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Utility ~ Microsoft OneDrive (SkyDrive)


Microsoft OneDrive previously SkyDrive and part of Windows Essentials replaces Windows Live Mesh. It is an integral feature of Windows 8 and Windows 10.

It is a free application that synchronizes files and folders between computers via a OneDrive online store that requires a Microsoft Account (previously known as Windows Live ID). It offers 5 GB of free storage space that allows files to be shared with individuals, groups, or networks. For each referred friend who signs in to OneDrive as a new customer, both you and your friend will receive an extra 0.5 GB free, up to 5 GB max. Free extra storage comes with Office 365 subscriptions. More storage can be purchased if required, at about £2.00 per month for 50 GB (OneDrive Plans).

Even with one PC, the OneDrive online store provides a useful short-term backup facility. Any files that are deleted will not only be sent to the local PC Recycle Bin, but also eventually to the OneDrive Recycle Bin, where they will reside for up to 30 days. If the OneDrive Recycle Bin files exceed 10% of the OneDrive storage limit, then the oldest files will be permanently deleted.

The maximum single file size supported is 10 GB.

It appears that files are encrypted in transit by Transport Layer Security (TLS)/Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) but not encrypted within the servers.

OneDrive synchronises most Windows PC (except XP), Apple Mac, tablets & phones (iOS, Android, Windows), and Xbox, but not Linux. Alternatively, files can be accessed via most web browsers, even on XP and Linux.

The Windows Essentials applications are supported on later Windows operating systems, and Windows Live Essentials on earlier Windows versions.

On Windows 8 the OneDrive folder and files default to being online-only in the cloud storage. It is advisable to make them available offline so they exist both on your PC and in the OneDrive cloud. This latter mode is the default for Windows 10 and Windows 7 and Windows Vista. Then Family Historian can still operate with the Project files even without an Internet connection. See Online-only files and files available offline for details.

Family Historian Synchronisation

The process for using OneDrive is straightforward, assuming you have all your media within your Project folder.

  • Run the OneDrive software on both PC, using the same Microsoft Account on both. OneDrive is preinstalled on Windows 8/8.1/10.
  • Use Windows/File Explorer to move your Family Historian Projects folder into the OneDrive folder created in Documents (My Documents) on your main PC.
  • Start Family Historian and via File > Project Window select More Tasks > Project List > Choose Location for Projects and point it to the folder you just moved into the OneDrive folder.
  • Wait a while, which may be many hours for large Projects or slow Internet connections.
  • Check the second PC has the files, and use More Tasks > Project List > Choose Location for Projects as above.

Now on whichever PC you change Project data, it is copied to the other PC automatically via the OneDrive online store. Use the Backup and Restore Family Historian Settings Plugin to synchronise settings and preferences.

To ensure Internet Data Matches are synchronised in ƒh V6 or later, then either use the Backup and Restore Family Historian Settings Plugin to Restore Registry Data Keys, or use File > Import/Export > Export > User Credentials on main PC and File > Import/Export > Import > User Credentials on other PC to transfer the FH User Credentials.fhcrd file.

For advanced PC users see the Utility ~ Link Shell Extension or Utility ~ Windows Directory Junctions for ways to include individual Projects, or customised Queries, Text Schemes, or any other folders within the OneDrive folder.

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Installation Instructions

Click on the links below and follow the download and install instructions.


Microsoft OneDrive for Windows 8, 7, Vista, Phone, Mac OS X Lion, iOS, and Android.

Windows Essentials for Windows 8 and Windows 7.

Windows Live Essentials for Windows Vista and Windows XP.