Windows 8 Syncs Settings Across Devices Using Live ID

Pulkit Chandna

In a typically detailed post on the Building Windows 8 blog Monday, the Windows 8 team underlined the advantage of using a Windows Live ID to sign into different Windows devices. According to Katie Frigon, the group program manager of the You-Centered Experience team at MS, doing so will let users have “a truly personal experience that seamlessly bridges their online and offline tasks, is simpler to set up and use, and persists across their set of Windows 8 PCs.” Hit the jump for more.

  • Just to be clear, the ability to sign in using a Windows Live ID is optional. But should you choose to exercise this option, you will be able to do the following:
  • Associate the most commonly used Windows settings with your user account. Saved settings are available when you sign in to your account on any Windows 8 PC. Your PC will be set up just the way you are used to!
  • Easily reacquire your Metro style apps on multiple Windows 8 PCs. The app’s settings and last-used state persist across all your Windows 8 PCs.
  • Save sign-in credentials for the different apps and websites you use and easily get back into them without having to enter credentials every time.
  • Automatically sign in to apps and services that use Windows Live ID for authentication.

If you have endured the sight of a desolate  post-crash desktop lately, you know what it’s like to stare down the daunting prospect of bringing it back to life one step at a time. Of course, the option to back up your system does exist even in Windows 7, but a lot of us are often too lazy to go down that path.

By signing in using Live ID, Windows 8 can be configured to back up certain items in the cloud, allowing them to be synced across all devices associated with a particular ID. These items include, but are not restricted to, settings like lock screen picture, desktop background, user tile, browser settings and data, spell check dictionaries, Explorer settings, mouse settings, and accessibility settings.

While Live ID can be used to back up Metro-style apps and settings, non-Metro style apps are a different story: “This isn't something that can be done with Windows Live ID, and we would discourage using tools that manually attempt to do this by mechanisms such as going through the registry or copying around executables. However, using the new Restore/Refresh tools, it is possible to easily create an image that has your preferred desktop apps installed, and then use that as a refresh point. If you do want to roam your settings for desktop apps then you can continue to use the mechanisms available for roaming profiles and client side caching of files available with Active Directory and Windows Server.”

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