Windows 8: How to Sync Your Apps, Settings and Other Stuff

We’ve already gone through some steps, tips and other useful stuff related to two of the brand new features that sets Windows 8 apart from its predecessors which are the Start Screen and the Lock Screen. Now, it is time to take your first steps and learn how you can set up your computer to have different user accounts other than just the one that you own. Unlike Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, there are two ways in setting up a user account in Microsoft’s latest operating system called Windows 8. In this tutorial, we will look at all the steps involved in setting up a user account and as well as look at some features that will be useful for you as you start an exciting journey with Windows 8.

First Things First: How to Set Up a User Account

Since Windows 8 is maximized for syncing and sharing, creating a user account in it is also geared towards this idea. In previous Windows versions, you can only set up a local user account and set everything in it according to your preferences. If you own another device running on any of the previous Windows versions, you would need to copy all the settings you made on the first device to the new one that you have. This becomes a hassle especially if you own a lot of devices at home or in the office and so Microsoft has made some improvements to it making syncing of settings and as well as files between devices running in Windows 8 a lot easier.

To start, you need to log in to your Windows 8 machine using your Microsoft account. If you don’t have a Microsoft account yet, you need to create one and use it to log on to your computer for the first time but if you remember signing up for a “”, “” or an “” email account then you can input this email to the designated input box. Once you sign in with a Microsoft account, Windows 8’s Action Center will later on show a message that says “Trust this PC”. Once this happens, you need to follow the instructions given so that all your settings and other stuff will start to be synced to your other Windows 8 devices.


Once you see this message on the Action Center, simply click on it and your default browser will open to a page where you will be asked to input your Microsoft account credentials.


After inputting your Microsoft account credentials, simply click on the “Sign in” button then you will be directed to a new page where you will be asked to enter a security code. The security code will first need to be sent to you in two ways; through an SMS message to the mobile number linked to your Microsoft account or through an automated call to the same mobile number which you linked to your account. From here, you just need to select between the two and once you then hit the “Next” button.


After clicking or tapping the next button, you will now be able to receive an SMS if you chose the SMS/Text option or an automated call from Microsoft if you have chosen the call option. Listen carefully to the code if it is a call then input it to the box on your browser. If you chose text/SMS, the message format would be: “Microsoft account security code: 1234567” and it is from an unknown number so be careful not to suspect it as a prank or spam SMS. After inputting the code to the designated box on your browser, simply click “Submit”.


After inputting the code, the next page will now instruct you to go to “” using Microsoft’s browser “Internet Explorer”. If you used Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as your default browser and you are now on this stage, you need to open “Internet Explorer” and input the address given to complete the process.


After inputting the address on “Internet Explorer”, you will now arrive at a page which will ask you to input the password to your Microsoft Account. Be sure to enter the correct password and remember or write it down on a piece of paper because you will be using it every time you turn on your computer.


After inputting your password, simply click on the “Sign in” button and you’ll now be taken to the Window which would tell you that the verification process was successful. From this point forward, the syncing process will start.

What Stuff Will be Synced?

Now that you learned how to log on to your Windows machine using your Microsoft account and setting up everything so that the syncing of settings and some other stuff will be activated, it’s now time to learn what things will be synced to all the other Windows 8 devices that you own. The items below shows some stuff that will be enabled for syncing.

  • Passwords for apps like Mail, Messenger and other Microsoft Account will be synced. This means that you will be using the same passwords on all your other devices for as long as you logged in to it using the Microsoft account that you used on your computer.
  • Websites and browsing history will also be synced. This is a big advantage especially if you are a busy type of person. Now, you will not be leaving something unfinished and you’ll never miss any news or updates on your social media which you were viewing on your computer. Simply open everything on Internet Explorer and you’ll be assured that you can access it on your tablet or Windows phone which is also logged in to the same Microsoft Account.
  • Settings like the Start Screen pattern and all the other stuff that you did on your computer will automatically be synced to all your other devices. Try changing the Start Screen pattern and color on one of your devices (as long as it is a trusted device as I have shown above) and you’ll notice that all your other gadgets running on Windows 8 will follow with the changes.
  • Picture Passwords, PINS and other security features will also be synced so as not to confuse you or get you stressed of remembering to many passwords for all your devices. Just be sure the maintain and keep a list of your passwords and in the case of picture passwords, be sure to wipe or clean the screen of your device after inputting the gestures so that it will not be cracked by anyone else.

If you already own at least two devices running on Windows 8 like a computer, a phone or a tablet you can try signing in to it using your Microsoft account and you’ll be able to see the beauty and awesomeness of this new feature which Microsoft has finally included in Windows 8. For other stuff like photos, music, videos and other files, Windows 8 also takes care of these things with the SkyDrive service. More of it will be explained on future tutorials.