So, you’ve just purchased a shiny new laptop or tablet. It’s unpacked, plugged in, and running great. However, what in the event you do alongside ensure you’re getting the most from your brand-new Windows 10 laptop?
The answer is to set up a Microsoft account. This is actually the answer to unlocking everything that’s great about Windows 10, along with the wider suite of Microsoft products, tools and services.
One account for all
At its simplest, a Microsoft account acts as your PC’s first line of defence. That’s because the password you select when opening your account becomes the one which grants access to your copy of Windows 10 and, ultimately, for your new device.
Move beyond that and a Microsoft account also enables you to access your email. Have a further step and your account will let you explore great products for example Skype, and your Office 365 subscription; it’ll allow you to buy games, music, apps and films, and access your videos, photographs and documents via Microsoft’s OneDrive.
In short, a Microsoft account may be the gateway to Microsoft’s magic kingdom. Before we explore the technicality of establishing your account, it’s worth looking at some simple computing theory. Specifically, we’ll discuss the cloud.
Until very recently, information – your files, pictures, movies and documents – counseled me stored locally. Quite simply, these were stored inside your PC, as well as on a tough disk. The benefit was you could get their way quickly. There was, however, a big disadvantage to by doing this of storing information. Should you lost your laptop, you’d lose all of your files too. Also, if you desired to notice a file on a different machine, it might involve some particularly cumbersome messing going to get it.
The cloud is really a tech expression used to describe a different type of storage. Here, your information lives on a remote computer, on the internet. If you want to access information you simply access that external machine and get at the data that way. This style of working has numerous benefits. If you lose your device, your computer data remains safe. Storing data in the cloud also makes it simple to access it all your different computers and devices.
A Microsoft account enables you to embrace the advantages of this smarter way of working. In practice, it means your data will feel like it’s following you around! When you have everything set up, pictures taken on your phone is going to be viewable on your laptop, tablet or Xbox. You can reach your email, again, from the of the Microsoft devices. In a nutshell, you can get to all your data, all of the time, immediately.
The only caveat is you’ll need to be connected to the internet. If you’re not, your machine will still work but, Windows 10’s clever data-sharing features will be paused until you’re next online.
Safety and privacy
The concept of storing your data on the computer you do not own and also have never witnessed can seem to be rather threatening. That’s because our information is precious to us, so handing over valuable stuff to a stranger might seem like a leap in to the unknown.
But there’s you don’t need to worry. Microsoft will protect your data by storing it very securely, cosseted and cared for like the Crown Jewels. In fact, statistically, you’re more likely to lose data through your computer’s hard disk failing than through Microsoft having some catastrophic problem.
And when you use an established VPN plan to encrypt your traffic on its way to and from Microsoft’s servers – we recommend ExpressVPN, an all-around standout – then you’re protecting your computer data against hacks on public Wi-Fi or snooping by your ISP and any other organizations. (For more on the advantages of a VPN, for example unblocking TV from other countries and concealing your IP address, take a look at our best vpn buying guide for 2018.
There’s, however, one major point of weakness in relying on the cloud, and that’s you. Or, more specifically, the password you choose when creating your Microsoft account (see the walkthrough below). It must be hard to guess, so don’t use words that come in the dictionary, and then try to avoid names of the friends and family. Rather, use something that combines upper and lower-case letters and numbers or play one of the best password managers.
Let’s get started
Switch on and boot your machine, then decide what color you would like Windows to become dressed in. Just slowly move the on-screen slider with the pallet until easy reach a shade you like. Don’t be concerned if you change your mind at a later date, the color isn’t fixed and you can amend it.
The following screens you will see cover settings – here you can just click ‘Express settings’. With this done you will be asked for your Microsoft account details. For those who have a merchant account already, go into the username and password when prompted. If you haven’t got one, click or tap ‘Create a new account’. Next, you will be walked through the procedure for making your account by tapping in certain basic personal details, just like your name, date of birth and email address. See the walkthrough in this article for more information about this.
When you’ve filled in the forms, Microsoft will be sending a verification code to your current email address or cell phone (you are able to determine which). Whenever you receive the code you will need to come in into Windows 10. And, you’re done. All of those other process is automatic (though just a little slow – it can take a few minutes for Windows 10 to configure itself), and will include a computerized reboot. You’re now almost free to start using Windows 10.
Once Windows 10 is up and running there’s one final bit of housekeeping which will have to be done. You have to ensure Windows 10 is fully updated wonderful Microsoft’s security and gratifaction patches. These will keep your computer happy, healthy and safe.
To set up the patches consider notifications popping up in the system tray area. Alternatively, click the Search bar, type Check for updates, and then click ‘Check now’. The process will take a couple of minutes to accomplish. With this done, you’re all ready to start exploring Windows 10 and everything it has to offer!