Many people are unaware of a very powerful remote access option that is available with Microsoft’s online file storage and sharing solution called SkyDrive.
If you have the SkyDrive desktop app for Windows installed on a PC, you can use the Fetch files feature to access all your files on that PC from another computer by going to your account at SkyDrive.com. You can even access network locations if they’re included in the PC’s libraries or mapped as drives. When you browse a PC’s files remotely, you can download copies of them to work on. You can also stream video and view photos in a slide show. To access files on your PC remotely, make sure the PC you want to access is turned on and connected to the Internet. SkyDrive also needs to be running on that PC, and the Fetch files setting must be selected.
I have mentioned this feature before here on the blog and can attest to using it frequently (without problem) from my work location to access the files on my computer at home (including external drives).
Here’s how it works:
- Download SkyDrive for Windows.
- Make sure you leave the box checked during setup that will allow you to “Fetch your files from anywhere.” (You can also choose this later by clicking the SkyDrive icon () in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar, and clicking Settings. On the General tab, under Fetch files, select Make files on this PC available to me on my other devices, and then click OK.)
- Open your browser and sign in to SkyDrive.com.
- Your PCs that have SkyDrive for Windows installed will appear in the Computers menu. Choose the computer that has the file you want, and you can view, print, or download the file you forgot.