Sync Folders with Windows Live Mesh

November 19, 2010, By Christian Cawley

You might know Windows Live Mesh by one of its former names, such as Live Mesh, Windows Live Sync or Windows Live FolderShare, and this is a really useful tool that lets you synchronize files on two computers with each other via the Microsoft SkyDrive.

For instance if you’re writing a Word document on your work PC and have to take it home to finish it off, with Windows Live Mesh you can sync the document with SkyDrive; later on when you get home just sync with SkyDrive to get the later version of the document on your home PC.

Windows Live Mesh is available as part of Microsoft’s Windows Live Essentials suite, which can be downloaded from explore.live.com. Installation is via a single downloadable “live” installer – you need to be connected to the internet to install Windows Live Mesh and the apps included in the Windows Live Essentials suite.

Setting Up Windows Live Mesh

After you have downloaded the installer and chosen to install either the complete suite via the first option, or taken the second option to choose specific apps to install, Windows Live Mesh will be available via Start > Windows Live > Windows Live Mesh.

To get started with this online app, you will need to sign in using your Windows Live or Hotmail account username and password. If you don’t have one, you can sign up for free via signup.live.com.

Windows Live Mesh will then connect to your SkyDrive, or if you don’t yet have one, it will spend a moment or two setting it up.

Folder Sync in Windows Live Mesh

The main feature in Windows Live Mesh is the folder sync tool. This allows you to determine which documents, photos and other files you with to sync between your two computers. Note that both systems must be running Windows 7 and have Windows Live Mesh installed.

Use the Sync a folder link on the Status tab to find folders to synchronise; meanwhile, you can use the Go to Windows Live Devices to find your other device and check it is correctly connected for syncing!

You can also use the Status tab to sync favourites from Internet Explorer as well as sync all styles, templates, custom dictionaries and email signatures with Microsoft Office!

Remote Access with Windows Live Mesh

Hidden away in the Remote tab on Windows Live Mesh is a remote control option to allow you to run programs and access files and folders that you don’t have synched with Windows Live Mesh.

To set this up, all you need to do is activate the Allow remote connections to this computer option and you can then begin connecting to your PC or laptop from elsewhere via Windows Live Mesh. While this isn’t a remote desktop application and is unlikely to replace services such as GoToMyPC or LogMeIn, this service will allow you to get access to vital files and folders from a remote location and will certainly prevent you from having to resort to either of the popular RDP tools.

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