Synchronize Your Favorites, Documents, Music, Pictures, etc. with SkyDrive

I was messing around with the SkyDrive PC App the other day and was surprised at the simplicity of the installation process. It pretty much just asks where you want the SkyDrive folder to live and then gets out of your way. In my opinion, the SkyDrive team missed a huge opportunity to help you automatically start synching data to the cloud. Without additional configuration, this is pretty much a power user only app. Luckily it’s extremely easy on Windows 7 to relocate the system folders in your personal folder. Take favorites: open your personal folder and right-click favorites. Go to the Location tab, and choose Move:
The Location Tab

The picker window lets you browse to the SkyDrive folder you created during installation, and from there you can create a new Favorites folder, highlight it, and click Ok. The move process will ask if you want to move existing data. You should definitely move everything to the new location–this is especially helpful if you’re consolidating data from multiple PCs, because it just merges everything together. Once you’ve relocated to a SkyDrive folder, the sync or green-check icon will appear on your Favorites folder in Explorer. That’s it! Your favorites are now synchronized automatically to SkyDrive each time you make a change, and you can follow this same process to link any other PCs you have to this folder.

You can do the same thing with My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, etc. Since the SkyDrive folder is local, no weird behavior happens and all of your Windows 7 library locations (and any apps that use the libraries as media sources, like Zune and Media Player) will automatically update. I haven’t checked out Windows 8 yet, but hopefully the cloud sync stuff I’ve been reading about just happens automatically without any user intervention–maybe they’re not doing it automatically on Windows 7 in order to differentiate. Bummer for the SkyDrive team if their hands are tied.

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