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  1. tpapictures's Avatar
    I've never fully grasped this for years, and it's starting to annoy me that I don't understand it. Logging into Windows.
    My wife and I use our computer as a computer for various things, none of which requires us to have separate "experiences" on Windows. We use all the same programs and settings because we simply don't see our computer as something that needs to be personalised for each of us the way one might want a work terminal personalised or secure from other users. I have a profile selector set up for email (in both Thunderbird and Outlook) but other than that it seems pointless to us to use our computer in separate ways. However, increasingly, Windows presents situations where one logs in especially with Windows 8. So because we're forced to, we always just create and account called "Home, Home" and use it. I'd prefer to remove the entire concept of logging in because it's useless to us. In any event, SkyDrive now complicates this a bit further and all of this has become a bigger issue since our desire to move to a Windows Phone.
    Finally the questions... (sorry )
    1. What exactly are these Windows logins for and why would I want that interface? I don't think I get the benefit of this.
    2. SkyDrive/Live accounts seem to permeate throughout Windows now from Bing to Office, etc. and so... If my wife ends up with her own Live account for her phone and me with mine, how will we both use one common SkyDrive account where we share several documents, budget spreadsheets, photos etc? We do this now with Dropbox and Springpad. Is there a way to do this where we share one SkyDrive but still have our phone accounts? I can't imagine the annoyance of having to copy all our shared content to both accounts back and forth.
    3. On the desktop and laptop would we basically be logging in and out all the time? What are the live accounts providing access to on bing anyway?
    4. Office is something where we both utilise several of the same documents. When she's logged in do my documents not show up? Sorry to be so confused, I just don't get the implementation.

    Any help would be awesome. Thank you!
    11-07-2013 02:03 PM
  2. Jazmac's Avatar
    Might have to do with there being a single license to the OS. It does allow you to create multiple accounts on the single license but with a paid license, the intensions is to manage one user.
    11-07-2013 02:29 PM
  3. dznk's Avatar
    I'll try and explain this as best as I can but you're not the only one to get a little confused about it. Microsoft, along with all the other big tech providers like Google are offering more and more online based services, be it Cloud storage, online music services, app store purchases etc These require some sort of login and account verification. To make things easier these companies like Microsoft want people to have one account which they can use to login and use all of those services. As most of these services (SkyDrive, Skype, Store, Outlook, Calendar etc) require a login, the way Microsoft have chosen to do it in Windows 8 is use your login screen when you boot up your PC/Laptop to act as a sigining page for all these services. So when you login with Windows 8 using a Microsoft Account, you'll find that if you open SkyDrive, Mail app, Maps app, Store etc you are already signed in and you're good to go. If you didn't use a Microsoft account, many features become inaccessible because those services require a login and you wouldn't have provided one.

    With Windows Phone, you can have one account logged into more than one phone, I do it. I have two Windows Phones (one is my old phone, it's just used as a backup). However, there are downsides to doing it your way, as you would have one Microsoft Account (like me), but there is physically two different people, so like you said contacts (which Microsoft call 'People') would be all muddled together and the same with the Calendar and Reminders etc

    If you ask me, and I know you are not used to it, but I think it would be best for you to both have a Microsoft Account each. That way your own app purchases, SkyDrive information, contacts etc are your own and won't get mixed up. Don't worry, even with different Microsoft Accounts, you can easily use SkyDrive together. Just one of you stores the documents and spreadsheets etc that you both need access to and both of you at any time can open and edit the same files.

    Going back to logging in to Windows 8. You can use Local Accounts still if you want to. This is just how it was in all previous versions of Windows, however it is not recommended due to what I mentioned earlier, whereby most of the common applications and services used now (SkyDrive, Skype, Bing, App store, Calendar, People etc) all require a login with a Microsoft Account, so you would not be able to use these if you used Local Accounts to login with.

