Latest SkyDrive for Windows 8.1 update brings back sync icon to taskbar

The recently leaked Windows 8.1 Update 1 build revealed that it would add the SkyDrive sync icon back to the desktop taskbar. As it turns out, there's no need to wait until Update 1 is officially released to see that sync icon return.

Microsoft released a number of software updates on Tuesday, including one that, according to its support page, "improves the Skydrive experience for all users in Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2." Microsoft did not give any other details but, as reported by Liveside.net, the update returns the SkyDrive sync icon to the desktop taskbar. It had been removed in 2013 and Microsoft did not indicate the reasons why it had been taken down in the first place.

The SkyDrive improvements don't stop there. The Modern UI version of SkyDrive now has a sync status indicator and there's a new option to make all SkyDrive files online only on a PC.

Microsoft has still not changed the SkyDrive name to OneDrive, as it announced it would do in the near future. It's possible the company is waiting for Windows 8.1 Update to officially launch before changing the name of its cloud data storage service.

Source: Microsoft via Liveside.net

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Quoting the article: "The recently leaked Windows 8.1 Update 1 build revealed that it would add the SkyDrive sync icon back to the desktop taskbar."

No, I have Windows 8.1 and not Windows 8.1 Update 1 and I have the SkyDrive icon in the desktop taskbar. So evidently this is not some feature of the Update 1.

Quoting the very next sentence:

"As it turns out, there's no need to wait until Update 1 is officially released to see that sync icon return."

I don't get it why we need an icon there... It makes skydrive(or onedrive) look like a 3rd party solution for me. Skydrive can be accessed from desktop explorer so I don't see the purpose of it.

Getting feedback about sync status is nice. Prior to this update, I couldn't see when my files finished uploading without going to the SkyDrive website (even overlays on icons wouldn't show up)

I've noticed that while you cant see sync status/activity, you also cant manually request a sync. Want to upload files to SD? Whack 'em in the folder and then... wait till it decides to do something about it, and then keep checking the website for visual evidence of a completed transfer?

Speaking from ignorance here, can you elaborate? What does Dropbox have that SD doesn't that's worth switching, or sticking with?

jubbbird said,
Speaking from ignorance here, can you elaborate? What does Dropbox have that SD doesn't that's worth switching, or sticking with?

LAN Sync! If I deploy a new VM or new PC with Dropbox my data simply syncs over my LAN. With SkyDrive it has to pull all 30GB of it from the server and takes almost 24 hours, even over my 140mb connection. With Dropbox it takes around an hour.

SkyDrive also fails to sync some documents and creates copies for no good reason. I Tweeted about it and had the official SkyDrive & Office accounts following me and offering help. They can't resolve the problem.

Sky Drive simply doesn't work properly, especially when you boot up a machine that hasn't synced for over a month. It recognises some old deleted data as 'new' and pulls it into my SkyDrive, so I then have to delete old data I already deleted once! So that's why I abandoned it and kept using Dropbox.

I still have the case open with MS and they don't know how to fix it. That's pathetic.

It's also rather anecdotal. And LAN sync doesn't sound like a mainstream requirement. There are issues, granted, but nothing the majority need to worry about. Added capacity and a superior website far outweigh those things for most people.

jubbbird said,
It's also rather anecdotal. And LAN sync doesn't sound like a mainstream requirement. There are issues, granted, but nothing the majority need to worry about. Added capacity and a superior website far outweigh those things for most people.

Anecdotal or not, they are issues I have with SkyDrive that are not a problem with Dropbox. SkyDrive is a buggy mess, hence why my support ticket with Microsoft is still open and not resolved. I cannot trust SkyDrive with my data, that's a fatal flaw with the 100GB service I am paying for.

Edited by Steve121178, Feb 14 2014, 9:26am :

Wow. A news article that is simply a rephrasing of a forum thread without credit to the thread and it's contributors? Stooping to new lows there.

I'm confused by OPs writing.. SkyDrive icon was never in windows by default, so it wasn't exactly taken away. It was part of SkyDrive standalone install in Win7. Win8* did not get it by default til now

dingl_ said,
I'm confused by OPs writing.. SkyDrive icon was never in windows by default, so it wasn't exactly taken away. It was part of SkyDrive standalone install in Win7. Win8* did not get it by default til now

Yep, but Windows 7 users think it disappeared or was uninstalled or missing after moving to Windows 8.

I think it's referring to the icon disappearing in 8.1. I don't have an 8.1 machine on hand, but I believe the icon was removed to force people to use the Metro Skydrive interface instead.

Yes. They integrated the Skydrive service into Metro and made the Skydrive integration prior with the Desktop Client obsolete. Still installed they also disabled the icon in the taskbar. Now with the desktop client being obsolete they just replaced that icon out of the metro application

-adrian- said,
Yes. They integrated the Skydrive service into Metro and made the Skydrive integration prior with the Desktop Client obsolete. Still installed they also disabled the icon in the taskbar. Now with the desktop client being obsolete they just replaced that icon out of the metro application

They integrated SkyDrive into Explorer.

I had issues too, did a lot of disconnect account, restarting services, etc. and finally fixed it. But this update is good. Of course, once the syncing issues are fixed, it's not of much value but I don't mind it. it looks nice.

Thank god. I always wondered why they removed it to begin except that they wanted to piss of people.

Beware, SkyDrive is like crack, you start using it and you get hooked

Ha, well I've got about 40gb of free Skydrive storage and I hardly even use 6gb of it. And that's with Camera Roll backup enabled on my Lumia.

I received a email from Skydrive: "...In the coming weeks you'll notice a change happening. SkyDrive will become OneDrive...."

FaiKee said,
I received a email from Skydrive: "...In the coming weeks you'll notice a change happening. SkyDrive will become OneDrive...."

Same here: new name but not additional storage.... (-:

Mr. Dee said,
Honestly can't find a need to leave dropbox.

Gave up Dropbox after they couldn't figure out how to secure their infrastructure.

Mr. Dee said,
Honestly can't find a need to leave dropbox.

Well, after my promo 50GB expires on dropbox I'll be back to 2GB. And I have 25GB on skydrive so it is a no brainer what to go with.

Mr. Dee said,
Honestly can't find a need to leave dropbox.

Skydrive is one tenth of the cost. If Dropbox lowered their prices, their mobile integration is a lot better.

Dot Matrix said,

Gave up Dropbox after they couldn't figure out how to secure their infrastructure.

If you want security, don't use any cloud service.

JHBrown said,
If you want security, don't use any cloud service.

If you want security, don't use your computer. It is easier for a neighbor down the street to leech data from your systems and use it for their benefit than when you save stuff to SkyDrive.

Mr. Dee said,
Honestly can't find a need to leave dropbox.

Seamless Integration...

I have over 20 years of email and documents and photos available on every device or PC I sign into, and don't have to consume local space to have it all searched and available.

This is impressive on a 16gb phone when you can pull up a document from 1995 out of a collection of several hundred thousand files in a couple of seconds.

MrHumpty said,
You can make local accounts. It's just a pita.

The local accounts won't work with SkyDrive in 8.1 -- if you have a way to make this work, please share.

My work around is to use a network share to a Windows 8.0 VM running the desktop app version of SkyDrive.