How to use Selective Sync option in SkyDrive

As we have been seeing, SkyDrive is continuously improving and the SkyDrive team has been implementing user feedbacks and feature requests. Recently we have seen SkyDrive improvements like the Recycle Bin feature, Excel Survey feature,  Inline Twitter image support for SkyDrive links, etc. Now SkyDrive team has announced one of the most requested features, that is – Selective Sync on SkyDrive. Let us check some more details about Selective Sync:

“…you can now select which folders from SkyDrive are synced – making it easier to use SkyDrive with laptops or tablets with small drives. You’re in control. If you’d like to keep all your photos and documents in SkyDrive but only sync a folder of your most important documents to your laptop, you can do that – even if your desktop is syncing the full set. You can choose specific sub-folders to sync as well..”

So what does this mean? Suppose you have a Laptop or other portable device which has smaller storage drives. Earlier when you sync’d your folders with SkyDrive, everything used to be synced on all sync’d devices whether you wanted to or not. Now with Selective Sync you can synchronize only what you want and on which device. So your desktop can sync the full set, while on your laptop with a smaller drive, can select whichever folder you want.

This Selective Sync feature update is released so you’ll see it on your SkyDrive App. The update rollout will be available to everyone within 48 hours. If one doesn’t want to wait for updates to appear and want them now or for those who haven’t installed the SkyDrive app can go here – where you can find it for Windows, Windows Phone, Mac, and Android. The update will update your SkyDrive app to Version 2012, Build 17.0.2003.1112

How to use Selective Sync feature

Once updated, right-click on SkyDrive icon on your Notification area, click on Settings and you’ll see the ‘Choose Folders’ option tab. Click on the Choose Folders button.


Select ‘Choose folders to sync’ and uncheck whichever folder you don’t want on that particular device. This is for files and folders which are already present on SkyDrive. If you are adding files to SkyDrive, you can check only those folders on that PC, to sync.


You will see a notification as follows:

If you stop syncing files or folders, they’ll stay on SkyDrive but won’t be on this PC. If they’re already on this PC, they’ll be deleted.


You can uncheck sub-folders too, that you don’t want on that device. The unchecked folders will be there on SkyDrive, but won’t be there on that PC.

If you are on Windows 8 and on a metered network, with this SkyDrive update you will receive a message, so that you can exit SkyDrive, to reduce network charges.

Apart from this updates, SkyDrive received some other updates too!

SkyDrive is not just about storing files on the cloud; but also about sharing them via email or by posting links to Twitter and Facebook. With  SkyDrive, now its been made more simpler to share directly from File Explorer. Just right-click the folder or file and select Share. Your default browser will open and you can share your folder or file right from there. You also have the View option to view right from there – which works great for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files with the Office Web Apps.


Apart from this, updates to SkyDrive apps for Windows Phone 8 and Android devices have also been done.

Windows Phone 8 SkyDrive app now has:

  • All round performance improvements
  • Some visual improvements to better fit Windows Phone 8
  • Now you can search your SkyDrive files and folders
  • Control photo upload and download size.

While Android SkyDrive app has also added new features:

  • Performance improvements
  • Upload all file types from SD card
  • Rename SkyDrive folders & files
  • Custom sort orders for every view

Let us know how you have liked these new features!

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The author is a Microsoft MVP, a Technology Enthusiast and a Mechanical Engineer. He is interested in anything technical and is committed to Microsoft technologies and products. He is actively associated with various Microsoft online communities, forums, Newsgroups and has been actively involved in Beta testing various Microsoft products and bug submissions.
  • Mrtilus

    Weird, i’ve installed Skydrive twice now, and i do not have it at all in my Windows Explorer context menu :(

  • Vasudev

    Its in the SkyDrive folder in Windows Explorer not on all. Right click on any folder present in SkyDrive Folder to get this Share menu

  • Mrtilus

    Oh i see. Well that’s a shame. That and a ‘Upload to Skydrive’ would have been nice to see in the context menu.

    Thanks :)

  • David Klein

    About Selective Sync, is there a way to manage synchronisation rights for users I share my Skydrive with? For collaboration reasons, I’m OK to share a folder, but not for the user to sync all the files on their laptops.

  • Brian Beatty

    Is there a way to mange visible sub folders with One Drive for Windows 8.1? the Choose Folders options isn’t in the app anymore

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