Trading in a Briefcase for a Drive in the Sky

Q. What is the replacement or workaround for Briefcase in Windows 10?

A. Windows Briefcase, a file synchronization tool first introduced back with Windows 95 as a way to keep documents up-to-date between desktop and laptop computers, was demoted from active use in Windows 8 and removed entirely in Windows 10. Briefcase originally worked by connecting the computers or using a floppy disk as the transfer device back in the 1990s. However, online storage and synchronization services like Microsoft’s own OneDrive have largely replaced the older program. (Dedicated hobbyists have posted searchable instructions for restoring Briefcase to Windows 10 by editing the Registry, but you tinker at your own risk.)

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Microsoft’s OneDrive service keeps files in sync across computers and mobile devices over the internet.

Credit
The New York Times

OneDrive for Windows requires a free Microsoft account and comes with five gigabytes of free online storage. And it performs many of the same syncing chores. Like Briefcase, OneDrive checks for the latest version of a file you saved, then synchronizes it over the internet through your Microsoft account to make sure that version is available on your other computers — all without having to drag around cables or a removable disk.

OneDrive has apps for mobile devices so you can see your files on your phone or tablet, and you can store audio, video and photo files in your OneDrive account, too. The service also includes Microsoft Office Online, a browser-based version of the popular business software.

If you do not want to use OneDrive, competing online services like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud and iDrive are alternatives. Along with file storage and syncing, many services now offer online document collaboration and editing for people on the same project but not in the same room; Dropbox Paper and Google Docs are just two…

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