How to set up your Windows Mixed Reality Headset

Arif Bacchus

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Did you recently jump at the chance to be an early adopter of Windows Mixed Reality, or are you hoping to receive a Windows Mixed Reality headset as a gift this holiday season? If so, you should be aware that the setup process is quick simple and easy. Once you’ve ensured your PC is capable by running the Windows Mixed Reality PC Check, there are only about five steps in getting started with your new headset, so follow along with us as we guide you through the set up process!

Plug the cables in:

After removing the protective film from inside the lenses, the first step into the world of Windows Mixed Reality is to plug your headset into your PC. Our Lenovo Explorer headset uses an HDMI and USB 3.0 connector, as do many of the other headsets. Anyway, be sure that you’re plugging the USB end of the headset into a USB 3.0 port and not USB 2.0 port. Please keep in mind that if your PC does not have an HDMI port, you can use one of these recommended adapters to connect the headset.

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Plugging the headset cables in

Launch the Windows Mixed Reality portal:

After you plug the headset in, the Windows Mixed Reality portal should automatically launch. Please don’t put your headset on just yet, and be patient. You’ll need to follow along and perform a few extra steps before wearing the headset. The Mixed Reality portal will first run some checks to make sure that you can use the headset with your PC, after which you will get launched to an app which is all about your headset.

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System check at the Windows Mixed Reality Portal

Get to know your headset:

Once plugged in, Windows 10 should automatically launch a secondary app dedicated to your headset. Since we’re using a Lenovo headset, we got the Lenovo Explorer App. This app will explain how the headset works, showing you the locations of the cables, the sensors, and the head strap.

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Meet your new headset!

Set up your motion controllers:

Next up, you’re going to have to set up your motion controllers, or Xbox gamepad. The controllers come bundled with most Windows Mixed Reality headsets and are the best option for exploring the world of Windows Mixed Reality. To get started with the pairing, you’ll need to turn on Bluetooth on your PC. If your PC does not have Bluetooth built-in, you can use a Bluetooth 4.0 USB Adapter. Please keep in mind you’ll need Bluetooth 4.0 on your PC to use the controllers.

Anyway, to pair the controller, press the Windows Key on the controller for about 3 seconds. If all goes right, you will then feel the controller vibrate and turn on. You must then open up the battery compartment and press the pairing button at the bottom inside portion of the controller. As things get pairing, the lights will blink as the controller starts to pair with your PC. Once paired, Windows will notify you, you’ll feel a solid vibration, and the lights on the controller will go solid.

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Connecting controllers

Set your boundary:

With the controller paired and introduction to the headset complete, you’re now almost finished with the setup process. Next up, you’ll have to choose how you want to use the headset. If you’re planning on using it in a big open room, and for a more immersive experience, you can select “set me up for all experiences.” By going this route, you’ll have to create your own boundary so your PC knows when you’re in and out of your zones.

As part of the set up for the all experiences process, you’ll need to hold your headset up to your PC and keep it centered while you move around the room to create a boundary. It is recommended to create a boundary of at least of 5 (x) 7 feet of clear space. If at any point you mess up, you can always reset by pressing “Start Over.”

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Mapping boundary

If you’re like me and don’t have enough room in your home for the full Windows Mixed Reality immersive experience, you can opt for the “Set me up for the seated or standing” option. This setup process is more simple, and all you’ll need to do is keep the headset pointed and centered at your PC to get things started. But bear in mind, you’ll need to depend more on the controller, and less on your own movements with this setup.

Final steps:

Finally, the Windows Mixed Reality Portal will do some extra work behind the scenes. Along with setting up your apps, it will download data to your computer for the Windows Mixed Reality Home virtual reality experience. As we will discuss in our full-on review, the cliffside house is your virtual home, giving you places to open your apps, launch games, and more.

The Windows Mixed Reality Home

That’s all the set up for now! You can finally put on your headset and immerse yourself in the world of Windows Mixed Reality. Feel free to check out some of the pre-pinned apps on the walls of the Windows Mixed Reality Home, or browse the Microsoft Store app for more! Happy exploring, and do let us know how the experience is going for you by dropping us a comment below!