Windows 8 Tip: Erase Your Windows 8 Personal Settings from the Cloud

A simple way to get back to the default settings in Windows 8

Paul Thurrott

May 24, 2013

1 Min Read
Windows 8 Tip: Erase Your Windows 8 Personal Settings from the Cloud

Here’s a great new Windows 8 tip, courtesy of a reader: Microsoft provides a handy web site that lets you quickly and easily remove all of the personal settings you’re syncing through your Microsoft account to Windows 8 and RT.

Thanks to Erick Medina from Twitter for this one.

As you may know, one of the great new capabilities in Windows 8/RT is PC-to-PC settings sync. By signing in with your Microsoft account, you can sync a wide variety of settings, including (but not limited to) Metro and desktop personalization, passwords, app settings, browser settings, and more.

When you reset or refresh your PC, or buy or use a different PC, and sign-in with the same Microsoft account, these settings are synced to that new device, letting you pick up where you left off with the same customized environment. It’s a great feature (and it’s getting even better with the Windows 8.1 update.)

But what happens when you wish to blow away all those personalized settings and start over from scratch? Do you need to use a different Microsoft account?

As it turns out, Microsoft provides a special web site, Windows 8 Personal Settings, which helps you remove those synced settings. There are two steps:

1. Turn off sync settings on each PC. First, visit PC Settings, Settings Sync and disable settings synchronization. Do this on each PC that you sign into with your Microsoft account.

2. Visit the Windows 8 Personal Settings site and click the Remove button to remove your personal settings from the SkyDrive cloud.

I’ve not yet tested this change—I actually like and use settings sync—but I’m guessing you need to reset/refresh the PC to get back to the default settings. Regardless, this is good to know about.

Thanks again, Erick.

About the Author(s)

Paul Thurrott

Paul Thurrott is senior technical analyst for Windows IT Pro. He writes the SuperSite for Windows, a weekly editorial for Windows IT Pro UPDATE, and a daily Windows news and information newsletter called WinInfo Daily UPDATE.

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