In case you are working with a multi computer setup involving two or more mainstream computers and maybe also a tablet, you will find it time consuming to make separate personalisation settings on each device. Now, Microsoft helps you avoid that time-waster through its new Sync Your Settings option.
With storage of information in the cloud, where each computer you want to synchronise can get hold of it, you’ll need a Windows Live ID to take advantage. And when you log in to each computer it needs to be able to get onto the internet to access any settings changes you may have made and update itself according to your preferences.
Here is how it all works, and what you can synchronise between different Windows 8 computers:
(1) Setting up a user
Your first task is to set up a Windows account. First open the Charms bar by using the Windows key and C or sweeping inwards from the right edge with a finger. Then choose Settings and then More PC Settings, and finally select Users.
You need to make sure Users is selected in the left hand PC Settings pane.
You can add different users so that different people can share access to the computer and synchronise settings how they want. If users want to synchronise settings, though, they must have a Windows Live account – a local account doesn’t provide this privilege. Moreover,you cannot download apps if you don’t have a Windows Live account.
When you choose to add a new user you do so with an existing Windows Live ID. If you don’t already have one of these, then you can choose to sign up for one at this stage. You’ll need to be logged in as the new user to make settings that will synchronise with the user’s wishes, so if you are already logged in with a local account you may have to log out and in again before making settings.
Confirm and verify
You’ll have to go through a confirmation stage before sign in information is synchronised. It’s a way of protecting your personal identity. Once you are logged in as the new user, go back to PC Settings and now choose Sync your settings instead of Users in the left hand of the screen.
First select Confirm this PC. Internet Explorer will open and you’ll be logged in to your account. You’ll see a new entry for the new computer. You can either delete the entry – which we wouldn’t expect you want to do – or confirm that it is indeed a trusted PC.
(2) Making your settings
Now go to the Sync your settings area again. You’ve got lots of synchronisation options now and they’re all easily managed via on/off sliders. One overriding slider simply enables or disables all synchronisation for this computer.
Now you can scroll down the screen and decide what you do and don’t want to synchronise simply by using the slider against each option. There are plenty of options making it easy to personalise the way things work. You can synchronise (or not) all of the following:
Personalise. The general look and feel, lock screen, and the picture used for your account
Desktop personalisation such as themes used and how the taskbar looks
Ease of access features such as the use of contrast and the magnifier
Language preference such as the display language and keyboard language
App settings which can include a range of settings made in different apps you have installed
Browser settings for Internet Explorer including browser history, bookmarks and favourites
Other Windows settings including any settings you may have made for Windows Explorer and your mouse
Sign in information which may apply to websites, networks or your HomeGroup
(3) Saving on roaming data
When you change any settings that are synchronised, Windows 8 will send information off to your cloud based storage so that they can be synchronised with other computers. You might not want this to happen when you are away from free Wi-Fi, for example when you are using a tablet that has mobile internet, if you’d rather not use up your data on this activity. You can simply turn off synchronisation on metered internet connections to stop this happening.