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Connecting and Managing Your Desktop and Devices

One of the biggest stories about Windows 10 has been a long time coming. The early promise was that the operating system would provide a consistent look and feel across all your computers and devices. The Windows 10 Creators Update takes a big step in that direction, creating a sense of consistency whether you are using a computer, a tablet, or a phone.

Windows 10 adjusts easily and instantly when you undock your tablet and go. You might have been using Windows 10 as a desktop computer, but when you undock the tablet and hit the road, Windows 10 automatically goes into tablet mode, offering the same functionality presented in the best way for the device you're taking along.

The fact that the software automatically takes care of this for you means that you'll be able to focus on the tasks at hand: calling up a presentation, navigating your notes, and sharing important data with clients or colleagues as needed. The screens in each format have differences but are very similar to each other, giving you access to the same basic tools in different screen configurations built for each device.

Windows 10 helps you easily prepare your PC and get things up and running. Much of what happens behind the scenes doesn't need your involvement at all. For example, if you're using Windows 10 on a computer with a keyboard and a mouse, Windows 10 recognizes that and provides you with setup options related to that usage scenario. If you're using Windows 10 on a touch device, it enables touch features so that the touch keyboard and other touch features are within reach in all the tasks and tools you use in Windows 10.

When you log in with your Microsoft Account, your preferences for theme, background, user preferences, and even browser favorites are saved so that you have a fairly consistent experience across multiple devices. What's more, with the new Link Phone category in Settings, you can link your phone to Windows 10 no matter which type of phone-Windows Phone, Android, or iPhone-you are using. That way, you can easily access and share your favorite music, photos, videos, and more-no matter where they reside.

You can also set up other devices to work with your Windows 10 computer. This might include a tablet (one or many), your Xbox, or something else. Windows 10 makes it easy to add devices and get them working smoothly with the operating system. This tutorial helps you explore those steps and get things ready to run with Windows 10.

Adding Devices in Windows 10

Windows 10 includes an autodiscovery feature that scans for all devices connected to your PC or your network. When Windows 10 detects those devices, it then connects to those printers, TVs, Xbox systems, and more. This means Windows 10 might be able to find and install all your computer peripherals automatically, and you won't need to do anything at all.

The first step involves using Settings to see which devices Windows 10 has already discovered and added to your system. You can then add a device if you have one that isn't included on the generated list or remove devices that were installed but that you are no longer using.

Viewing Installed Devices

You can take a look at the devices Windows 10 has found and installed automatically as part of your setup. And then you can add a device or remove devices that were added but that you no longer need. To display the list, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button to display the Windows 10 Start menu.
  2. Choose Settings.
  3. Select Devices in the top row of the Settings window.
  4. Review the devices listed in the center of the window.

Adding a Device

If Windows 10 missed one of the devices you think should be on the device list, you can scan again to see whether the device is discoverable. Before you tap or click Add Bluetooth or Other Device, be sure the device is connected to your computer or your home network and turned on. After you select Add Bluetooth or Other Device, Windows 10 scans your computer and shows any found devices in a pop-up list. You can then select the item you want to add to the Devices list.

Connecting Unrecognized Devices
If you connect your device to Windows 10 and the operating system doesn't recognize the device you added, Windows 10 displays a message that you need to finish the setup in the Action Center. Click the link displayed in the message to go to the Action Center, and follow the steps to download and install the files needed to get your device running smoothly.

Removing a Device

You can remove a device you no longer need from the Devices list. Having extra devices in the Devices list doesn't do any harm, but if you want to keep the list short so you can easily find what you need, you might want to take any unnecessary items off the list.

  1. Click the device you want to remove from the list.
  2. If you're sure you want to remove the device, click the Remove Device button. Windows 10 removes the item from the list.
Troubleshoot USB Connections
Typically you're able to plug in a device using your USB port, and Windows 10 takes it from there. On the off chance that something happens and the USB port isn't responding properly, Windows 10 notifies you. To view the setting or turn it off, display the Devices page of Settings, click USB, and uncheck the check box in the list that will stop connected devices.

Troubleshooting Hardware Devices

As computers have gotten easier to use, by and large they have become selfcorrective. Most of the time, your printer, router, scanner, camera, and drawing tablet function the way they're supposed to. You plug them in to your Windows 10 PC, Windows finds the right drivers, and they're ready for you to use. But once in a while, devices have trouble. Your printer doesn't print anything. Your router is blinking, but you have no Internet connection. Windows doesn't seem to be recognizing your fitness tracker. When that happens, you can use one of the Windows 10 troubleshooting tools to help you discover and fix the problem.

To access the troubleshooter, click the Search box to the right of the Start button and type troubleshoot; this will bring up a list of results. Click Troubleshoot in the results list to return the Troubleshoot screen in the Update & Security category of Settings. Next, click Hardware and Devices in the list in the center and then click Run the Troubleshooter.

Windows 10 now attempts to diagnose your PC's problems. When a fix is found, click Apply This Fix to apply the fix or Skip This Fix to skip the current suggested fix and have Windows 10 continue troubleshooting. When the troubleshooter has finished, Windows 10 displays a list of problems it was unable to fix automatically. From here you can either click Explore Additional Options to see extra information or click Close to close the troubleshooter.