Windows 8 To Include User Account Roaming

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 28, 2011
Updated • Jun 26, 2018
Windows, Windows 8

Would not it be nice if you could just log on to any computer with Windows installed and directly work with your custom settings and preferences? This is apparently becoming reality with the release of Windows 8.

The upcoming Microsoft operating system will feature a roaming option that can be enabled to synchronize preferences and settings with the cloud.

Native data syncing means that users can log on to every computer running Windows 8 to work with their preferences and settings, provided that the roaming feature is not disabled on that computer.

User Account Roaming

windows 8 roaming

The list of personal settings that get synchronized with the cloud are the following:

  • Personalization: Desktop background image, Windows colors
  • Accessibility: All accessibility related tools and settings, including the magnifier, on screen keyboard and speech recognition settings.
  • Language Settings: The language profile, text prediction preferences and dictionary.
  • Application Settings: Settings for applications and the search history.
  • Windows Settings: Taskbar, Windows Explorer, Search and Mouse settings.
  • Credentials: Wireless network profiles and website credentials.

All options are selectable individually, so that only the data that you want to synchronize will be available when you connect a Windows 8 box to the cloud.

This opens up new and interesting options. Previously when you wanted to work with a similar set of settings, you needed to use third party tools to synchronize the settings, or configure the operating systems on each device and computer manually.

With the roaming feature, that is no longer necessary for core settings and preferences. Imagine traveling to Japan and synchronizing a computer in an Internet Cafe with your cloud settings to change the display language from Japanese to your language.

Obviously, you would have to sign in to your Windows account and the machine in question would have to support the feature. You can also make use of it when you purchase a new PC as core settings could be carried over this way.

The Roaming options are accessible via the User Accounts control panel applet. Network options are listed on the same configuration page to enable roaming on paid networks and low bandwidth networks.

Since those options exist, Windows should have options to identify those types of networks. It should not be to difficult to identify low bandwidth networks, as it can be done with a basic speed test. Paid networks on the other hand may be difficulty to identify, and it will be interesting to see how Windows 8 will handle that identification.

This ties in well with the rumor that users can use email addresses and passwords to log on to the system, as those could be used at the same time to provide the login credentials for the cloud synchronization feature.

I personally think that the roaming feature has been long overdue, and that a lot of Windows 8 users will benefit from the feature. Not all users want data of theirs to be stored in the cloud and that is the most likely reason why the feature is not turned on by default.

Closing Words

Roaming profiles don't sync all user data with the cloud but it does sync a lot of it including customization, credentials, and language settings.

Update: The feature is now part of Microsoft Account, a new online account for all things Microsoft.


Windows 8 To Including User Account Roaming
Article Name
Windows 8 To Including User Account Roaming
Microsoft revealed recently that Windows 8 will feature user account roaming; the feature syncs user data to the cloud and from there to other devices.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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