How to get started with your Microsoft Windows laptop or tablet

User guidance for Microsoft Windows devices to share with children, young people and their carers.


The guidance below applies to devices supplied with software and settings managed by DfE. If the instructions below do not apply to your device and you require assistance, contact the school or local authority who supplied you with the laptop or tablet for support.

When you get your laptop or tablet

How to turn it on

  1. Plug in your device to the mains, using the power supply and charger in the box
  2. Press the ‘On’ button

Log in

You should see a screen that says “localuser”, and your desktop screen will automatically open.

Screenshot that says “localuser”

If you see a screen that says “.\localadmin” and tells you that the username or password is incorrect, press “OK” or enter (↵).

Screenshot that says “.\\localadmin”

Follow these steps:

  • Change the username in the top box from “.\localadmin” to “.\localuser” (it’s important to include the “.” dot and “\” backslash)
  • Do not enter a password (unless you have already set one)
  • Press return
  • You should see a screen that says “localuser”, and your desktop screen will automatically open

If you have set a password that you’ve forgotten, you’ll need to ask your technical contact to reset it for you. If you’re not sure who that is, ask the person or school that gave you the laptop or tablet.

Screenshot of the login screen

Connect to Wi-Fi

Your laptop or tablet needs to access a Wi-Fi network before you can use the internet.

Screenshot showing the Network icon on the taskbar

  1. Click the Network icon on the taskbar. If you don’t see one of these network icons, click the "^" symbol and you should see it there.
  2. Choose your Wi-Fi network, then select "Connect".
  3. Type your network password, and then select "Next".
  4. You should choose "No" when asked if you want your device to be discoverable on the Wi-Fi network.
  5. Leave your computer on and connected to the mains and the internet for at least 3 hours the first time you use it.

Note: If you’ve been given a 4G router, look in its box to find the name of the network and the password you’ll need. If you’re using your own Wi-Fi then connect using the same network and password as you would with other devices, such as a mobile phone.

You’re ready to get online

You can start using your laptop or tablet once you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network. Your school and/or local authority will let you know which resources you should use.

Logging back into the operating system

The devices have no passwords set up. If you’ve logged out of the operating system, you can log back in with the username “.\localuser”. Type the username carefully – the .\ before localuser is part of the username.

Staying safe online

All Microsoft Windows devices registered to the DfE have safeguarding settings applied to keep you safe online.

This means you will not be able to use the laptop or tablet to access any inappropriate content.

If you’re blocked from viewing something you think you need for your education, work or wellbeing, get in touch with your school or local authority contact to let them know.

If you’re worried that your child is accessing harmful content on any device, you can find support and advice at GOV.UK.

If your child is worried or needs support, they can call Childline (0800 1111) or download their ‘For Me’ app.

If your child has a social worker, you should contact your local authority if you have any concerns about your child’s safety or wellbeing.

Privacy notice: How we look after personal information using the mobile device management on Microsoft Windows laptops and tablets

This privacy policy is for the end users of Microsoft Windows laptops and tablets provided as part of the Department for Education’s Get help with technology programme.

Who this information is for

This information is for:

  • children, young people and care leavers
  • parents and carers

How we use your personal information

The Get help with technology programme is run by the Department for Education (DfE). This privacy notice explains how it will use your personal information.

As part of the Get help with technology programme we need to be able to:

  • keep children safe whilst they are online
  • locate, disable and delete data from the laptop that is on loan, if it is lost

The DfE have installed mobile device management software on the laptop or tablet to do this. The mobile device management solution will collect some personal information when it is implemented on the device.

The DfE is the data controller for the personal information collected when using mobile device management on a laptop or tablet provided through the Get help with technology programme.

The personal information collected will be:

  • a device number for the laptop or tablet loaned or given to you
  • your Internet Protocol (IP) address, which is a number linked to a device connected to a computer network
  • addresses of websites visited when using the laptop or tablet

For these purposes, the personal information above is securely shared between the DfE and the mobile device management software providers (including their contracted partners), under agreements with the DfE.

Your name is not shared with the DfE or mobile device management software providers (including their contracted partners).

When we can use your personal information

To use your personal information we need to meet one (or more) conditions in the data protection legislation. For this service we can use your information as part of our legitimate interests to provide a safe and secure platform, including disabling laptops that may have been stolen.

How long we hold personal information

Personal information is held by the DfE and the protective software providers (including their contracted partners) for up to 2 years.

Who we share your personal information with

We only share your personal information with the protective software providers (and their contracted partners) under our agreement for the reasons described above, unless there is a legal requirement for us to share it.

Your individual rights

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, you’re entitled to ask if we hold information relating to you and ask for a copy, by making a ‘subject access request’.

For further information and how to request your data, use the ‘contact form’ under the ‘How to find out what personal information we hold about you’ section in the Personal Information Charter.

You can read further information about your data protection rights at the Information Commissioner’s Office.