Devices Settings

Windows 10: Devices settings explained

The Devices section in the Settings app allows you to customize your Bluetooth, printers, mouse, and your Windows Ink experience — Here's everything explained.

Windows 10 Settings Devices

The Settings app on Windows 10 includes a Devices section, which is the place you’ll use to manage all your peripherals connected to your computer, including printers, keyboard, Bluetooth devices, and more.

When you open the Settings app (Windows key + I), Devices is located between System and Network & Internet. If you don’t know where the feature you want to customize is located, you can always use the search box that also features a drop-down list of suggestions as you start typing.

In this guide, you’ll get an overview of the settings you can manage in the Devices section.

Devices settings

Devices is the second section listed in the Settings app, and it’s the place to manage all your connected devices, including printers, Bluetooth, mice, and keyboards.

Windows 10 Settings: Devices
Windows 10 Settings: Devices

Printers & scanners

On the Printers & scanners page, you’ll find a number of sections with options to add a new printer or scanner to your computer. You can also see the devices currently installed, and when selecting each item a few options will appear to manage or remove the device.

In addition, this page includes a feature called “Let Windows manage my default printer”, which allows the operating system to automatically set the printer you use the most as you default. This is a handy feature for users on an environment with multiple printers or for those mobile users who need to use a different printer everywhere they go.

Printers and scanners customization settings
Printers and scanners customization settings

If you need to keep your internet usage to the minimum, you can turn on the “Download over metered connections” feature to prevent Windows 10 from downloading drivers, information, and apps for new devices when you’re using a capped internet connection.

Connected devices

On the Connected devices page, you can manage additional peripherals connected to your computer. You have the option to add new devices, and there is a listing of you current connected devices, which you can select and remove as needed.

Connected devices customization settings
Connected devices customization settings

Like in Printers & scanners, you get the “Download over metered connections” feature to prevent Windows 10 from downloading drivers, information, and apps for new devices when you’re using a capped internet connection.

Bluetooth

On the Bluetooth page, you can quickly add and remove wireless devices, such as speakers, headphones, fitness trackers, phones, mice, keyboards, and many others.

In order to connect new devices, make sure to turn on the Bluetooth toggle switch. Then make sure the device you’re trying to connect is in discovery mode, select the device from the list, and click Pair.

Bluetooth customization settings
Bluetooth customization settings

If you need more help, then follow this guide to pair wireless devices to your computer.

This page is only available if your computer includes a Bluetooth adapter.

Mouse & touchpad

On the Mouse & touchpad page, includes two sections with limited settings to configure your mouse and touchpad settings.

In the Mouse section, you can configure two features, including:

  • Select your primary button: Adjusts the mouse depending if you’re a left-handed or right-handed person.
  • Roll the mouse wheel to scroll: Controls scroll lines or screen using the mouse wheel, and you can control whether to scroll inactive windows when hovering over them.

The Touchpad section is very limited, and it only includes an option to change the delay to prevent the cursor from automatically moving while you type.

Mouse and touchpad customization settings
Mouse and touchpad customization settings

Typing

On the Typing page, there three sections, including Spelling, Typing, and Touch keyboard.

In the Spelling section, you can turn on or off grammar related features, including:

  • Autocorrect misspelled words
  • Highlight misspelled words

In the Typing section, you have three options to configure, including:

  • Show text suggestions as I type
  • Add a space after I choose a text suggestion
  • Add a period after I double-tap the Spacebar

In the Touch keyboard section, there are a number of options to change the functionality of the on-screen keyboard.

Options you can turn on or off include:

  • Pay key sounds as I type
  • Capitalize the first letter of each sentence
  • Use all uppercase letter when I double-tap Shift
  • Add the standard keyboard layout as a touch keyboard option
  • Show the touch keyboard when not in table mode and there’s no keyboard attached
Typing customization settings
Typing customization settings

Pen & Windows Ink

The Pen & Windows Ink page is only available if your Windows 10 device includes support for active pen.

In the Settings app, the page is divided into three sections allowing you to configure a group of options to use a pen with Windows Ink.

The Pen section adds a few options to configure your active pen, including:

  • Choose which hand you write with: Adjusts the experience depending if you’re a left-handed or right-handed person.
  • Show Visual Effects: Turns off ripple effect visual effects for some active pens.
  • Show cursor: When using an active pen by default a cursor always appears as the pen gets closer to the display. This option disables the cursor making the experience more like pen and paper.
  • Ignore touch input when I’m using my pen: Stops responding to touch gestures while using the pen.
  • Show the handwriting panel when not in tablet mode and there’s no keyboard attached: Opens the handwriting experience instead of the touch keyboard when opening the keyboard from the Taskbar.

The Windows Ink Workspace section allows you to turn on or off recommended app suggestion that appear in the taskbar Windows Ink Workspace experience.

Pen & Windows Ink customization settings
Pen & Windows Ink customization settings

The Pen Shortcuts section is where you can customize the action when pressing your active pen button, such as the Surface Pen.

There three available actions, including “Click once,” “Double-click,” and “Press and hold” only supported on some pens.

For each action, you can select to do “Nothing,” or open “Windows Ink Workspace,” “OneNote,” “Launch a classic app,” “Launch a universal app,” or “OneNote 2016”.

Pen & Windows Ink customization settings (part 2)
Pen & Windows Ink customization settings (part 2)

When customizing the “Click once” button to open Windows Ink Workspace, you can select additional options, including the ability to open the experience while your device is locked.

AutoPlay

On the AutoPlay page, you can choose what the operating system should do when it detects a new storage device is connected to your computer.

You can configure autoplay for removable drives, such as USB hard drives, and memory cards like SD cards.

Among the options available, you can select to take no action, open files using File Explorer, and ask every time.

AutoPlay customization settings
AutoPlay customization settings

If you don’t want Windows 10 to use this feature, you must turn off the “Use AutoPlay for all media and devices” toggle switch.

USB

On the USB page, you can only turn on or off notifications when there is an issue connecting USB devices.

USB customization settings
USB customization settings

Windows 10 Settings

Wrapping things up

Microsoft will be introducing new changes to the Settings app with the Windows 10 Creators Update. This means that these settings are compatible until the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (version 1607).

Some of these changes will be happening to the Devices section where the Connected devices and Bluetooth will be combined into a single page, and Mouse & touchpad page will be split in two sections, with a new Touchpad page will include a number of new options for precision touchpads.

Editor’s Note: In this guide, we looked at the System settings on Windows 10. In future guides, I’ll be also writing about the other remaining sections to uncover all the features in the Settings app. These articles will also be updated as Microsoft releases new versions of Windows 10.