How to Synchronize Account Data With Windows 8 and 8.1

Sync settings and data across your Windows 8 and 8.1 devices

If you log in to your Windows 8 devices with a Microsoft account, Windows 8 can synchronize your information from one device to the next. You can sync everything from basic settings to themes and wallpapers. On Windows 8.1, you can sync modern applications between accounts. So, you can set up your account on one computer and it follows you around to every Windows 8 device you use.

Account Sync in Windows 8

To set up account sync in Windows 8, you’ll need to access your PC Settings.

  1. Open the Charms bar by moving your cursor to the lower-right corner of the screen and then sliding it up towards the center.

  2. When the charms pop out, select Settings > Change PC Settings > Sync your settings.

  3. In the right-pane of the PC Settings window, move the Sync settings on this PC slider to the On position to enable the sync settings feature.

  4. Select what gets synced; choose from the following options:

    • Personalize: Color selections, Start screen background, lock screen image, and account picture.
    • Desktop Personalization: Themes, taskbar settings, and other desktop configuration settings.
    • Passwords: Includes passwords for apps, websites, networks, and HomeGroup. You can sync passwords once you trust your PC on live.accounts.com.
    • Ease of Access: Settings for usability features like the narrator and screen magnifier.
    • Language Preferences: Keyboard language and display language.
    • App Settings: Certain in-app settings for some modern apps and in-app purchases.
    • Browser: Internet Explorer settings, history, and favorites.
    • Other Windows Settings: Other basic settings, including mouse configuration and File Explorer settings.
  5. Choose whether you want to allow syncing over metered connections. These settings matter on mobile devices as syncing can cause you to incur data charges. If you select No, you'll only sync while connected to Wi-Fi.

Account Sync for Windows 8.1 

In Windows 8.1, you have a few new options for data synchronization in your account. The settings have also been moved.

  1. To find your Sync settings, open PC Settings from the Charms bar, then select SkyDrive > Sync settings.

  2. The list of sync options looks similar to the ones in Windows 8, but there are a few new additions: 

    • Start screen: Sync your Start screen layout and tiles.
    • Apps: Sync your Windows store apps between accounts.
    • Web browser: Keep history and settings from Windows 8, and now sync open tabs and home pages.
    • Back up settings: Back up all settings, even those that aren't synced, to SkyDrive so that you can restore them to your computer if needed.
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