Posted by Ines.


This is a short post to answer some of the most frequently asked Sharing Folders questions. Some of the questions below come from our Beta Testers, who have been actively participating and providing great feedback on the newsgroups and Beta Chat.

  • Why don’t I see the Sharing Folder icon in the Main Window?

    • Sharing Folders is currently only enabled for certain specific markets for this Beta release. If you don’t see the sharing icon in the main window, this means that Sharing is disabled for your market. Sorry .
  • The Sharing Window says I don’t have an Anti Virus installed. But I do have one installed on my system!
    • Sharing Folders currently supports integration with Windows Live Safety Center Scanner only. It will scan all incoming files from your sharing buddies and keep you virus free . Give it a try and send your feedback to the team on their blog!
  • What happens when I have existing sharing folders on one machine, then sign into a new one?
    • When you sign in to a new machine, you will be asked to recreate your sharing folders.
      • Select Yes: The content of your sharing folders will be synchronized to your computer with the files on your buddies’ machines, as long as they are online. Warning: You may be suddenly bombarded with incoming transfers if you have a lot of sharing relationships with your buddies .
      • Select No: This does the exact same thing as declining a sharing relationship with your buddy on that machine only. This means that if you have sharing folders with Bob and Peter on your laptop, but you answer no and decline the sharing relationship on your desktop, you will not be able to share with Bob and Peter (and receive the files both of them are sharing with you) on your desktop until you recreate your sharing relationships with Bob and Peter. This will have no effect on the existing sharing folders on your laptop with Bob and Peter.
      • Select Close the Dialog (x): This does not accept or decline your sharing relationships from your buddies. This will basically result in you having to wonderfully receive individual sharing invitation dialogs from your buddies asking if you would like to share with them. Warning: You may be bombarded with a lot of sharing invitation dialogs if you have a lot of sharing relationships with your buddies .
  • What happens when I delete a file from a Sharing Folder?
    • If you delete a file from your sharing folder, that file will be deleted on your buddy’s side also. Your folders are perfectly mirrored: What you see is what your buddy gets and vice versa .
  • I noticed an 8 GB file in my Sharing Folders directory. What’s going on?
    • No need to panic, that file is sparse and only about 1 MB on disk .
  • Why isn’t Sharing instantaneous?
    • Sharing is not always instantaneous, especially if you are sharing with a lot of buddies at once. Everyone gets a turn on a first come first serve basis, so be patient, your files will eventually get there, but they may be behind a few other buddies!
  • Wow, Sharing Folders is so cool. All my data gets stored on Microsoft servers!
    • This is probably the biggest misconception out there and needs to be clarified. You are getting a mirror image of the files that you share with your buddy (from their machine onto yours and vice versa). If you format your computer and reinstall Messenger, getting your files back depends on your buddy being online on the machine where the shared files are located, and also depends on your buddy not having the smart idea of deleting your shared files or formatting his or her computer as well. If either of these scenarios end up being the case, then you are out of luck because those files are long gone.  Again, for all of you that continue to ask me about backing up your files using sharing folders in newsgroups, e-mail and IMs, your sharing folder is a mirror, not a file store. Your buddy can easily delete your files on their machine, so please don’t leave the only copies of your precious shared files in your sharing folder as a backup.

If you have problems using Sharing Folders, or just want to learn more about the feature, drop a visit to the Sharing Folders Troubleshooting page.

If you have additional unanswered questions, leave them in the comments and they will be addressed in a next post.


Happy Holidays and Share On!