)

  • abm
    268 Posts

    @Kent, today in my Win7 box I clicked Windows Update > "Check for updates" to see if there is anything for SkyDrive. There was nothing and I realized that SkyDrive app is not running (no icon in notification area). I manually launch the app and it crashed with the message "Microsoft SkyDrive has stopped working", which means the app was silently crashing in the background. I uninstalled the app and fetch the latest version from http://apps.live.com. Now I am running latest version (16.4.4111.0525) for few hours without any issue so far..

    BTW, the app is still in beta.

  • @Kent and @gwydionjhr: Please post over in our forums at answers.microsoft.com/.../skydrive and I'll have a look and figure out why you are crashing.

  • I'm having the same issue as @Kent.  The earlier release of Skydrive was rock solid if a little slow.  My system (W7/64bit) updated to .0525, and now it keeps crashing out while "Processing Changes".  Very annoying.

  • ahwc
    1 Posts

    When will Microsoft bring Print Layout mode to Word Web App?  It's available on Google Apps for years.

  • fork
    6 Posts


    Use SDExplorer. It works ;)

  • Kent
    2 Posts

    As of today the legacy Windows SkyDrive client is crashing on everyone of my PCs. I tried to reinstall it on one PC but that failed. Are all of the Win8 release candidate newbies bringing the service to its knees?

  • Arttt
    2 Posts

    Thank you for the update

    I still have a nasty bug: Images were sync back from Skydrive to my PC without the file extension at the end (without ".jpg") I can't tell if it's a bug related to jpeg only or if it occur for other files type but that'd be nice if you could fix it :)

    Thanks again, Skydrive rocks !

  • Don
    1 Posts

    Please, please, please let me rename the SkyDrive folder.

  • Thank you for the updates. I would request team to update skydrive.com web app with the features like 1. Search for any type of Files, Folders. 2. Even nested folder search 3. Allow to stream videos directly from skydrive. It should be more than just a storage.

  • abm
    268 Posts

    Few more:

    - Lift the single file limit. If I wana upload a 4.7GB iso file on SkyDrive, I can't because the limit is 2GB for a single file.

    - Let the users share file/folder within the OS.

    - Ability to "view online" XPS files (just like PDF files!!) on Hotmail.com and XPS reader for WP, iPhone and Andriod.

    - Please provide more productivity apps on cloud for developers, such as TFS, SVN and Git servers. 8-)

  • Very nice with continued updated.

    It would be good to get the live Mesh features for P2P and select folder syncronization included. Apart from the business use cases others mention, I use it for sync'ing family PC's with my home server. This is very handy when you have a few family PC's to take care of. Some folders I sync to the cloud, some to the home server and some just between the PC's.

  • This is great, I love the integration across machines and devices.  There are still omissions though.  In order of priority for me, these are:

    1. Selective sync - so I can run on devices with small SSDs

    2. Multiple, arbitrary folders - not just the 'SkyDrive' folder nominated at setup

    3. ...and can those arbitrary folders include network drives and reparse points (e.g. redirected Documents folders)

    4. Upload full resolution photos from Windows Phone

    Thanks :-)

  • stigi
    1 Posts

    Nice application. I found a bug last night. I am syncing several computers and one of them is seldom used. When I turned it on last day, all deleted files and folders on skydrive was synced back to skydrive instead of being deleted on the computer. I suppose this computer hasn't been used for a month. Is there a time limit for how long deletes are tracked on skydrive?

  • Great work, and keep pushing!

    I'll repeat from the other posts the features I'd like to see in SkyDrive:

    1. "Shared files/folders support" or "Sync files shared with me"

    2. "Exclude folders from Sync" or "Selective sync"

    3. Ability to recover deleted files

  • Ronald
    22 Posts

    Thanks for the update. Keep improving SkyDrive. I would like to suggest:

    1 - Selective sync - Abilty to select which folders to sync to a particular computer (i don’t need all folders on all devices)  

    2 -  Ability to recover deleted files (for a month / a week) both for files deleted on skydrive.com and in your local SkyDrive Folder on a device, either by a recovery option or by moving files to a trash folder on skydrive.com first. I know that when you accidentally delete files on skydrive.com, the SkyDrive app deletes these files on your computer (if they exist) as well, but at least puts them in your local trash. In that case, you can recover a file. Files only on skydrive.com can’t be recovered. It would be much safer when you could recover files on skydrive.com as well.

