I have desperately been trying to run multiple instances of the Windows Desktop SkyDrive Sync App on Windows 8. I have several Microsoft accounts and through creating Symbolic links have been able to allow SkyDrive to find the files & folders I would like to sync without actually moving them to the SkyDrive folders. I would like all the syncing to happen in the background, so I would need multiple instances of SkyDrive to be running. Here's what I have tried so far:

I created a new user, switched accounts to set up and run SkyDrive. This works fine except that I need to always remember to log in the other account(s) when I start my computer, another downside is that each log in starts unnecessary programs that just take up RAM.

Using Runas/PSExec:

C:\Windows\system32>psexec -u [Username] -p [Password] -d "C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\SkyDrive\SkyDrive.exe"

If no SkyDrive process is already running on the computer, this will work and start the SkyDrive process of that account. However this will mean that I cannot start the SkyDrive process of my primary account. Starting that will simply open the SkyDrive folder of the other account. And Vice versa.

Any ideas guys, please? Thanks in advance.


OK. After a lot of experimentation I have managed to solve the case! In simplest terms here is how to run multiple instances of SkyDrive simultaneously on Windows:

  • Create a new user account for each SkyDrive account
  • Log in to the newly created account and set up SkyDrive, get it up and running, then log off
  • On your primary account, Go to C:\Users and double-click on the profile of the newly created user, this should show you an error message telling you that you do not have the required permissions to access the folder, simply click on Continue to get the permissions
  • Download & Install Sandboxie
  • Create a Sandbox for each SkyDrive account, giving it an appropriate name
  • Download the PsTools, unzip the file and obtain the required PsExec (you may wish to place them all in a folder and set your %PATH% variable to that folder)
  • Create a batch file with following code and place it in the same folder as the psexec.exe program, replace the <> with your values:

    psexec -u <Username> -p <Password> -d "C:\Program Files\Sandboxie\Start.exe" /box:<Sandbox> C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\SkyDrive\SkyDrive.exe

  • Run the batch file or schedule it to be run at logon

Note: You can, of course place the above code multiple times as needed for each account into one batch file. I plan to post a more detailed version of the above instructions on my blog soon.

  • Does it still work? – 5YrsLaterDBA Jul 29 '14 at 2:46
  • @5YrsLaterDBA I've not had to use it since then, so I don't know. Sorry. – ProgrammerMan Aug 3 '14 at 21:25

You could also create the multiple accounts and install skydrive app for each and run it. Then log out of all the extra accounts and on your main profile you create a sceduled task to run at startup that runs the skydrive.exe from each user accounts %appdata%\Microsoft\Skydrive folder. You just need to remember to set each scheduled task to run as the appropriate user for that instance of skydrive. This is available as an option when you check the box to show advanced options after completing the simple scheduled task.

  • Thanks. I have not tried to do it via Scheduled Tasks running as the appropriate user, but I have tried using runas & psexec without any success as outlined in my question and I can imagine that the Scheduled Tasks would use the exact runas program and therefore produce the same result. – ProgrammerMan Jan 18 '13 at 19:50

Actually there seems to be a much easier way to accomplish this:

Following the initial steps outlined above

  1. Create the additional user
  2. Connecting to the users OneDrive, and then log off
  3. Go to the user's folder under C:\Users and clock through the access warning
  4. You should now see the SkyDrive or OneDrive folder for that account

Now do the following

  1. Click on the folder to navigate to the root of the SkyDrive
  2. Scroll up in Explorer to Favorites and add current location to Favorites
  3. Rename to something identifying the user and you should be done
  • cannot understand what you are saying. it is about running more than one OneDrive, or using more than one accounts, simultaneously on ONE pc machine. – 5YrsLaterDBA Jul 29 '14 at 0:18

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