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Connect Your Surface to the Cloud with SkyDrive

Your Surface’s drive is speedy but tiny, especially when compared to today’s desktop PCs, which usually include more than 300 GB of storage space. Because apps can be installed only on your Surface’ internal drive, that doesn’t leave you much space for your own files. One option is to store your data in “the cloud.”

Today, it seems every company wants you to save your files on the cloud. That’s technospeak for an online storage place to stash your files. Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and a host of other companies offer free Internet storage spaces for you to store your files.

All Surface tablets include an app to access Microsoft’s brand of cloud, called SkyDrive. Depending on when you signed up, SkyDrive offers you from 7 to 25 GB of space for you to stash your files. After you fill up that space, Microsoft offers you two choices:

  • Delete some old files to make room for your newer, incoming files.

  • Pay up. For a larger space, Microsoft charges a yearly fee that increases as your storage space grows.

SkyDrive offers many advantages, especially for a storage-starved Surface. After you stash files on SkyDrive, you can access them from any Internet-connected tablet, computer, or phone.

You can access your SkyDrive-stashed files several different ways: from your Start screen’s SkyDrive app, the Windows desktop’s SkyDrive folder, or even through the SkyDrive web browser. And, if you lose your Surface, your SkyDrive files stay safe and password-protected in the cloud.

Now, the odd parts about SkyDrive. The Start screen’s SkyDrive app lets you view, open, and download your SkyDrive files. It even lets you upload files. But it won’t let you upload folders, making it awkward for mass operations. And when you’re setting up SkyDrive for the first time, you usually want to stuff it full of files you need while traveling.

So, to stock your SkyDrive more quickly, install Microsoft’s SkyDrive for Windows program on your desktop.

The Windows RT version of Surface can only run the SkyDrive app; you can’t install the SkyDrive program on its desktop. However, the RT version’s SkyDrive app can still upload and download files from SkyDrive. And if you install SkyDrive for Windows on your desktop PC, you can easily share files with your Windows RT Surface.

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