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Accessing the Sync and Shared Folders

On each PC, click the Windows Live Sync icon. As Figure 5 shows, a shortcut should appear for every folder you've configured with the service. Those folders not configured to be shared with the particular PC you're on will still be listed; however, they are grayed out and can't be accessed. You can click and access any folders specifically set up with the computer you are on.

Figure 5 Shortcuts for your folders.

Any changes made to the synchronization folders, from any of the computers, will be made across all the computers. For example, if Computers A and B are set up with the XYZ synchronization folder and you create a new document in the folder at Computer A, as soon as synchronization occurs Computer B will have the same document in its XYZ folder. It also works the other way; for example, if you delete a file in the XYZ folder at Computer B, the file will also be removed from Computer A when synchronization occurs. Simply put, the synchronization folders on all the PCs should be exactly the same.

Sharing a Folder with Others

If you want to give other people the ability to synchronize with your folder(s), you can create what Windows Live Sync calls Shared Folders. They can't access the files online using the Windows Live Sync site, but they can download, install, and sign-in with the sync software to synchronize with the folder(s) you choose. You can either convert an existing Personal Folder into a Shared Folder or add a new Shared Folder to your account.

To convert a Personal Folder, click the folder, and on its page, click the Edit permissions link. To start one from scratch, click the Create a shared folder link on your main account page. At a certain point, you'll specify the email addresses of the people you want to invite. Simply enter their address, click Add, and then choose the type of access you want to give them. Once you finish up, emails (such as Figure 6 shows) are automatically sent to the people. If they don't have an Windows Live ID with the address you specified they can create one. Once they log into the site, they can download the sync software. The folder(s) you are sharing with them will appear on the menu (grayed out at first) when they click the sync icon in the system tray. Once they click the folder(s), they will be prompted to select a folder on their PC that they want to be synchronized with yours.

Checking Out Other Windows Live Services

We did it. We installed and set up Windows Live Sync to synchronize, share, and remotely access our files. Now you might want to look into other Windows Live services. Check out the main portal, the Windows Live Essentials software pack, SkyDrive online storage space, and more.

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