When it comes to installing hardware devices on your Windows 8.1 computer, it couldn't be simpler. Typically you'll plug the device in, and Windows will go about installing it, locating the correct drivers, and getting them installed as well. And you'll be up and running in no time at all. But there are a couple things we can do for adding and removing devices you should know about, so let's take a quick look now. From the start screen we'll begin by typing the word device, dev is all we need, and you'll see over here on the right hand side Device settings and Add or remove devices.
Either one of these will take you to the exact same location under PC settings, you can see it here, PC and devices with Devices selected. Here you're going to see a list of devices currently plugged into your computer, any printers, including the default XPS Document Writer that comes with Windows 8.1. And under Other devices, I can see I have a monitor, for example, external speakers, I have a microphone. All of these already plugged into my computer, and typically it was just finding the connection, plugging it in, and it was recognized.
Now, before we go adding anything, you might want to take a look at this option for downloading over metered connections. Now, because our devices like, tablets and smartphones, we can connect things to them, if we don't already have the drivers, the information and apps installed, you might want to make sure that you're not working over a metered connection when you do this. So by turning this off you won't be charged for downloading drivers and apps while you're not say, on a wireless network where you're not being charged. So I like to keep that off.
Also, one other option on this screen is to save music, pictures and videos to a removable drive by default if you want to set that up. But let's go up to our devices and take a look at Add a device. You might never use this. Clicking this is going to search your computer for devices that might be plugged in, but not appearing on this list, it almost never happens. So if we were to click that now probably we'd see no devices, even though we have a number of devices that are already installed. Let's say we do have a piece of hardware that we want to connect.
I have a webcam and I have it out of the package, it's a USB connection, I'm going to plug it into the back of my computer now. Now as soon as I plug it in I can hear things happening in the computer itself. This is actually Windows recognizing the device, trying to locate drivers that will run in the background to make this device work. And if it has to go online it will, of course you'll need an internet connection for that to happen, but that's where the metered connections come in. And all of the sudden you can see it being installed here, there's my Logitech Webcam C170 up and running and ready to use.
Now if I wanted to take that out of my computer, and maybe take it to another computer, you don't want to just unplug it and remove it. It could be in the middle of doing something, and that could cause issues. So when you click any one of these devices, like the webcam for example, you'll see Remove device, and by clicking that, it's removed from the list and you're safe to unplug it from your computer. All right, let's press our Windows key to return to the start screen. And although, plugging in and installing hardware devices here in Windows 8.1 is very simple, you really don't need to do anything except plug the device in in most instances, it's good to know we can go in there to look at some of the settings.
And if we need to remove a device that's where we go, here in Windows 8.1.
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