How to Add Your Social Accounts to Windows 8 - dummies

How to Add Your Social Accounts to Windows 8

By Andy Rathbone

For years, you’ve heard people say, “Never tell anybody your user account name and password.” Now, it seems Windows 8 wants you to break that rule.

When you first open your People, Mail, or Messaging apps, Windows 8 ask you to enter your account names and passwords from Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Hotmail, and other services.

It’s not as scary as you think, though. Microsoft and the other networks have agreed to share your information, only if you approve it. And should you approve it, Windows connects to your social network — Facebook, for example — where you can tell Facebook it’s okay to share your information with the People app in Windows 8.

And, frankly, approving the information swap is a huge timesaver. When you link those accounts to Windows 8, your computer signs in to each service, imports your friends’ contact information, and stocks your apps.

To fill in Windows 8 about your online social life, follow these steps:

  1. From the Start screen, open the Mail app.

    The tile-filled Start screen appears when you first turn on your computer. If it’s not onscreen, fetch it with these steps:

    • Mouse: Point at the top- or bottom-right corners to summon the Charms bar. Then click the Start icon that appears.

    • Keyboard: Press the Windows key.

    • Touchscreen: Slide your finger inward from the screen’s right edge to fetch the Charms bar and then tap the Start icon.

    Click the Mail tile, and the app opens. If you haven’t yet signed up for a Microsoft account, a prompter appears, reminding you that you need one.

    When the Mail app first appears, it usually contains at least one e-mail: a welcoming message from Microsoft. (Mail also asks you to Allow or Decline the sending of error messages to Microsoft, so the company can improve its products.)


  2. Enter your accounts into the Mail app.

    To add accounts, summon the Charms bar, click the Settings icon, click Accounts, and click Add an Account. Mail lists the accounts you can add: Hotmail, Outlook, Google, or Exchange.

    To add a Google account, for example, click the word Google. Windows 8 takes you to a secure area on Google’s website where you can authorize the transaction by entering your Gmail e-mail address and password and then clicking Connect.

    Repeat these steps for other listed accounts, authorizing each of them to share information with your Windows account.

  3. Return to the Start screen, click the People tile, and enter your other accounts.

    Now’s your chance to tell Windows about your friends: Click the People tile on the Start screen. When it appears, you may spot friends listed in the address books associated with the e-mail accounts you entered in Step 1.

    Continue adding contacts by entering your usernames and passwords from accounts from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others.

    For example, choose Facebook, click Connect, and a window appears for you to enter your Facebook name and password.


After you’ve entered your accounts, Windows 8 automatically fetches your e-mail through your Mail app, fills the People app with your friends’ contact information, and adds any appointments in your Calendar app.

Although it might seem frightening to give Windows 8 your coveted usernames and passwords, it enriches Windows 8 in many ways:

  • Instead of typing in your contacts by hand, they’re waiting for you automatically, whether they’re from Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn or they’re connected with your Google, Hotmail, Outlook, or Windows Live account.

  • Windows 8 apps work well with apps and programs from other companies. For example, if a friend wants to chat with you from Facebook, the Windows 8 Messaging program opens, letting you swap messages. You don’t need to open Facebook; Windows Messaging app talks with Facebook’s messaging app.

  • You can view your friends’ Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn messages and photos directly from the People app. You no longer need to make the rounds of all your social networks to see what everybody’s doing.

  • Don’t like these new-fangled Windows 8 apps? Then ignore them and spend your time on the Windows 8 desktop. There, you can visit Facebook and your other accounts from your web browser, the same way you’ve always done.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.