    I know it might seem a bit of pain to get used to, but Microsoft Accounts are the way forward from now onwards. Hopefully this helps a little, I perhaps should have answered you in the numbered questions you gave ;)
    11-07-2013 02:31 PM
  4. TheJoester09's Avatar
    The easiest way to share files using Skydrive is to set up a Room with you and your wife (assuming you both have WP8). I have one set up with my wife, and we both have access to our grocery list and our budget Excel document whenever we need it. It's a really great feature and requires very little work!
    dznk, rdubmu and Kavu2 like this.
    11-07-2013 02:41 PM
  5. dznk's Avatar
    The easiest way to share files using Skydrive is to set up a Room with you and your wife (assuming you both have WP8). I have one set up with my wife, and we both have access to our grocery list and our budget Excel document whenever we need it. It's a really great feature and requires very little work!
    Yep great suggestion, that had completely evaded my thoughts for some reason. They are designed to do what he's asking for with the phone side of things.
    11-07-2013 02:50 PM
  6. tpapictures's Avatar
    I'll try and explain this as best as I can...
    This was brilliant. I completely understand now. The one thing that still escapes me is.. Are there two different "PCs" existing in Windows with this setup? When my wife and I log into Windows, are we BOTH seeing the exact same content on the internal HDDs or is someone seeing some lesser version with less administrative privileges, different content, different save files in games, different settings in every single program (Office, browsers, thunderbird, etc), different media, etc?
    If the answer is, "YES, you'll both have different 'PCs' basically", then I think the only solution is to keep our PC the way it is, have our separate Windows Phone accounts, and open up SkyDrive if and when we need to rather than constantly switching profiles. The only thing I'd then need to figure out is how to take our Documents folder (not the usual MS 'My Documents' folder because ours is one we made on a 2nd HDD 'cause I don't like that stuff on the C: drive.) and have it available and always updated on both of our SkyDrives. No idea how I'll do that yet if this is indeed the way I need to go.
    11-07-2013 04:25 PM
  7. dznk's Avatar
    Glad I could help a bit :)

    Unfortunately this again is not a simple answer :) Each account on a Windows 8 PC has their own Store apps and Start screen layout and design etc. So say your wife downloads the Netflix app in the store and chooses to have a bright green start screen background, on your account you would not see the Netflix app nor have a bright green start screen background. Whatever you download from the Windows store (app store) and how you change your background and arrange your tiles etc, will not be duplicated onto any other account. What is seen by both accounts though are the Desktop applications. So for example if you installed Firefox, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Printer software etc you would both be able to see these programs and open them. Both of you can install desktop programs as well. Game saves would likely not be available to both of you as these are often stored in your account/profile folders. Same goes with Thunderbird email and IE favourites etc. These are stored in your own profile folders (they always have been on Windows, in C:\Users\username), so you both wouldn't see the same data in those applications. However like I said, you would both be able to open and use these programs, it's just the data files that are stored in your profile folder.. if that makes sense :) It's always been like this so that each user has there own bookmarks, wallpaper, email etc, it stops other family members from using or snooping on what the others have.

    If you have your documents on a 2nd HDD in a Windows 8 PC, that's great, as you will both be able to access them from either of your user accounts, as the files are not stored in either of your profile folders. There are other ways to share data on Windows through shared folders etc, but if have all your documents and any other files for that matter on a 2nd HDD, you will both see the same files from either of the accounts.

    Syncing files to SkyDrive is actually fairly easy in Windows 8 as SkyDrive is built into the OS. So you could tell Windows to sync your 2nd HDD to SkyDrive, but you'll have to watch the storage space though as you only get 7GB free with SkyDrive, but you can buy a lot more space if needed. I should think you could set it up so that both accounts sync the same folder, giving you both access to the same files all of the time. Not done it myself, but I should think it would work. I'll have to test this myself sometime.

    Again, hopefully this makes a bit of sense, it can get a little tricky to understand sometimes, especially where sharing data and programs is concerned.
    11-07-2013 05:33 PM
  8. tpapictures's Avatar
    I'm going to potentially throw a curveball here... Does any of what you've said change if our desktop is Windows 7 and our laptop is Windows 8? It would appear that the only difference is that 8 embeds more of the synced features into the UI and the main Windows login whereas 7 does it via an installed application and separate sign-ins in Bing, Word, etc.

