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SkyDrive is one of numerous programs offered by Microsoft in its Hotmail account package. Understanding how it works will help you deal with it.

I'm doing genealogy research and have been saving files in my computer email programs, both and My files were somehow moved to SkyDrive and are no longer available, something about an expired date. How can I remove SkyDrive completely? I have 64-bit Windows 7 and I use IE9. I don't remember ever requesting SkyDrive's services. I reinstalled Windows on one of my computers thinking I was rid of SkyDrive, but it's back.

In this excerpt from Answercast #42, I look at the way Microsoft handles online services, including SkyDrive, and how to remove it from your machine.

What is SkyDrive?

So, I'm not exactly sure what's going on here. I really don't know what you mean by having an expired date.

What I can do is tell you a little bit about SkyDrive.

First of all, realize that if you have a Windows Live account (in other words, your Hotmail account) then:

  • You have a SkyDrive account;

  • You have Windows Messenger account;

  • You have numerous related accounts.

The Windows Live account (that you have by virtue of having a Hotmail account) is an account that gets you access to a wide range of Windows Live services or services that Microsoft provides. SkyDrive happens to be one of them.

SkyDrive is an online service

You have SkyDrive whether you use it or not, it is something that's available to you on the web.

Now, on your machine, there is an application you would need to install in order for SkyDrive to actually have access to a folder on your machine – into which you would place files.

  • If that program has not been installed, then I'm a little confused as to exactly how SkyDrive is appearing to any of this.

  • If it is something on the web, then take extra care not to use it or not to save files to this SkyDrive location.

It sounds like you're saving files to disk. The only way SkyDrive will show up on a PC is if the SkyDrive software is installed on your PC.

May be preinstalled

Now, it's possible that it's part of the pre-package bundle of your Window services (or when Windows got reinstalled.)

So let's assume for a minute that it is actually there.

  1. You should be able to find it in Control Panel under Programs and Features.

  2. There should be an entry for SkyDrive (it might be called Microsoft SkyDrive; it might be called Windows Live SkyDrive; it might just be called SkyDrive; I really don't know. Microsoft keeps changing the names of things).

  3. But once you find it, you should be able to right-click on it and then click on Uninstall.

That should make SkyDrive on your PC go away.

You will still have a SkyDrive account because you have a Hotmail account, but that doesn't mean you have to use it. It doesn't mean you have to pay attention to it, and it should not interfere with anything else that you're doing.

Article C5672 - August 8, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

August 8, 2012 11:45 PM

I believe SkyDrive is grouped under a single installer for the so-called Windows Live Essentials, which also include Messenger, Mail and several others. All programs are installed by default, you have to uncheck the ones you don't want. Perhaps you wanted to install one of the other programs and unwittingly installed SkyDrive along with it.
The way to uninstall it would be to go to the programs and features section in the control panel; there you won't find uninstallers for any of the programs in isolation. Rather you'll find a single item called Windows Live Essentials, which will allow you to select which programs you want to uninstall.

August 10, 2012 12:29 PM

One of the things that comes with Skydrive is Windows Office 2013. That, for free, is quite a bargain.

Richard Lovejoy
November 30, 2012 3:15 PM

I am curious, ref para 2;I SkyDrv is an Online....2nd from last sentence "...take care not to use or..I have not used it for docs, but have found it great for making (eg) video.wma complilations to addressees very satisfying. Do you perceive a real security risk to this MS product?

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