How to Set Up Peripherals on a Windows Computer

Introduction

Variety of PC peripherals

PC peripherals, also called accessories are devices that can be connected to a PC to expand its functionality beyond its basic operation. Some of the most common types of PC peripherals are:

  • Monitors
  • Keyboards
  • Mice
  • Speakers
  • Headphones
  • Microphones
  • Headsets
  • Webcams
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Game controllers
  • External storage devices

? What type of peripheral are you trying to connect to your PC?

  1. Display
  2. Audio
  3. USB
  4. Bluetooth

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Variety of PC peripherals

PC peripherals, also called accessories are devices that can be connected to a PC to expand its functionality beyond its basic operation. Some of the most common types of PC peripherals are:

  • Monitors
  • Keyboards
  • Mice
  • Speakers
  • Headphones
  • Microphones
  • Headsets
  • Webcams
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Game controllers
  • External storage devices

Display devices can be attached to a computer through a variety of connection types. The most commons are the ones shown below:
Diplay socket and plug types.

  1. Find the connection type on the back on your display device.
  2. Find a matching cable for it and plug one end into the back of the computer and the other end into the back of the display device.
  3. If necessary, connect the power cable into the display device and a power source.
  4. Once you power on the display device, make sure you select the input source that matches the connection type. Refer to your devices documentation for details on how to make that selection.

The most common audio devices you can connect to a PC are speakers, headphones or microphones, and most of them have a 3.5 mm audio plug. Some plugs are color coded to match the sockets on the PC.

Headset with color coded plugs

If you plan on connecting your audio peripheral to the PC indefinitely, it is recommended you plug it into the back of PC case.

  1. Locate the the audio sockets on the back of the PC.
    Color coded rear panel PC audio sockets

  2. The most common audio socket colors you will find are: pink, light green and light blue. If they aren't color coded, they should have the same symbols illustrated above next to them. Make sure you don't confuse the line out and line in symbols. The arrow in the line out symbol is pointing away from the middle of the symbol, whereas the arrow in the line in symbol is pointing towards the middle of the symbol.
  3. Plug in:
    • A microphone in the pink socket (Mic),
    • A speaker or headphone in the light green socket (Line Out),
    • An external source of audio in the light blue socket (Line In).
  4. If you are connecting speakers to the PC, you can now plug in their power cord into a power source and turn them on by pressing their power button or turning the volume button until you can start hearing the sound coming from them.

If you plan on connecting your audio peripheral to the PC temporarily, it is recommended you plug it into the front or side of the PC case. In this case, if the audio sockets aren't color coded they may have different symbols from the ones on the back of the PC to distinguish them like in the image below.

Front panel PC audio sockets

USB is the most common type of connector used to attach peripherals to computers. Whether you have a wired or wireless peripheral, chances are they use this type of connector.
USB dongle and USB cable.
The majority are Plug and Play which means they will be recognized by Windows as soon as you plug them into the computer and you can use them right away. Others might require software or drivers to be installed on the computer before plugging them in.

The requirement to install software or drivers varies by manufacturer and device model. Refer to your peripherals documentation to find out if this is necessary.

The drivers may come with the peripheral on a disc or you can download them from the manufacturers website.

Method 1:

  1. Insert the disc that came with your device into the computer.
  2. You may get a pop-up on the screen asking you what you want to do with the contents of the disc. Choose the option that allows you to install or run the software from the disc.
    Windows autorun pop-up.
  3. If you don't get this pop-up, click on the Windows button on the bottom left corner of the screen, then click on File Explorer or its icon.
    File Explorer placement in Windows menu.
  4. In the File Explorer, look for the disc drive and double click it to open its contents.
    Windows File Explorer with disc drive highlighted.
  5. Look for the Setup or Install file and launch it, then follow the instructions to install the drivers onto the computer.

Method 2:

  1. Open a web browser on your computer.
  2. Navigate to the manufacturers website.
  3. Look for the Support heading on the website and click on it.
    Example of support heading placement on manufacturer website.
  4. The place where the drivers can be downloaded from varies by how the manufacturers website is designed. Sometimes you can find them under the Downloads section, other times under Software or under Drivers, or even a combination of these words.
  5. You can either find the needed drivers by typing in the peripherals name and model in the search field like in the image above or you can find them by clicking through the categories of devices like in the image below.
    Category based device search on manufacturer website.
  6. Once you've located the driver for your device, click to download it and save it onto your computer.
  7. Launch the downloaded driver and follow the instructions to install it on the computer.
  1. Connect your USB device into the USB port.
    USB device being plugged into USB port.

  2. Windows will automatically recognize the device and set it up for you.
    Automatic device setup in Windows.

If Windows does not detect the device when plugged in, plug the device into a different USB port to see if Windows is able to recognize it.

Bluetooth is the most common type of wireless technology used to connect devices over short distances.
Variety of Bluetooth capable devices
The majority are Plug and Play which means they will be recognized by Windows as soon as you pair them with the computer and you can use them right away. Others might require software or drivers to be installed on the computer before pairing them together.

The requirement to install software or drivers varies by manufacturer and device model. Refer to your peripherals documentation to find out if this is necessary.

The drivers may come with the peripheral on a disc or you can download them from the manufacturers website.

Method 1:

  1. Insert the disc that came with your device into the computer.
  2. You may get a pop-up on the screen asking you what you want to do with the contents of the disc. Choose the option that allows you to install or run the software from the disc.
    Windows autorun pop-up.
  3. If you don't get this pop-up, click on the Windows button on the bottom left corner of the screen, then click on File Explorer or its icon.
    File Explorer placement in Windows menu.
  4. In the File Explorer, look for the disc drive and double click it to open its contents.
    Windows File Explorer with disc drive highlighted.
  5. Look for the Setup or Install file and launch it, then follow the instructions to install the drivers onto the computer.

Method 2:

  1. Open a web browser on your computer.
  2. Navigate to the manufacturers website.
  3. Look for the Support heading on the website and click on it.
    Example of support heading placement on manufacturer website.
  4. The place where the drivers can be downloaded from varies by how the manufacturers website is designed. Sometimes you can find them under the Downloads section, other times under Software or under Drivers, or even a combination of these words.
  5. You can either find the needed drivers by typing in the peripherals name and model in the search field like in the image above or you can find them by clicking through the categories of devices like in the image below.
    Category based device search on manufacturer website.
  6. Once you've located the driver for your device, click to download it and save it onto your computer.
  7. Launch the downloaded driver and follow the instructions to install it on the computer.

Some Bluetooth devices are configured to require a PIN or a passkey. If this is the case, check your Bluetooth device's documentation for the correct default PIN or passkey.

  1. Set the Bluetooth accessory in pairing/discovery mode.

    This process will vary depending on what kind of device you have. Refer to your device's documentation for specifics on how to accomplish this.

  2. Click the Start button.
    Windows 10 Start Menu
  3. Tap on Settings.
    Windows 10 Settings
  4. Then click on Devices.
    Devices Settings
  5. Select Bluetooth & other devices from the left-hand column and ensure the Bluetooth switch is in the On position to the right.
    Bluetooth & other devices and the Bluetooth toggle highlighted
  6. Click Add Bluetooth or other device.
    Add Bluetooth or other device highlighted
  7. Select Bluetooth from the list.
    Bluetooth highlighted
  8. Select the device you want to pair the system with.
    Bluetooth device highlighted
  9. If asked to enter or verify the passcode showing on the other device, do so.
    Bluetooth PIN highlighted
  10. Click on Done.
    Done highlighted
  11. After the pairing was successful the device will show the Paired status under its name.
    Paired device highlighted
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