    I really need to figure out if I can do the following:
    Sync a PC folder to SkyDrive account and phone X, log out...
    sync the same folder to SkyDrive account and phone Y, log out... so that it's accessible to both.
    Then, have it work that account X's changes affect the original folder on the PC, and also end up in turn affecting the folder on account Y and vice versa. The real puzzle then becomes how to incorporate the laptop to all this which also needs to affect the same files. You may wonder how I do this now. Through Sugarsync. Sugarsync lets us sync the documents folder from desktop onto laptop and then when either Android phone uses the files on Sugarsync the changes sync back to the original on the desktop.
    11-07-2013 06:45 PM
  9. tpapictures's Avatar
    The easiest way to share files using Skydrive is to set up a Room with you and your wife (assuming you both have WP8). I have one set up with my wife, and we both have access to our grocery list and our budget Excel document whenever we need it. It's a really great feature and requires very little work!
    Do those files live only on SkyDrive? What do you do when you don't have a data signal?
    11-08-2013 06:52 AM
  10. TheJoester09's Avatar
    Do those files live only on SkyDrive? What do you do when you don't have a data signal?
    You should be able to access the files on the phone without a data connection. Whatever changes you make will be uploaded to SkyDrive once a data connection has been re-established.
    11-08-2013 07:04 AM
  11. dznk's Avatar
    I'm going to potentially throw a curveball here... Does any of what you've said change if our desktop is Windows 7 and our laptop is Windows 8? It would appear that the only difference is that 8 embeds more of the synced features into the UI and the main Windows login whereas 7 does it via an installed application and separate sign-ins in Bing, Word, etc.
    I wouldn't say it really changes things too much, you can work with Windows 7 and Windows 8 together. I have a Windows 7 Desktop PC and a Windows 8.1 Laptop and a Windows Phone.. I get on fine with this setup. However my situation is a bit different to yours as I don't do so much of the syncing and sharing of data with others in my family from these devices. I tend to have just my own stuff synced so I can access it anywhere myself. I created a OneNote notebook for holiday on my Windows 7 PC in OneNote which is part of Office. At the hotel I edited my plans a bit more on my Windows 8 laptop. Then I was out in the middle of nowhere and had to check some maps which I had saved in that OneNote notebook and I had it straight up on my phone in a few seconds. Your scenario is a little different, as you want to edit different data on different devices but through different Microsoft Accounts.


    I really need to figure out if I can do the following:
    Sync a PC folder to SkyDrive account and phone X, log out...
    sync the same folder to SkyDrive account and phone Y, log out... so that it's accessible to both.
    Then, have it work that account X's changes affect the original folder on the PC, and also end up in turn affecting the folder on account Y and vice versa. The real puzzle then becomes how to incorporate the laptop to all this which also needs to affect the same files. You may wonder how I do this now. Through Sugarsync. Sugarsync lets us sync the documents folder from desktop onto laptop and then when either Android phone uses the files on Sugarsync the changes sync back to the original on the desktop.
    You can do this, it's different from what you would be used to with SugarSync though I believe. I haven't used SugarSync myself but I've had a quick look at what it's about.

    SkyDrive works a bit diferent to your 'sync' based cloud services like SugarSync. Think of SkyDrive like a Hard Drive. The way Microsoft has designed SkyDrive, it is to be used basically like a Hard Drive, but one that is obviously stored in the cloud. It is basically your Hard Drive, not anybody elses and you store what files you want in it. Sync based services are similar but are more geared towards uploading and editing different files at different locations. SkyDrive is not really built around this setup method.

    You can however Share folders and files with SkyDrive so that other people can "View" or "View and edit" those files. I will give you a quick run down on how I would setup a shared scenario with another person....

    We'll call them Bob and Mary.

