Prior to Windows 8.1 there was an additional SkyDrive sync tool that was required to ensure that local content matched content stored in a personal SkyDrive account. With Windows 8.1, SkyDrive sync is built in so that an additional installation is not required.

However, sometime during a recent Patch Tuesday update, many SkyDrive and Office 365 customers started experiencing sync problems where the locally stored content never shows up in the SkyDrive Cloud. The sync problems have affected me, too.

There are many, many threads in the Microsoft Community forums that date all the way back to October 2013 and continuing on today. After sifting through the customer complaints and watching Microsoft respond with canned answers at every turn, and feeling how important it is for this to work for customers (and, selfishly, myself), I set to searching for answers.

During my research I came upon a relatively unknown tool that Microsoft provides. The tool doesn't seem to inhabit its own public web page anywhere, but is available for download from a permanent Microsoft 'go' link. The tool actually fixed my specific SkyDrive issue, but since there are many, many things that could wrong on a Windows system, your mileage may vary. If it solves your particular issue – great! If not, it may, at least, be able to direct you closer to an ultimate solution until Microsoft figures out how to fix the syncing problems for good.

Download the tool here: SkyDrive Self Help

The download comes in the form of a .cab file. The .cab file doesn't install, but only runs as an executable. After download you'll see the .cab file named: SkyDriveBlueSelfHelp

Running SkyDriveBlueSelfHelp executes the troubleshooting tool. The tool is quick and easy and can fix problems it finds automatically.

Once the tool has completed, it will report back any problems that it finds and fixes. Alternatively, you can also view a verbose report by choosing that option.