Would you like to be able to access your files instantly from anywhere?  With Live Mesh you can sync files between computers, mobile devices, and even Macs which is both free and easy. 

Live Mesh is a free service from Microsoft that lets you sync files between PCs, Macs, Windows Phones, and an online desktop with 5Gb of storage.  You can sync any file or folder from any and all of these locations. Live Mesh gives you full control over your files, so they can be synced with 2 computers, one computer and the cloud, or 30 computers – your choice!  You can also remotely access any connected computer’s full desktop from any internet connected computer worldwide via the web interface.

So let’s get started.

Head over to Live Mesh and click the Sign in button.

Sign in

Sign in with your Windows Live ID (including your Hotmail, Messenger, or Xbox login), or create a new account if you don’t already have one.

mesh - sign in

Welcome to Mesh!  You’re immediately welcomed with a link to your Live Desktop.  This is your online desktop for Mesh where you can save your files online and sync them from your computers.  Click connect to see it.

mesh main screen


The online Desktop works very similar to your Windows desktop, including the Aero look and feel.  Mesh helps you quickly get setup with helpful tutorials the first time you login.

Now you can add a folder.  Simply click the “Create New Folder” and enter the name you want for your folder.

Click the down arrow on the dialog box to choose where to sync your files.  Remember, files and folders in Mesh can be synced between any 2 locations, so if you wish to only have the file on 2 computers and not online, or on one computer and online, it’s up to you.

mesh - folder sync options

You can easily upload files directly from the “Explorer” window in Mesh, and can also rename and move files.

mesh - online explorer

Or, you can even view a Silverlight-powered slideshow of your pictures by clicking on the Media View button.

mesh - media viewer

But Live Mesh’s best feature is that you can directly connect with your computers and Windows Mobile devices.  Click on the Devices button to return to the main screen.

mesh - devices link 


Now click the “Add a device” link, and select the appropriate download.  Mesh supports Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, including 64 bit versions. It also works with Windows Mobile and a tech preview for Mac OS X.

Installing Mesh is very simple.  It runs quietly from the tray and lets you know its progress with a small indicator.

Once it is installed, simply sign in with your Windows Live ID (the same one you used to sign in online).

Now add a name for your computer so you’ll know which computer it is from the Live Desktop.

Now you can easily add files and folders to your Mesh so they can sync with other computers or the Live Desktop.  Simply right-click on any folder, and select “Add folder to Live Mesh” and you will be presented with all of the sharing options you had on the Live Desktop.

mesh - add folder in Windows

All synced folders will have a Mesh sidebar which shows recent activity in that folder.  You can also view this bar by clicking on the Mesh icon in your taskbar.

9 mesh


And now, when you sign into your Live Desktop, your computer will be listed with your devices.  You can even choose to remotely login to your computer if you wish directly from the Live Desktop online.

Mesh also works on Windows Mobile devices.  Simply visit the Live Mesh site from your phone’s browser, sign in with your Live ID, and download and install Mesh from there.

Once installed, you can sync any folder from your phone, or access other folders in your Mesh.  This is a great way to keep your Windows Phone in sync with your computer!

In Closing:

Mesh is a great way to keep files synced across your computers and mobile devices, and even on the cloud.  Whether you need to keep all your documents on your desktop and laptop, or make sure that crucial file is available from anywhere with an internet connection. Check it out, and let us know what you think!


Sign up for Live Mesh

Matthew Guay
Matthew Guay is a veteran app reviewer and technology tip writer. His work has appeared on Zapier's blog, AppStorm, Envato Tuts+, and his own blog, Techinch.
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