    Bob has a Desktop PC running Windows 7. Mary and Bob both use a Windows 8.1 laptop.

    • On the Desktop PC Bob installs the SkyDrive Desktop App for Windows 7 giving him access to SkyDrive through File Explorer.
    • Bob uploads any documents and pictures etc that he and Mary want to edit, into SkyDrive (remember this would be Bobs SkyDrive account. SkyDrive is for one person, there is no sharing of SkyDrive accounts)
    • So now Bobs SkyDrive contains the data that wants to be shared with Mary
    • Bob gives the shared link (which is created when you set a folder to be shared) to that folder to Mary
    • Mary can now see that shared folder in her SkyDrive under the 'Shared' heading
    • She can now also see and edit the files on her Windows Phone as well
    • Note that the files always belong and are taking up space on Bobs SkyDrive account, not Mary's. She is just viewing and editing them.
    • If Mary edits a file, it obviously saves that change to the file on Bobs SkyDrive
    • So Bob switches on his Windows 7 Desktop PC and checks the file and sees that it's updated with any changes Mary makes
    • On the Windows 8.1 laptop they share, it obviously differs from who is logged on to the laptop.
    • If Bob logs on, he just opens File Explorer, clicks on SkyDrive on the left hand side (next to his Documents, Pictures etc) and he will see all of those files and can open them directly from File Explorer
    • If Mary logged on to the laptop, she then clicks on SkyDrive in File Explorer, she would not see any of these files at all. Why? Because they don't belong on her SkyDrive account, they are yours.
    • If she opens up her web browser, goes to www.skydrive.com and logs in. She can then click on 'Shared' on the left hand side and see those files (which are on Bobs SkyDrive account).
    • From there she can click and open them up and edit them, but like I said she can't see them from File Explorer on her Desktop if she wanted to as SkyDrive does not sync Shared folders onto physical Hard Drives. It's one feature that gets requested quite a bit though, because as it stands, say if I share a file with you, you can only see this file on the 'Shared' section on www.skydrive.com or on your phone, not on your PC's or Laptops File Explorer or Desktop etc.



    Can you see how it is different to what you are currently used to. So to sum it up, SkyDrive can indeed share files with any other people, who can access them and edit them (loads of people do this), but there are some limitations and different ways of going about it, compared to something like SugarSync. However, many people like myself, find SkyDrive excellent, as it can store and sync your own data effortlessly between any Windows device, anywhere. From a Windows PC to Laptop, to Tablet to Windows Phone, I have everything I want when I want. As you also get Office on Windows Phone (absolutely free), I can edit excel spreadsheets and word documents on my phone wherever I am. But, as I said my use of SkyDrive is what SkyDrive was really intended for, but other people have slightly different needs, so SkyDrive may not be best suited for them. It appears on the face of it that you get on well with SugarSync and that is designed more for what you are looking for, although the syncing to any Windows RT or Windows Phone based device is a struggle as they don't currently have apps for them.
    Eric J F likes this.
    11-08-2013 07:07 AM
  12. Eric J F's Avatar
    Here's what we do; it's much simpler:

    We have a Windows 8 PC ( we used to have two and it worked the same way) and two Windows Phone 8s. We disable the PC Lockscreen login and use only one MS account. Each phone uses the same MS account.

    We share everything- SkyDrive, people, calendar, app purchases, etc. It's especially useful to share contacts, the calendar, and things like shopping and birthday lists in OneNote. We each have our own To-Do and other OneNote lists, and we can each have our own folder on SkyDrive.

    We share a common RoadRunner email which we can access via the web on the phones, but we each have separate personal emails. On my phone I use outlook.com, which is our common MS account. My wife's phone is set to use the same account, but we uncheck 'sync email' under that account so she gets the same contact, calendar, SkyDrive, and OneNote data. She has a personal Yahoo account and a work Google account we've set up on her phone. I think with Google she can sync those contacts but I don't know how it works. In other words, we share everything but our personal email.

