How to Work with Files in the Windows 8.1 Metro SkyDrive App

By Woody Leonhard

There are limited things you can do with Microsoft’s tiled Metro SkyDrive app. Here’s how to work with files in SkyDrive when you access SkyDrive via the tiled Metro SkyDrive app:

  • Add a file: Swipe from the top or bottom or right-click in the middle of the screen. When the App bar appears, tap or click the Add Files icon. After the file picker appears, hunt around your hard drive until you find a file; then tap or click the file and in the lower-right corner, tap or click Copy to SkyDrive.


    The file is copied into your SkyDrive folder.


  • Delete a file: Tap or click the file; swipe from the top or bottom, or right-click the file; and choose Delete. It takes a few seconds for your command to take place because SkyDrive has to reach out to the cloud and perform the Delete action.

  • Keep SkyDrive from downloading a file to your computer: Tap or click the file, swipe from the top or bottom, or right-click the file. Choose Make Online Only. This is helpful if you have large files inside SkyDrive, and it’s even more helpful if you don’t have a lot of hard drive space.

    SkyDrive will download the file if you need it — for example, to open it. But unless there’s a specific reason to copy the file onto your computer, it’ll just stay out there in the cloud.

The Metro SkyDrive app lets you use this finger-friendly interface for files on your computer, too. Just tap the big letters Sky Drive, up at the top, and choose This PC.


The folders listed in the Metro SkyDrive app are very similar to the ones you see in the old-fashioned desktop’s File Explorer, although in some cases, drives hidden in File Explorer (at your request) crop up in Metro SkyDrive. Exhibit A: the Floppy Disk folder in the figure.