How To Access SkyDrive Without Microsoft Account In Windows 8.1

SkyDrive has been deeply integrated into Windows 8.1 operating system. Windows 8.1 lets you access and browse SkyDrive files right from Windows Explorer, allows you automatically upload camera roll to your SkyDrive account, and also sync your desktop wallpaper and other settings across your Windows 8.1 machines.

But in order to use all above mentioned features, one need to sign in with a Microsoft account. That is, to be able to access your SkyDrive account in Windows 8.1, you have to sign-in using your Microsoft account and one can’t access the SkyDrive using a local account.

SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 with local account

The official SkyDrive app that ships with Windows 8.1 doesn’t help you either. When launched, it asks you switch to Microsoft account. And as you probably know, the SkyDrive desktop client doesn’t work in Windows 8.1.

PC users who are on Windows 8.1 with a local account have to either switch to Microsoft account or use a web browser in order to access their SkyDrive files. Wouldn’t it be good if it was possible to access and browse SkyDrive from Windows 8.1’s Explorer with a local account?

Access SkyDrive without Microsoft Account

Users who prefer not to sign-in with Microsoft account and still want to access their SkyDrive files right from Windows Explorer will be glad to know that it’s now possible to access SkyDrive files from Windows Explorer in Windows 8.1 with a small workaround.

In simple words, users who are using Windows 8.1 with a local account can also add SkyDrive to Windows Explorer and access files without having to install third-party tools.

Complete the given below instructions to add SkyDrive account to Windows 8.1’s explorer and access your files right from the Explorer.

Step 1: Sign-in to your SkyDrive account using a web browser installed on your Windows 8.1 PC.

Access SkyDrive Without Microsoft Account In Windows 8.1 Step01

Step 2: On the SkyDrive page, right-click on Files in the left-pane, and then click Copy link location (Firefox), Copy link address (Chrome) or Copy shortcut (Internet Explorer). This will copy the URL to the Files to the clipboard.

Access SkyDrive Without Microsoft Account In Windows 8.1 Step1

Step 3: Open Notepad and paste the URL that you have copied in the above step. Delete all characters in the URL except the last sixteen characters. That is, for instance, if the URL is, you need to delete everything except 71xxxxxxxxxxxd8d (last 16 characters).

Access SkyDrive Without Microsoft Account In Windows 8.1 Step2

Now, add to the beginning of the URL. The URL to your SkyDrive Files should now look like this:

Access SkyDrive Without Microsoft Account In Windows 8.1 Step3

Copy the new URL.

Step 3: Next, launch Windows Explorer (This PC). You can quickly launch the Explorer by simultaneously pressing Windows + E keys.

Step 4: In the left-pane, right-click on This PC icon and then click Map network drive option to open Map Network Drive wizard.

Access SkyDrive Without Microsoft Account In Windows 8.1 Step4

Step 5: Here in the wizard, select the drive letter that you would like to assign to SkyDrive, and then in the Folder box paste the URL that you have copied in step 3 (the URL that you have obtained after adding *****).

Access SkyDrive Without Microsoft Account In Windows 8.1 Step5

Step 6: Finally, click Finish button. If you’re prompted to enter your username and password, type your email address and password that you use to sign in to SkyDrive and then click OK button. That’s it!

Access SkyDrive Without Microsoft Account In Windows 8.1 Step6

Access SkyDrive Without Microsoft Account In Windows 8.1 Step7

NOTE: If you’re attempting it on your own PC, you might want to enable the option titled Remember my credentials to avoid entering your email and password next time.

Access SkyDrive Without Microsoft Account In Windows 8.1 Step9

The newly mapped drive containing your all your SkyDrive file should now appears in your This PC (My Computer).

How to change SkyDrive folder location in Windows 8.1 guide might also interest you.

Thanks Flgoo



  1. -M says

    This is fantastic! I was so pissed when I realized I’d have to sign in to my laptop with a Microsoft account to use the OneDrive app – really inconvenient. Thanks!

  2. Frank says

    The cid code is stil contained in other links, like for the individual folders and documents.

  3. Matthew says

    Looks like they no longer include the 16 digit code in the URL, i guess they didn’t like this work around..Anyone know of a new way to do this?

  4. Zaebawski says

    Not an option. In that case the files are not stored on your PC additionally. You need access to the Internet every time you need your files.

  5. Dave says

    I had two-factor authentication enabled on my Microsoft account, and the login was being rejected. Once it was turned off, the login worked.

  6. nammse says

    this works at the first time. however, when I try to add another account, to map another network drive, it shows me the error 0x80070043.
    can we use this method for more than one onedrive account with one computer?
    windows 8.1 x64

  7. Kim says

    Thanks, this worked well and was easy to follow. I have a few questions though, how do I save the documents onto another hard drive (I have my operating system on one and files on another). The size of the onedrive indicates it’s saving on the operating system harddrive.

    Will this work as a workaround to the multiple onedrive problem. Because I have several onedrives, but I can only use one to upload, which is a bit stupid.


  8. Pure says

    Brilliant tutorial. For those facing the problem of it asking for your credentials; if you have th two step verification enabled on yuor microsoft account you will need to generate a new app password and use this.

  9. Ferdinando Simonetti says

    Hello, someone has ever combined this trick with Offline Folders?
    This should accomplish even the need of offline synchronization…

  10. Taz says

    Thanks heaps. Have been using a third party application, but that started crashing recently. This is a great workaround and seems to work well. 🙂

  11. Emilio Bresk says

    Great idea! Thank you very much!

    I’ve been complaining for a few months in the Microsoft Community Forums about this limitation in the OneDrive app (
    As you could expect, I didn’t really get any official answers from Microsoft, but luckily a fellow user pointed me to this post.

    I’ve actually added my OneDrive folder as a network location rather than mapping it as a network drive, but I’d expect it to work either way.
    Of course, it will only work while you’re online (whereas the OneDrive app allows you to work on an offline copy of your files, and synch the changes later), so it’s not as convenient.
    But it’s really a great workaround, until Microsoft finally decides to listen ??and fix their logic.

    Thank you very much indeed!

  12. Mitul Patel says

    It works!
    Thank you very much.
    For refreshing it just need to click on the mapped drive name in address bar.

  13. RW5207 says

    So basically you are mapping a network drive using the WEBDAV file redirector (i.e. Web Client) so, as long as you have connectivity to the internet and OneDrive, this is simply a mapped drive. This doesn’t really address the offline/online/sync scenarios with OneDrive though, does it? Or, am I missing something? Thanks for the post.

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