Sync Any Folder to SkyDrive Right From Explorer Context Menu with This Shell Extension

They way you sync files using SkyDrive is to drop the files into the SkyDrive folder you have set up when you install the program. Only the files within the folder can be sync’d through this service. But is there an easy way that allows us to sync any folder on our computer without copying it to the SkyDrive first?

SkyShellEx is a shell extension that allows you to do just like that. Even better, it does so through the Explorer context menu and keeps the original folder structure untouched. It’s an open source project and works for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8, with .Net 4.0 framework required.

To Sync any folder to SkyDrive

Once installed, it adds a set of new menu items to the Explorer context menu. Simply right click the folder you want to sync and choose Sync to SkyDrive item from the list.

SkyShellEx - Context Menu #1

On the next window that pops up, choose one of two options how you want to sync the folder: Merge or Side by Side. Merge lets you merge the folder into the existing folders currently in the SkyDrive while the latter keeps it separate.

SkyShellEx - Select Folder

Then, provide an alternative name in the next screen. The default name provided by the program is actually good enough to keep.

SkyShellEx - Name the folder

That’s it. Once you click OK, the folder will be sync’d with SkyDrive right away. From this point on, any files you copy or delete from this folder will be sync’d back to SkyDrive automatically. To identify whether a folder has been set to sync to the cloud, SkyShellEx also updated the icon of the folder to avoid any confusion.

SkyShellEx - Folder icon

You can also share this sync’d folder with others. If you want to do it, you will have to grand the access to SkyShellEx from your SkyDrive account. You can start with right clicking the folder, go to Share from SkyDrive from the list, and then walk through the steps on the screen. Fairly straightforward.

To stop sync with SkyDrive

You can also stop the sync if you change your mind later on. Right click the same folder again and choose Stop Sync from the list.

SkyShellEx - Context Menu #2

Then, choose from two options available from the next window: Detach Folder or Remove Folder. If you want to leave a copy in your SkyDrive, choose Detach. Otherwise, go with the Remove.

SkyShellEx - Detach or Remove

The Sync stops right after you click one of the options. You will then notice the icon of the folder will be changed to default right after. The folder will be removed if you choose Remove option. Or, a copy will be left off in your SkyDrive as a backup.

It actually works very good, smooth and does the job like advertised. It’s also worth noting that not all folders can be selected to sync. It’s by design that any folders live under Windows, System or Programs folder as well as from any removable storage can not be sync’d through this program, which makes a perfect sense to me.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 08/04/2014

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