Sync settings may not seem much of a useful feature at first glance. However, it is a lifesaver for people who work across several windows devices. With Sync Settings, logging in with the same Microsoft account over multiple devices lets you sync your Windows settings, passwords, language preference, and even themes.
This feature was introduced in Windows 8 and followed through to Windows 10. However, in Windows 11, its name has been changed to Windows backup.
How to Sync Settings on Windows?
It is pretty simple to sync your Windows settings across devices. You can enable it using Windows settings, Registry Editor, and Group Policy Editor.
Here’s how you can do it.
Using Windows Settings
You must first be logged in from a Microsoft account to enable the sync from Windows settings. Once enabled, your PC will start syncing as soon as you log on from that Microsoft account on another Windows PC.
On Windows 10
Follow the steps below to sync settings on Windows 10.
- Launch Settings from the Start Menu.
- Tap on Accounts and choose Sync your settings.
- If you are logged in from a Microsoft Account, you should be able to toggle on the Sync settings option.
Furthermore, you can customize sync settings individually in the same settings. Windows 10 lets you enable and disable sync for four individual settings.
- Language Preference
- Other Windows Settings (File explorer, notification settings, external devices, etc.)
On Windows 11
Windows 11 has changed the sync settings name to Windows backup. It is also very easy to turn on this feature. Furthermore, Windows 11 offers the same sync settings as Windows 10 but with a few extra features.
Here’s how you can enable it.
- Press Windows + I shortcut to open Settings.
- Press on Accounts and select Windows backup.
- Make sure Remember my preferences is toggled on.
- Click on the dropdown menu to sync individual settings like Passwords, Language Preferences, and Other Windows Settings.
Windows 11 has removed the Theme sync setting. However, it has some neat new features. In Windows backup, you can enable the Remember my apps option. This setting keeps a backup of all your installed applications.
When you log onto another PC with the same Microsoft account, you may get asked if you want to install them on the other PC as well.
Furthermore, the OneDrive folder syncing option allows you to sync your files and folders over Windows devices using the same Microsoft account.
Lastly, Windows 11 also offers a neat feature of seeing if your OneDrive, App List, and Preferences are backed up or not in the upper right corner.
On Windows 8
While Sync settings were introduced in Windows 8, it has more options to sync different settings than Windows 10 or 11. Some of these features were gradually removed in Windows 10 and 11.
To enable sync settings in Windows 8, follow the steps below.
- Launch Settings from the Charm bar.
- Click on Sync your settings at the bottom.
- Enable Sync Settings.
You can individually turn on or off sync settings in the same menu. Windows 8 provides additional options for syncing your search history, app settings, and ease of access.
Using Group Policy Editor
You can only open Group Policy Editor in the Pro or Enterprise version of Windows. If you use the Home version, you can skip this method.
Here’s how you can enable Sync settings using the Group Policy Editor.
- Press Windows + R shortcut key to open Run Utility.
gpedit.mscto open Group Policy Editor.
- Go to Computer
Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Sync your settings
- In the right panel, double click on Do not sync.
- Make sure it is set to Not configured or Disabled.
- Click on OK and exit.
You can change other individual sync settings in Sync your settings from Group Policy Editor. You just need to follow the same above steps for the different settings.
Using Registry Editor
If you do not have Group Policy Editor, you can still use Registry Editor to change Sync Settings.
Follow the steps below to turn on Sync Settings from the Registry Editor.
- Press Window + R hotkey to open the Run window.
regeditand press Enter.
- Click on Yes in the dialog box.
- In Registry Editor, navigate to
- Right-click in the empty area and select New
- Choose DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Set the name to DisableSettingSync and double-click on it.
- Change the value to
0to enable syncing and
2to disable it.
Furthermore, you can also enable and disable the individual sync settings from Registry. To do so, follow the steps below.
- In Registry Editor, navigate to
- Under the Groups key, there are individual sync settings keys. Click on the one you wish to change,
- In the individual sync settings keys, change the value for the Enabled DWORD entry to 0 to disable and 1 to enable it.
If the Sync settings is deactivated from the Registry, it will not work even if you enable it in the settings.
How to Disable and Delete Sync Settings?
Disabling the sync setting is pretty easy in all Windows versions. You just have to follow the same steps as above and toggle off the sync settings option.
However, you must do this individually for all devices using the same Microsoft account. The sync settings will be disabled, but it is far from being deleted.
Sync settings are turned on by default in Windows. So, whenever you log in from your Microsoft account to a new Windows PC, all the sync settings will return to that PC. You have to disable the sync setting for this PC again.
So, here’s how you can permanently delete stored sync settings.
- Open the Microsoft Accounts website in your browser.
- Log in from your Microsoft account if you haven’t.
- Click on the Device header on the website.
- Scroll down and under Cloud synced settings, tap on Clear stored settings.