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I'd like to experiment with Sky Drive, but keep using my Dropbox account unless I decide to switch.

This answer gives instructions for how to set up both at the same time, but I'm a little worried about data integrity. Is there any danger involved here? Will Sky Drive and Dropbox fight each other? Note that I am using Sky Drive/Dropbox on multiple computers, so they will be writing data as well as reading it.

Is this safe?

Edit: I can use them with different folders if necessary, but I'm particularly curious what would happen if they sync from the same folder.

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Personally I keep them separate. – KronoS Oct 28 '12 at 17:41
up vote 3 down vote accepted

There's no problem at all, they could be even pointing to the same folder via NTFS junctions and they'd both sync the same data.

This is actually one of the setups I have for added reliability, here is how I did:

  • Install them both and let them sync if you already have files backed up in them.
  • Stop one of the clients, say Dropbox.
  • If the files you have in Dropbox are not synced in SkyDrive too copy them over to SkyDrive's folder.
  • Delete Dropbox folder and create a junction with its name pointing to the SkyDrive one (CMD):

    mklink /J Path\To\Dropbox Path\To\SkyDrive
    e.g.: mklink /J C:\Users\Alex\Dropbox C:\Users\Alex\SkyDrive
  • Start Dropbox again.


Maybe this is what you wanted to know: You'll notice is that Dropbox would be unable to sync a file called ".lock" that SkyDrive uses, and in SkyDrive you'll notice a folder called ".dropbox.cache".

Those things are metadata used by each application, ".lock" is just a lock file, ".dropbox.cache" contains cache of some sort for Dropbox, if I recall correctly it was for some deleted files in order to recover them faster, but files in that folder are deleted. Other than that I never nothing anything else, nor experienced data loss due to using both services at the same time.

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It should be fine to do this but there may be a problem and here is a possible workaround:

You can make SkyDrive sync the contents of the Dropbox folder by making a link between the two folders.

You can do this by, opening cmd (you should run it as administrator) and running the following command:

mklink /d C:\Users\User\Dropbox C:\Users\User\SkyDrive

Replacing the two directory paths with the ones for your actual Dropbox and Skydrive folders.

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I should have been more clear: I'm curious what will happen if they are syncing from the same folder. – Matthew Pirocchi Oct 28 '12 at 16:17
Apologies, I have updated my answer. – Daniel B Oct 28 '12 at 16:25

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