This section is all about settings of Microsoft Account. These settings are applicable only if you use a Microsoft Account as your user account. Here, you can sync all types of data to the cloud so that they are available across all your machines, wherever you use the Microsoft Account.

How to Access It

  • Invoke Settings Charm either through the Charms Bar or key combo “Win + I”.
  • Select “Change PC Settings” option located at the bottom of the Settings Charm pane. This will launch PC Settings.
  • Select “Sync Your Settings” tab from the left pane of PC Settings.

In this section, you can explicitly set what data you want to sync, and what data you want to keep local only. The following type of data can by synced.

  • General Personalized Settings – color scheme of your user account, background pattern of Start Screen, Lock screen wallpaper, widgets on the lock screen and account picture.
  • Desktop Personalization Settings – Desktop theme, desktop background, taskbar settings like position of taskbar, auto-hide property of taskbar, etc., high contrast, etc.
  • Passwords – HomeGroup password, credentials of websites used through Internet Explorer, password used by metro applications, network passwords, etc.
  • Ease of Access Settings – Customizations made to narrator, magnifier and on-screen keyboard.
  • Language Preferences – The language list that you have created, display language, keyboard input language, any other input methods that you have stored/customized, etc.
  • App Settings – The metro apps that you have downloaded on a synced PC will be available on all other sync PCs. Besides that, the customizations made in a Metro app remain in sync. Purchased made in a metro app remain in sync, too, so that you don’t have to spend again.
  • Browser – Internet Explorer settings like history, bookmarks, pinned sites, etc.
  • Other – windows explorer customizations like display style, favorite places, etc., mouse settings, keyboard settings, etc.

You can toggle each of the above mentioned settings separately for sync.

Besides that, this section also provides you an option to turn off sync in case of metered internet connection. If your internet plan has a data transfer limit, then you might not want to waste your data limit on syncing your data and settings. In that case, Windows will turn off sync in case of a metered connection.

It is unclear, however, how Windows will detect a metered connection. It might become the user’s responsibility to turn off sync. It will be clear when we get a hand on the final Windows 8.

About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. ( and The Redmond Cloud (

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