Move Microsoft SkyDrive folder location without re-downloading all files

Microsoft SkyDrive is an awesome service and the recently released desktop synchronisation application makes keeping all of your files with you and up-to-date a breeze.

When you first install SkyDrive it prompts you to select the folder location in which to store your files. But what happens if you want to change that location down the track? The application itself doesn’t currently have that functionality.

One way is to unlink and re-link your account in the application Settings,  this requires you to re-download all of your files again. This may not be a big deal if you have a small number of files, but what do you do if you have many gigs of data to re-sync?

The following workaround helps you do just that:

1. Exit the SkyDrive application via your system tray.

2. Move the existing SkyDrive folder (under your user profile by default) to the new desired location. I moved mine to “D:\Max\SkyDrive”.

3. Use Windows Explorer to navigate to the folder “c:\users\[username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\SkyDrive\settings\” where [username] is your user profile.

4. Look for the .ini file with the random letters & numbers (in the above image, it is 08368ecf2576d77c.ini). Edit this with your favourite text editor.

5. Search for the line which starts with “library = “. This line shows the folder where your SkyDrive data was originally synchronised after “personal“. Change this to the proposed new file location.

Make sure you get this exactly right. Once you are done, Save and Close.

6. Launch SkyDrive from your Start Menu. You may get an error pop up, but the application will do a quick scan of the folder and confirm all is in order.

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31 Responses

  1. I didn’t even get an error message. Thanks!

  2. luke says:

    Perfect!, No error for me also.

  3. Gerry says:

    Great – thanks for taking the trouble to post this.

  4. awesome, works perfectly, thanks dude

  5. mentalgiant says:

    can’t move the folder to a network drive :(

  6. philix says:

    Thanks a lot : D

  7. AnHund says:

    Excellent post and thanks a lot it worked perfectly.

  8. Jorge says:

    Thanks! I only had to make visible the AppData folder in the Control Panel selecting “Folder Options” > “View” > “Show hidden files”

  9. rio says:

    thanks dude..

  10. Ali says:

    Saved my life :’)

  11. Michael says:

    Thank you.

    Microsoft has really gone the wrong direction for people who know how to use a computer and wish to access or customize anything.

    Many thanks.

  12. Derek says:

    I found it easier to uninstall skydrive, move the skydrive folder, and re-install skydrive.

  13. Leon says:

    Thank you for this. Skydrive would always redownload duplicates for some files (at a glance it would seem to be just the big files, >.>), hopefully this will spare me some downloading.

  14. fernandk says:

    thanks. it worked!

  15. Gabriel says:

    Thanks a million! That is a fabulously easy fix!!!

  16. Rick says:

    It’s much easier to exit skydrive, move the skydrive folder, and restart skydrive. It’ll then ask for the new location. Simply browse to it.

  17. Lal Thomas says:

    Thank You for the help

  18. David says:

    Thanks, worked perfectly.

  19. mados123 says:

    Super Duper and thanks so much for pointing this out! I love simple .ini mods.

  20. Sherool says:

    You can also simply open the SkyDrive settings menu. Unlink the computer, move the SkyDrive folder and when re-linking Skydrive point to the new location rater than the default one. It will process for a while to compare the files, if everything is the same no up- or downloading will happen.

  21. Baune says:

    Done. No probs!

  22. PeeKay says:

    Aweome..Well explained. Able to accomplish without any errors.

  23. Brian Gee says:

    Good Man

  24. ssdfsd says:

    Thanks for taking the time!

  25. thewhitecell says:

    After a somewhat bizarre series of BSODs and random crashes in a row (seemingly solved by disconnecting from the mains power for a while) my SkyDrive folder suddenly became un-set. I tried the method you outline above but my .ini file doesn’t have a ‘library = ‘ entry. What should the preamble before the folder name be?

  26. stuffy says:

    Excellent — most useful tip I’ve found after searching for a long time on the Internet.

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