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How to Setup Your Windows 8.1 Notebook, Tablet or Desktop



Even now, the Windows 8 operating system that Microsoft sells to hardware makers to put on their notebooks, desktops and tablets is recovering. With Windows 7, Microsoft had a well-received, well-loved offering on its hands. Windows 8 wasn’t as well received and even today, even knowing that a PC comes with Windows 8.1 installed is enough for some people to run the other way. That’s a shame; Windows 8 really is the best and most advanced version of Windows there is, and the Windows 8.1 update made it even better. Even the setup process is easier with Windows 8.1 than it was in previous versions of Windows.

Read: Windows 8.1 Review

How to Update Windows 8 (1)

If you’ve purchased a Windows 8.1 notebook, tablet or convertible, you’re likely looking to set it up. Here’s how to setup your Windows 8 device and what you need to know about the entire process.

Setting up your Windows 8.1 device is pretty simple. Microsoft streamlines most of the things you need. There is some leg work that you’ll want to take care of ahead of your setup. First, use an older computer or a smartphone to look up the username and password of your Microsoft Account if you don’t already have one. Microsoft Accounts are created whenever you setup an email account with Microsoft’s Outlook email service or setup an Xbox One or Xbox 360. OneDrive cloud storage and other Microsoft products also use Microsoft Accounts. If you don’t have one already, that’s fine. You can create a Microsoft Account during the set up process.

Second, if you’re replacing a Windows device already you’ll need to decide if you want this new Windows 8.1 device to have all of your apps and settings from that device. If you don’t already have a Windows 8.1 device you’re fine. You’ll 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 begin.

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

The first thing you’ll notice are 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 Next.

How to Setup Your Windows 8.1  (1)

Now you’ll need to agree to the licensing terms for Windows 8.1. Tap I Accept if you agree. You won’t be able to setup your device if you don’t.

How to Setup Your Windows 8.1  (2)

Tap on one of the colored squares to select a color scheme. Then tap on the empty field to name your PC. You can name your PC anything, but suggestions include things like “Family-PC” or “My-Laptop.” You want the PC name to be something unique so that you can identify it on your network if you ever have to.

How to Setup Your Windows 8.1  (3)

Choose your wireless network. Then type in the wireless password for your network. Again, this could be located somewhere on your wireless router if your provider set it up.

How to Setup Your Windows 8.1  (4)

Tap Use Express Settings to get updates installed automatically, and turn on other privacy settings.

How to Setup Your Windows 8.1  (6)

Now use the Microsoft Account username and password you have on hand already. If you don’t have a Microsoft Account yet, create a new one by tapping or clicking on the new account text. Again, this could be the same account that you use to login into other Microsoft products like Xbox, Windows Phone or Outlook. It’s very important that you use the same Microsoft Account across the different devices you own, so be careful.

How to Setup Your Windows 8.1  (7)

Now select whether you’d like to install the apps from your previous Windows 8.1 device or add a PC instead. If you’ve never had a Windows 8 PC than you want to tap or click on “Set this up as a new PC instead.”

How to Setup Your Windows 8.1  (8)

That’s it. Windows will begin the setup processor for you and start installing apps and games. If you decided to sync over settings from another PC, this will happen over the next few minutes. New Windows 8 users will find a tutorial on how to use their Windows 8.1 device effectively. The tutorial changes based on whether you have a mouse and keyboard or a touchscreen.

Read: Windows 8.1: How-Tos You Need to Read

Your Microsoft Account binds everything you do on your Windows 8.1 device. Apps are purchased with it and your settings are backed up automatically with it. If you ever have to setup another Windows 8.1 device, you’ll want to know you Microsoft Account credentials so that you can redownload any apps you pay for and stream any music or video you purchase.

Read: 5 Windows 8 Apps for Staying Productive

Good luck with your new Windows 8.1 PC.



  1. Nancy

    12/03/2014 at 8:46 pm

    Hi, do you know a reason why I don’t get my previous Windows 8.1 PC as an option in the “how should we set up your PC” screen? Thanks :)

  2. vishal singh

    06/30/2015 at 8:06 am

    Set up my family

  3. Break Bollocks

    07/24/2015 at 4:42 pm

    Silly Billy ought to be castrated for this so-maniest piece of worthless bloatware… New double boot tablet, Android 4.4 set up in minutes, all apps installed within 15 minutes (low speed adsl connection). Then Win 8.1, after fighting with it for over an hour now still nothing accomplished. No wifi, no config, nothing setup at all, let alone any apps installed. Bloated junkware!!! I dislike the Google organization and its practices, but really hate M$ for all their worthless crap since DOS 3.3.

  4. Aaron

    12/27/2015 at 3:00 pm

    I received a rca tablet and I think I have set it up correctly but when I tried to download various apps it told me something about security. With a error code. What went wrong?

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