Storing your files on a SkyDrive is a great way to make accessing your data more convenient. Once your files are in the cloud, you can view or edit them using any device with Internet access. But what happens if you have a file you need but it isn’t on your SkyDrive. You may think you’re out of luck, but that isn’t the case. As long as you’ve got Fetch configured properly and the computer containing the file is on and connected to the Internet, you can find the file and upload it right from your account interface on the SkyDrive website. Read on to learn how to use this simple yet awesome feature.
How to Enable the SkyDrive Fetch Feature
In order to utilize the Fetch feature, you need to be using the desktop application version of SkyDrive. If you’ve already got this installed on your computer, skip to the next step. Otherwise, make sure to check the box shown below to enable Fetch during the initial installation ("Let me use SkyDrive to fetch any of my files on this PC").
If you need more information about downloading and installing the desktop version of SkyDrive, check out this article: How to Use the Skydrive Application in Windows 7 & Windows 8.
If you’ve already got the right version of the SkyDrive application installed on your computer, launch it and right-click or long-press the SkyDrive icon from your system tray. You may need to click or tap the small arrow next to the tray to show hidden icons.
Click or tap "Settings" from the context menu.
Select the "Settings" tab and then select "Let me use SkyDrive to fetch any of my files on this PC." Click or tap "OK."
How to Fetch Files Using SkyDrive
Once you have Fetch configured and your computer connected to the Internet, you can access all of your files from your SkyDrive account. Log in to SkyDrive from any computer with Internet access. Select your computer from the PCs section in the left pane of your SkyDrive account.
Microsoft protects your computer using an additional layer of security. You’ll have to receive and enter a security code each time you want to access a computer using Fetch. Click or tap "Sign in with a security code" to start the process.
Microsoft will text you a code to the phone number configured in your Microsoft account. If you get the text, enter the code and click or tap "Submit." If you didn’t get the text, or your phone can’t receive them, click or tap "I didn’t get the code."
Select a method to receive the code from the drop-down list. You can pick any phone number or email address linked to your Microsoft account. Click or tap "Send me a code."
When you get the code - which should only take a few seconds - enter it in the space provided and click or tap "Submit."
Once the code has been entered and accepted, you’ll be granted access to your computer’s file system.
Folders in your file system are depicted by dark blue tiles. Files will be given tile colors based on their filetype. Click or tap folders to open them and view their contents. You can use the directory tree listing at the top to back up through the directories you’ve drilled down into.
Locate any files or folders you want to upload and click or tap the white square in the top right corner of their tiles to select them. Right-click or long-press a selected tile and click or tap "Upload to SkyDrive."
Select a folder on your SkyDrive to store the files or folders and click "Upload."
Wait for the file to upload. Once it’s done, it’ll be listed with the rest of your SkyDrive files in the directory you selected. You can now download, edit or share the file as you would any other.
Now that you have Fetch configured, you’ll always be able to access the files you need, whether or not you remembered to store them in your SkyDrive. While this may seem like a breach of security, the addition of the security code feature means that only someone with access to your SkyDrive and your phone/email account will be able to get into your files.
How to do you feel about the Fetch feature? It’s undeniably useful, but does it make you nervous? Let us know in the comments below.