How to Set Up Your Windows 8.1 Laptop, Tablet or Desktop

Even now, the Windows 8 operating system that Microsoft sells to hardware manufacturers to plug into their laptops, desktops and tablets is recovering. With Windows 7, Microsoft had a well-received, much-loved offering. Windows 8 was not well received, and even today, knowing that a PC comes with Windows 8.1 is enough to make some people work the other way around. It’s embarrassing; Windows 8 is indeed the best and most advanced version of Windows, and the Windows 8.1 update just made it even better. Even the installation process with Windows 8.1 is easier than with previous versions of Windows.

If you’ve purchased a Windows 8.1 laptop, tablet, or convertible, you’re probably considering installing it. Here’s how to set up your Windows 8 device and what you need to know about the whole process.

Setting up your Windows 8.1 device is quite simple. Microsoft makes most of the things you need easy. There are some errands you’ll want to take care of before your installation. First, use an older computer or smartphone to search for your Microsoft Account username and password if you don’t already have one. Microsoft Accounts are created when you create an email account with Microsoft’s Outlook email service, or set up an Xbox One or Xbox 360. OneDrive cloud storage and other Microsoft products also use Microsoft Accounts. If you don’t already have it, no problem. You can create a Microsoft Account during the setup process.

Second, if you’re already switching a Windows device, you need to decide if you want all your apps and settings on this new Windows 8.1 device to be from that device. It’s okay if you don’t already have a Windows 8.1 device. You will also want the network name and password for your wireless internet if you have it at home. Comcast and Verizon usually leave this information on your wireless router and modem.

Let’s start.

First, plug in your Windows 8.1 device. You’ll want to make sure it has enough power so it doesn’t die during the setup process. Press the power button on the bottom of your Windows 8.1 device. Make sure the Wi-Fi and Microsoft Account credentials are nearby so you can place them quickly.

The first thing you’ll notice is the setup options for region and language. It’s important to get these right. Select your country, preferred language and time zone. Then tap or click .

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How to Install Your Windows 8.1 (1)

You will now need to accept the license terms for Windows 8.1. Tap if you agree. If you do not do this, you will not be able to set up your device.

How to Install Your Windows 8.1 (2)

Tap one of the colored squares to choose a color scheme. Then tap the empty space to name your PC. You can give your computer any name, but suggestions include things like “Family Computer” or “My Laptop.” You want the computer name to be unique so you can identify it on your network as needed.

How to Set Up Your Windows 8.1 (3)

Choose your network. Then type your network’s wireless password. Again, this can be found somewhere on your wireless router if your provider has set it up.

How to Set Up Your Windows 8.1 (4)

Tap to enable automatic installation of updates and open other privacy settings.

How to Install Your Windows 8.1 (6)

Now use the Microsoft Account username and password you have. If you don’t have a Microsoft Account yet, create a new account by tapping or clicking the new account text. Again, this can be the same account you use to sign in to other Microsoft products like Xbox, Windows Phone, or Outlook. It is very important that you use the same Microsoft Account on the different devices you have, so be careful.

How to Install Your Windows 8.1 (7)

Now choose whether you want to install apps from your previous Windows 8.1 device or add a computer instead. If you have never had a Windows 8 PC before, tap or click on “”.

How to Install Your Windows 8.1 (8)

This much. Windows will start the installation processor for you and start installing applications and games. If you have decided to synchronize the settings from another computer, this will happen in a few minutes. New Windows 8 users will find a tutorial on how to use their Windows 8.1 device effectively. The tutorial differs depending on whether you have a mouse and keyboard or touchscreen.

Your Microsoft Account links everything you do on your Windows 8.1 device. Apps are purchased with it and your settings are automatically backed up with it. If you need to set up another Windows 8.1 device, you’ll want to know your Microsoft Account credentials so you can re-download the apps you paid for and stream any music or video you’ve purchased.

Good luck with your new Windows 8.1 PC.

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