    3 -  Sync files shared with me - Let SkyDrive app sync files that are shared with me

    4 - P2P sync (Sync-over-LAN)

  • Skydrive works great, but wondering why WP7 image files are horribly compressed and resized when uploaded to skydrive camera roll. Can we have an option to upload original image files (non compressed or resized), this is really the only annoying limitation of Skydrive at the moment for me and other WP7 friends.

  • There is one issue that I've had that has slightly changes things on the browser-end of skydrive for me.

    Before the skydrive app, I had photos uploaded on the browser version of skydrive in the top level "Photos" drop-down menu section, which allowed me to access all of my photos easily.

    When the skydrive app released, and all of my files came locally on my pc, i did some rearranging and cleanup, and renamed some of the skydrive folders.

    Ever since then, the photos that used to display in the top level "photos" folder for the browser version do no show any more. I have tried my best to modify my local skydrive folders and folder names to restore the photos displayed in the photos section, but nothing that i do works.

    I believe that some additional work is necessary to make the "photos" and "documents" dropdown menus of the browser version of skydrive actually useful. I originally though that those 2 folders would scan through all skydrive files and identify all documents and all photos no matter what your folder structure or naming structure was, but I was wrong.

    I would highly appreciate if your team could either:

    A) Make the browser side "photos" and "documents drop down links smarter, so that it is able to identify those types of files

    B) Explain to users of skydrive how to properly configure their folders so that photos or documents properly display in the browser side, rather than the only current workaround for the broken connection being to re-upload those files in the top level folders of the browser through the browser interface again

    C) Inform us that the top level dropdown menus of "photos" and "documents" will soon be phased out with more appropriate menus and better web interfaces with the coming phase-out of "Windows Live", rebranded under the "Xbox Live/Entertainment" ecosystem.

    I also second all of the previous suggestions for adding more Mesh features within the Skydrive settings for additional functionality for power-users.

    Thanks again for the great work Skydrive Team!

  • toadgee
    2 Posts

    @LDMartin1959 - Please get in touch with me at toddha at microsoft. I'm attempting to track down the issue with the Mac client. Thanks- ToddHa

  • toadgee
    2 Posts

    @jhp - Please get in touch with me at toddha at microsoft. I'd be interested in looking as to why sign in doesn't work on your network. Thanks- ToddHa

  • Nikos
    1 Posts

    I would love to see unlimited storage/uploads for ALL PHOTOS, similar to what Google is doing with Picasa and Google+. Please guys make this happen.

  • T Windows
    116 Posts

    Thanks for the post; it’s really great to have an official Microsoft cloud app that replaces Drop Box, and several others.

    SkyDrive improved features and base cloud functions that make the whole experience a one stop shop for all data purposes.

    Great Job, and we look forward to the future enhancements to come.

    - Stay Powered by Windows

  • jhp
    1 Posts

    It is a shame it doesn't work on my uni's wifi network, whereas dropbox is working fine. The SkyDrive app simply can't login in, it keeps saying "signing in" :(

  • Myke
    2 Posts

    I love SkyDrive and it's many features. I am pleased with the faster speeds. At the same time I am also looking for a more automatic -like iCould- syncage. This  also including automatic back up for Windows Devices (I would pay for extra storage as I don't really use over 25GBs.)

  • It's nice to see incremental progress.  But we're still missing two major pieces.  One is to exclude skydrive folders or only sync selected skydrive folders.  I don't have room for all that stuff to sync to my tablet, and there are plenty of personal things that don't need to be anywhere near my work computers.  Two is to be able to choose where a skydrive folder syncs.  I want to be able to keep my documents and pictures folders in my profile synchronized with skydrive (or across my computers without skydrive).  It really looks like you're trying to reinvent the wheel, when the wheel already does what we need and does it better.

  • Nathan
    63 Posts

    After the sad demise of Windows Live Favorites, please implement a built in feature to sync favorites between Bing Bar and IE10 (desktop, metro and WP8) via SkyDrive. This way my favorites/bookmarks are roam-able across the devices and browsers on which BingBar supported. Also a simple web-based app to manage favorites on SkyDrive (http://favorites.live.com just like http://contacts.live.com)

  • controlz
    145 Posts

    These are great changes! The only things needed now, in my opinion, are choosing NOT to sync certain things (good for small SSDs, and for videos etc. I only want in the cloud) and the syncing of shared folders. Thanks for making SkyDrive so brilliant (I store all my files on there now!).

