We all know that SkyDrive is great for storing files online, granting you access to your data from any device with an Internet connection. While that certainly is enough to make the service worthwhile, it isn’t the only feature worth getting excited about. SkyDrive doesn’t only make it easy for you to access your own files, it also makes it easy to give others access as well. Want to show your entire family a collection of photos of your child on Christmas but don’t want to snail mail discs? Want to collaborate on a paper but can stand emailing it back and forth? Do you want to transfer a file to a friend that’s too large to email? Well stop wondering how to do it and read on to learn how to share your files and folders using SkyDrive.
If you aren’t using SkyDrive, and aren’t sure if you want to, check out this article for more information: Simple Questions: What is (Windows Live) SkyDrive?
How to Share a File with SkyDrive
Any file or folder you have stored on your SkyDrive can be shared. Log in to your account on SkyDrive website to view your files. Select a file or folder you want to share and right-click or long-press it. Click or tap "Share" to get started.
You can achieve the same end by simply clicking or tapping a file to select it and then clicking or tapping the "Share" button on the top of the page.
How to Share SkyDrive Files via Email
The first option for sharing your files is using email. If this is the method of choice for you, enter an email address in the "To" field. You can choose to enter a message in the email as well by typing it into the space provided. Check whether or not you want to allow your friend to edit the shared file and whether or not you want to require the individual to log in with a SkyDrive account before accessing your file.
Click or tap "Share" when you’re ready to go.
How to Share SkyDrive Files to Social Networks
While email is a great way to share with people you know, you may have files you want to share with everyone. Sharing via your social networking accounts is a great way to accomplish this. To try this method, select "Post to..." from the menu on the left side of the sharing window.
Select the social networking accounts you want to share to at the top of the window. If the account you’re looking for isn’t linked to your SkyDrive, click or tap "Manage my services" to add accounts. Enter a quick note to include with your link and then choose whether or not to allow people to edit your file. Make sure to limit your character count if you’re posting to twitter.
Click or tap "Post" when you’re ready.
How to Share SkyDrive Files Using Links
Another option for sharing your files is to create a link that you can post, email, print or provide to collaborators using any means you choose. Select "Get a link" from the left menu and then choose what sort of permission you want to grant your collaborators. If you only want to let people view your files, click or tap the first "Create" button. If you want to allow people with the link to view and alter your files, use the second. If you want anyone at all to be able to view your file, click or tap "Make public."
Copy and paste the link you get to manually share it via email or social networks, or to post it to a web site or include it in a flyer or document.
How to Share SkyDrive Files Using Shortened Links
The links you get from SkyDrive are fairly long by default. While this won’t cause much trouble if you’re emailing it, it can be a problem for posting to Twitter, manual copying or dictation. To get a much more manageable link, click or tap "Shorten."
The shortened link provides the same access to your data, but does so with less than half the characters.
How to See Which SkyDrive Files are Shared
Once you start sharing files, you may forget which are shared and which aren’t. To get a quick look at where you stand, click or tap the "Details View" button on the top right corner of the window.
Check the "Sharing" column for a quick view of your file and folder permissions.
For a more detailed view of your permissions, click or tap the "Details pane" button.
Select a file to view detailed information about who you’re sharing a file with and what they can do with it.
How to Change the Sharing Permissions
If you find yourself needed to alter permissions of a shared file, enable the Details Pane as described above. To change an individual’s permissions, click the arrow under their name and select the desired permission level.
You can also click or tap the small "X" on the right side of a permission or person to remove them from the list and deny access to your file.
Now that you know how to share your SkyDrive files, you’ll find it’s easier than ever to move your data around. Using the simple interface and intuitive tools, you can grant access to a single individual, or a horde of followers with minimal effort.
How do you like SkyDrive’s sharing feature? Do you think anything is missing from this service? Please feel free to post comments or questions below.