How to Sync External Folders with Your SkyDrive

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Microsoft launched its new SkyDrive desktop app which is set to compete head-to-head with Dropbox and Google Drive. Here’s how to sync folders that are outside of your SkyDrive folder.

Using a Reparse Point

Known as the Soft Link to some, a Symbolic Link is the most common form of reparse point. Luckily for us Windows Vista and later include a command line utility, called mklink, which can be used to manage symbolic links. In order to create a symbolic link we first need to find your SkyDrive folder which, buy default, is located at:

C:\Users\”Your Username”\SkyDrive

This is also known as the %userprofile% environment variable, which makes it extra easy to create a symbolic link. So go ahead and fire up a administrative command prompt.

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Now we need to use mklink to create a symbolic link, the syntax to link to a folder is:

mklink /d <link> <target>

For files we don’t need the “/d” switch so we can just use:

mklink <link> <target>

But as an added bonus we can use our environment variable, so we can do something like this:

mklink /d “%userprofile%\SkyDrive\Music” C:\Music

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Above I created a symbolic link that points to the Music folder on the root of my “C” drive. This means that any files I put into that folder will be automatically uploaded to my SkyDrive, you can check this by looking at your SkyDrive.

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As you can see my symlink is there and functioning just as we expected. That’s all there is to it, happy symlinking Smile

Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 04/27/12
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