[Tutorial] How to Turn On/Off Synchronization of Windows 8 Personalization with Windows Live ID


This tutorial would show how to disable automatic synchronization of Windows 8 with Windows Live ID. You can also allow specific data to be synced.

One of the best features of Windows 8 is synchronization. If logged-on with a Windows Live ID, Windows 8 syncs every personalization of Windows 8 with Live ID and if users log-in to another machine with the same id and all personalization is synced automatically to that machine. The personalization may include wallpapers, color scheme, sound scheme, Metro-Style Internet Explorer’s Pinned tabs, bookmarks, saved password, all the tiles pinned to Metro-UI, lock screen image and some app settings etc.

By default, synchronization is enabled when you log-in to Windows 8 using your Live ID. But, it can be manually turned off by going through the settings in Metro-Style Control Panel.

Just follow the instruction below and you would control which data is synced and which not.


  • First of all go to Metro-UI of Windows 8 (Also known as Start Menu in previous versions of Windows)
  • Now, open up Metro-Style Control Panel (If it’s not there, just type ‘control panel’ in Metro-UI and it would show)

Note: ‘Control Panel’ would be renamed as ‘PC Settings’ in next version of Windows 8.

  • After opening Control Panel, go to ‘Sync PC Settings’. It should be the fourth one from last.
  • Now, your sync settings tab would open. That’s where you would turn on/off sync as well as select which options to sync.

How to turn off Complete Sync?

You can turn off complete sync by using the first switch on the ‘Sync PC Settings’ tab

How to turn On/Off specific sync options?

You can also turn off specific things which you don’t want to be synced. You can turn on/off the following things:

  • Personalize e.g. colors, background and lock screen image (Hopefully Metro-UI background color would also be sync able when the option comes in Windows 8 Beta)
  • Theme including sounds, wallpapers and other personalization etc
  • All ease of access’s customized options
  • Language Settings
  • App Settings (Apps downloaded from Windows Store would also be synced within five machines)
  • Almost all Internet Explorer options e.g. bookmarks, favorites, passwords and history etc.
  • Customizations in Windows Explorer and mouse settings would also be synced.
  • Passwords for certain Metro Apps would be synced

You can turn off every option individually or just switch complete sync off by using the first switch on the Sync Settings tab.

Sync options on Devices with limited internet usage

Mobile devices e.g. tablets, sometimes have limited data plans and users may want to save the data usage. In that case Microsoft has also included the sync option to be turned on/off while on the mobile broadband network and it would be turned on(automtically) when you connect to a Wi-Fi or LAN network. You can read more about data usage in an article on Wireless networks in Windows 8.

You may visit our Tips & tweaks section for more tips, tricks and shortcuts about Windows 8.


Ahmad Wahid

Being a University student of computer, has developed keen interest in technology and like to test out the new gadgets. His interests include Social Networking as well.