How to manage your Windows computers and devices

Learn how to add, remove, and otherwise manage your Windows 10 devices at your Microsoft Account site.

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Image: Matt Elliott/CNET

How many Windows 10 computers or devices do you personally use? There may be more than you think. You may have a desktop, a laptop, and a hybrid device. You might have older devices that you don't use on a regular basis. You could also have Windows 10 virtual machines set up through a VM application. At some point, you may lose track of all the computers and devices set up under your account—no problem. You can check and manage all your devices as long as you use each one with a Microsoft Account and, for that, you can turn to your Microsoft Account website.

At your Microsoft Account site, you can see a list of every Windows 10 system set up under your account, find a device if you have trouble locating it, and view the key details on each one (CPU, memory, Windows version, etc.). You can also check your security settings, your update status, and BitLocker data protection.

SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

First, sign in to your Microsoft Account site. At the main screen, click on the heading for Devices (Figure A).

Figure A

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The page displays an overview of all your Windows 10 devices as well as any phones you've added using the Your Phone app in Windows 10. Click on the Manage link for a computer or device that you want to investigate (Figure B).

Figure B

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The Security & Protection page displays information about your virus and threat protection, firewall status, Windows update status, BitLocker status, and more. Scroll down the screen to review the details. Click on a specific entry such as Firewall & network protection to view the current status (Figure C).

Figure C

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If you're unsure of the location of a specific device, click on the link to Find My Device at the top of the page. If location tracking is enabled on that device, click on its entry at the Find My Device section to see its location. If location tracking shows up as disabled, click on the button to turn it on to see if its location can be determined (Figure D).

Figure D

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Return to the previous screen or tab and click on the heading for Info & Support—this is where you can review the specs on a specific device, including the operating system, OS build, graphics adapter, RAM, and processor. If you're experiencing problems with your device, you can also schedule an appointment at a local Microsoft Store or look for help online (Figure E).

Figure E

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Go back to the main screen showing all your devices. Perhaps there's a device or a Windows virtual machine that you no longer use, and you want to remove it from the list. Click on the Manage link and then click on the command to Remove PC (Figure F). At the next screen, check the box for I'm Ready To Remove This PC and click Remove. The device is removed from the list.

Figure F

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Finally, you can add a device if you don't see it on the list but you know it's active and turned on. At the bottom of the page in the section for Don't see your device, click the Get Started button. Choose the device type, such as a PC. Click Next. Choose the operating system and click Next. At the next screen, read the instructions that tell you to sign in with your Microsoft Account on that device and click OK (Figure G).

Figure G

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