  • abm
    268 Posts

    Thank you. Now lift the single file limit from 2GB to MaxRemaningSpace! :)

  • Daniel
    1 Posts


    Thanks for the update.  It looks like SkyDrive is humming right along.

    I want to put in a pitch for integrating WL Mesh features into SkyDrive.  There are two features in particular that I would place at the top of the list:

    First, the ability to choose which folders should sync, instead of being limited to the designated SkyDrive folder.  I understand that new users found this confusing, but power users find this essential.  Perhaps you could make the single forder the default, but also permit a user to activate the ability to select specifric folders (either as part of the service or as part of a freemium model).  I use this feature in WL Mesh in many ways, including using it to sync my Desktop between home, office, and laptop.  It's wonderful to create such a seemless user experience among different computers.

    Second, one a user can select their own folders, choose which folders sync to the cloud and which ones do not.

    Licantrop0 mentioned this in his post, as well.  In additon to his points, some offices I work with (medical and legal) permit syncing between computers as a backup feature but prohibit syncing to the cloud, which is considered a secutiry vulnerability (I am not agreeing with them -- merely restating their policy).  Adding this feature for advanced users would fix the (perceived) problem and would be very welcomed.

    I am an avid WL Mesh user who would love to migrate to SkyDrive, but cannot because of the missing functionalities.  Of course, I am concerned about the day when MS pulls the plug on the WL Mesh service all together.  Really, for those of us who use the advanced features of WL Mesh, MS got it right -- it is a beautiful product which (to use another company's tagline), it just works!!

    While I understand the decision to simply, additng some features from WL Mesh will help to distinguish the product from the competition and earn the SkyDrive team well deserved high praise.

                  -- Daniel.

  • Rulax
    1 Posts

    Feature Needed: Sync "Shared with me Folders", this feature is already enabled on Mesh, enabling this on SkyDrive will be a HIT!

  • When will the Mac version sync properly? Currently, files dropped into the SkyDrive folder on the Mac to not sync to the cloud folder.

  • Thanks Mike, these updates are really welcome: SkyDrive app was really slow to update contents compared to Dropbox.

    Here is other feedback:

    1) What about a seamless integration between the desktop app and the metro app? The two apps have a complete separated storage and the metro app does not make your file available offline. I know that for platform reason a metro app couldn't communicate with desktop, but I think this area needs lots of improvements.

    2) Exclude folders from Sync: we don't need every skydrive folders in all of ours PCs: some of them have a small 128GB SSD Drive that would fill up too quickly

    3) Groups support: I can't see yet file and folders shared from a Windows Live Group

    4) Shared files/folders support: I can't see any content shared with me from other people in the SkyDrive app

    5) Shared Fetching: I'd like to access to the content of another PC that has the SkyDrive app linked to another Microsoft account.

    6) Automatic user's folders Syncing: SkyDrive app should give me the possibility to Sync the content of my Windows Account: I want to be able to select Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, Downloads, Favorites and Desktop and make them automatically synced to ALL of my other PCs. You can do this with Mesh, but not with SkyDrive.

  • ma7mgte
    4 Posts

    The only thing I would like to see improved are the upload an download speeds.  I usually only see about 2 - 6 Mb/s.

  • Quppa
    12 Posts

    The ability to limit upload and download speeds (à la Dropbox) would be very welcome in a future update.

  • ozaz
    3 Posts

    Does skydrive keep a version history of documents allowing restore of an old version (like dropbox does)?

    How many versions are retained?

  • I second the sharing stuff. That is by far the biggest missing piece in the picture. Google Drive and Dropbox nail that spot on, but essentially skydrive is useless at this point for collaborating on stuff because I cannot sync folders that are shared with me to my desktop machines.

  • Any update on sharing feature on the desktop app???

  • JDB
    8 Posts

    And if you got a Windows Phone don't miss skymanager.jdbpocketware.com

  • Glad to see you are updating it so quickly! I love SkyDrive. It is amazing.

  • Drew
    19 Posts

    Great to hear improvements are still coming along!  I'm enjoying SkyDrive and it is fitting my needs nicely.