How to specify a target folder in Windows Live Mesh 2011

(Skip to the end of this post for the solution.)

UPDATE: I couldn’t get it to work. Live Mesh 2011 is either full of bugs or just a piece of crap, a poorly designed upgrade. Or all of the above. It looked like it was syncing properly. But then I shut off my computers, came back a few hours later, and read messages next to the folders that they weren’t synced to anything. I poked around a bit, but I couldn’t tell what was going on because all the processes are hidden now. So that’s it. I give up. I’ve been reading on some forums that I’m not the only one having some serious issues with the damn thing. People are losing data — fun stuff like that. I can’t risk having Live Mesh delete any of my data. So the hell with it. I’m done. I’ll have to find some other syncing service, if there are any half decent free ones out there. Microsoft actually had something good on their hands, something that worked fine just the way it was. And they blew it big time. What the hell is going on at Microsoft? Anyway, here’s my original post:

I used to remotely sync a large numbers of files between my desktop computer and my wireless laptop using Windows Live Sync. It was easy. I had to get a Hotmail account, which I never used except for signing into Live Sync. Then I simply installed Live Sync on my desktop computer and laptop, picked a folder on my desktop computer and then remotely on my laptop and clicked “Sync Folders.” Nothing to it. I could even right-click the Live Sync icon in my systems tray and see what files were being transferred and synced (that feature has been removed for Live Mesh 2011, or so well hidden I can’t find it). Live Sync was a functional, easy-to-use online service. Very useful.

Then Microsoft screwed it up royally by replacing Live Sync with Windows Live Mesh 2011 — and I don’t know what they were thinking. Maybe they were trying to go Mac on us and dumbify the process by minimizing user control. But they minimized it so much that users have virtually no control over what used to be the simplest and most useful tasks.

For instance, a typical user switching over to Live Mesh 2011 would want to re-sync all the folders that were synced before. Enter the first frustrating feature of Live Mesh 2011: the inability to choose the target folder in a straightforward manner. A user can pick a folder on their desktop computer, then select to sync it on their laptop — but they can’t specific the folder on the laptop. Instead, Live Mesh 2011 creates a sync folder inside the “Documents” folder on the laptop’s C drive. If the folder a user wants to sync to on their laptop is not on the C drive, then tough luck.

I use the C drive on my laptop for program files. The D drive is used for storage of MP3s, photos and documents — and those are the ones I used have synced. So to sync them with Live Mesh 2011, I’d have to move them all to the C drive “Documents” folder, which I normally never use. My C drive is also considerably smaller than my D drive and, at least on my laptop, there isn’t enough room on my C drive to store all my files.

I managed to find a workaround solution to this default feature in Live Mesh 2011, but it wasn’t easy. It should be easy. It’s should be plain and obvious and intuitively designed into the software — but it isn’t.

To specify a target folder in Windows Live Mesh 2011, select on your desktop computer, for example, the folder you want to sync. But sync it to nothing. Don’t select your laptop. Leave it blank and click “Okay.” Then open Live Mesh 2011 on your laptop where you will now see the folder you just selected from your desktop computer with a message indicating it’s not synced to anything. Click “Sync this folder.” And now magically you should have the ability to choose your target folder, one that isn’t on the C drive. Everything should sync normally after that. (But don’t quote me on that, because I’m still trying it out at this moment. Live Mesh is “processing.”)

How To Geek has posted a Live Mesh 2010 walk-through (or guide) that’s useful for basic set-ups.

I’m still in the trial phase of Live Mesh 2011. I’ll update this post if I encounter any other major problems. I hate Microsoft. Who the hell’s in charge over there?

About Phillip

Phillip Cairns is a beekeeper in St. John's, Newfoundland, who writes about beekeeping at

7 Replies to “How to specify a target folder in Windows Live Mesh 2011”

  1. I use Dropbox too.

    But for files totalling around 100gb, Live Sync was great. I’d have to manually copy all the files over to my laptop first, but once that was done, Live Sync worked like a charm.

    Man, did they ever screw up a good thing.

  2. I agree completely. I used the old Live Mesh beta which did a fine job without requiring both computers to be on and signed it to Live Mesh. But Live Mesh 2011 seems to have that requirement, which completely defeats the purpose, no? I’m on the lookout for a different syncing program.

  3. wow….someone new….and a female to boot….stunning…of course I have no idea what mumbo jumbo you are talking about….has hannah been warned about pender….perhaps there should be a pender protocol for new visitors to steel white table….actually I think pender should be the filter to which all visitors to steel white table must pass before being allowed to comment here…pender the gatekeeper…I like it…although I suspect this may be my last comment if implemented….

    just drink, relax and snuggle with jenny…I think it is jenny…or whoever mayby jerry…when you are in cuba..

  4. I concede…no warning…

    .hey are all you fellas okay out there in the homeland with the rain the snow..the locasts..the riders of the apocolypse etal……here it is a balmy 0 with plus temps coming in the next couple of days….I did see the surfers out at cow bay on the cbc website… made me have fond memories of lawrencetown in december….

  5. I agree with your frustrations – Microsoft splashed a warning at me today when I launched Sync that it was being discontinued and I MUST move to Mesh. The convoluted way needed to specify the location of synched folders is unbelievable — surely they could have written a short ‘guide note’ for Synch users transitioning to Mesh!

    I’ve set up one folder set (large, with lots of pictures) and am hoping for the best as it runs overnight, with the status messages alternating between “Processing changes…” and “Communicating with server..”

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