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New SkyDrive recycle bin available today and Excel surveys coming soon

We’ve focused on making SkyDrive the most versatile personal cloud storage service available—spanning file, app, and device clouds. So we appreciate it when reviewers recognize our progress, as with the recent PC Magazine award of Editor’s Choice in cloud storage to SkyDrive.


But our primary measure of success is whether key audiences, like students, use and love SkyDrive. That’s why we sponsored a student collaboration challenge (that received great submissions) and why we shared tips for students to make SkyDrive their cloud backpack. We’re happy to see students increasingly choose SkyDrive and share their stories.


Today, we’re excited to release a new recycle bin feature on and to tell you about a feature (Excel surveys) we’ll release in the coming weeks. Note: Due to how we release updates, the recycle bin feature may take up to 24 hours to appear in your SkyDrive. The Excel survey feature lets you easily create online surveys and analyze results using the free Excel Web App or Excel on your desktop. We hope these two new features will further enhance SkyDrive for students and others.


Recycle bin

SkyDrive already keeps previous versions of your Office documents automatically. But students, in particular, have asked for a way to recover any file—even those deleted by accident, by someone else, during a group project. So, we’ve added a recycle bin to SkyDrive.


I’m going to start by showing you how we’ve made deleting files better. Prior to this release, when you deleted anything in SkyDrive you had to acknowledge and dismiss a warning dialog. This extra step got in the way of making delete as fast as it should be. Now, when you delete an item, we simply tell you that we did it and allow you to “undo” your action:




We think this will make deleting even faster and easier. However, if you have deleted something already, from any SkyDrive app, we’re now giving you a recycle bin that will work very similarly to what you’re used to on your PC. You can get to the recycle bin from a link in the bottom left side of SkyDrive.


From there you can browse your recycle bin in thumbnail or details view.




It’s easy to select items to restore back to their original location, as well as see when the item was deleted. And file and folder selection works just like it does in the rest of SkyDrive.




Items in the recycle bin do not count against your SkyDrive storage limit. We save all items you delete in the recycle bin for at least 3 days. If the content in your recycle bin gets large enough to exceed 10% of your storage limit (which will be pretty rare), we’ll start to delete the oldest content (after it’s been there 3 days), and will permanently remove items from the recycle bin after they have been there for 30 days (and not restored).


Right now, the recycle bin feature is available from, and over time we expect the recycle bin experience to make its way to other SkyDrive experiences too.


Excel surveys

We’re also putting the final touches on adding Excel surveys to SkyDrive. Like the recycle bin, this has been a top request from students in particular, as they’re great for getting suggestions for a group project or party, collecting feedback or research results, running a competition, and much more. And unlike competing services, you can easily use the power of Excel Web App, Excel for Windows, or Excel for Mac to sort, analyze, or chart the results of your survey.


When these are released, all you will have to do is select “Excel survey” from the Create menu:




Then you’ll proceed through a set of steps to create the survey and each question has several options for different types of response that you want:




When you’re done, it takes just one click to share this survey with others and start collecting responses. We’re putting this through some final tweaks, and you should expect to see Excel surveys show up in your SkyDrive soon. We’ll let you know once it’s done.


We hope you like the recycle bin and upcoming Excel surveys. Let us know what you think.


-Omar Shahine, Group Program Manager,

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