How To: Easily access SkyDrive in Desktop mode.

Although SkyDrive won’t let you see your data when you’re not connected to the internet from a Surface RT device (see my post on that here) it is still a valuable tool when you have an internet connection.

While Windows RT has a SkyDrive Metro application installed by default, it doesn’t allow you access content from the Windows RT desktop. You can, however, setup a mapped drive that will allow you to do so while you’re in desktop mode.

Here’s how:

  • From within the Desktop on your Surface RT, open Internet Explorer and go to
  • Once logged in, right-click the files menu item and select Copy Shortcut.
  • Paste what you just copied into the address bar in Internet Explorer.
  • The address you pasted will be like this:
  • Copy the long alphanumerical value after the ‘=’ sign to your clipboard. I represented it above and in the following screen-grabs as a series of X’s. (xxxxxxxxxxxxxx)
  • Open Explorer and select Computer in the navigation pane.
  • In the Computer tab of the ribbon select Map network drive. The following screen should appear:

  • For the “Drive” pull down option, choose “Z:
  • For the path, enter this URL: “”. At the end of the URL you just typed in, paste the number you copied to your clipboard. You’ll end up with something like this:

  • If you want it to appear every time you login (and are connected to the network) make sure the “Reconnect at sign-in” checkbox is checked as it is above.
  • Click Finish. It will take a bit of time to proceed past the attempting to connect box (below).

  • After a few seconds, it will ask you for a username and password. You will need to enter your SkyDrive user name and password then tell it to remember your credentials by checking the box in the picture below.

You should now have a mapped drive that points to your SkyDrive. Since we checked the “Reconnect at sign-in” and “Remember my credentials” boxes, the drive will attempt to reconnect if you restart your Surface.

When it attempts to reconnect, the “Windows Security” window (like the one above) will appear. Just select OK when it does and you won’t have to repeat all these steps.

I hope you find this useful. If you have any questions or thoughts, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.


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