    Anyway, I don't know if this is what you're looking for, but it works very well for us. It's simple and we can easily share stuff but have our own 'space'. For separate contact lists and calendars you could find apps that work across both devices.
    Last edited by Eric J F; 11-08-2013 at 07:54 AM.
    11-08-2013 07:34 AM
  13. tpapictures's Avatar
    Thanks guys. All of that completely made sense. I really appreciate all the effort to describe in such vivid detail. And I understand things a lot better with respect to how SkyDrive works. I get the whole sharing concept and I can see how it would be really helpful with maybe one thing like a grocery list through OneNote. But other than that it seems like a "fix" or a "workaround" for me. And fixes and workarounds (Warning: OCD alert) always make me feel like there's space taken up in my brain for remembering that workaround that could better be used remembering something else. I know, a bit neurotic, I can't explain it, it just makes sense to me.

    I think accepting that we both need our own account like on our current Android phones is the first thing. That's fine and it's also beneficial because we both end up with our own additional 7GB of space in the cloud. What drives us both a bit nuts is the "everything connected all the time" thing. A) I don't like any one company having so much access to what I do online and benefiting from my use to log marketing data, and B) I don't particularly like my online experience custom tailored to fit me everywhere. I know, that seems like the complete opposite of what people say, but there it is. The simple fact is that aside from contacts being synced, I have no use for everything else being synced. I save pictures on my phone. When I need them on the computer, I upload them to cloud storage. When I'm working on documents on the go, I save them to cloud storage, pick them up PC-side, work on them, and that's it. WP8 will be great for that. And I'll logon for that. The problem is that maintaining two separate computer logins is just completely impractical for the two if us and quite frankly makes no sense. It would be like us using different pots and pans in the same kitchen just because they're made for each of us.

    With everyone's help, it's been great to get to a point of understanding the whole thing. I think the only thing that works for us even if it makes no sense to anyone else, is that we'll have our separate phones (obviously), our separate SkyDrives to sync things to our PC, but we'll do what we've been doing with Google and just log in when each of us needs to. On the Win8 laptop, we'll just keep mine logged in and that's that. It doesn't affect the way we use our computers anyway but we just don't want separate profile files and having to remember "where is that file, on yours?", etc.The other thing as well is that we don't use cloud storage for anything more than backing up photos and accessing our important documents that we share so two logins are completely superfluous to us. Box, dropbox are both available on WP. Maybe we'll just use one of those for our budget spreadsheets and so on.

    Thanks everybody. What a HUGE help!
    11-08-2013 05:16 PM
  14. dznk's Avatar
    No problem, good to hear you have a better understanding of it :)

    I think you've got a good plan with the above. Box have a good app for WP, Dropbox don't have an app but they have a mobile page that is fully compatible apparently, so it does indeed look like you could you use either of these for your syncing needs. Things will get a lot easier once you have the above in place and test drive it. It often takes a little while to just adjust the way you use these cloud based services and using files on different devices etc, but it will work out fine in the end :)
    11-09-2013 04:46 AM
  15. tpapictures's Avatar
    Tiny update (as though anyone is interested.. )

    We tried going with Box, but the problem with it and all other cloud services is that, at least on WP, when you open and edit a file you can't save it when you're done back to the cloud. Only to SkyDrive or the phone. SkyDrive, obviously for us is the better option for opening and editing files on the go and having it sync across the Windows desktop, laptop and tablets at home.

    After trying to coordinate sharing with several cloud services, and also spending time getting more used to our phones, we've opted for throwing our document folders onto my SkyDrive (soon to be OneDrive, I guess) because it just happens to be the one logged in on the desktop and laptop. From there, I'll share the folders to my wife. The question I have after figuring out the logistics of this, is how do I actually tell her SkyDrive that I'm sharing folders with her? And will she be able to fully view and edit the content of the folders on her phone? Because that in the end is the desired result.

    (As a side-note, I still have absolutely no use for being forced to log in to our computers. It's a huge pain, but we just ignore the fact that it's logged in because it doesn't affect us.)
    01-28-2014 09:24 AM

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