Use the Set up School PCs app to setup Windows PCs in Schools

Computers now have become an integral part of education in schools, and almost every good school has the computer systems set for their students. The only problem with the computer education in school comes when students get distracted with various apps and features of the PCs. Windows Store has a new app called Set up School PCs for teachers and IT support staff in schools. This new app from Microsoft helps the technical staff of school set up Windows 10 PCs for students in the school. The app is particularly tailored for the students, wherein it will keep the useful apps required for learning and remove the unwanted apps & features from the PCs.

Set Up School PCs app

As the name suggests, this app helps teachers and IT staff to set up the computer systems for students as per their need and requirements. The app follows the Microsoft’s recommended education settings and set up the PCs accordingly. Also, the app lets the IT staff save those settings in a USB drive for quick use in next PC, wherein the teacher just have to plug-in the USB device, and it automatically adjusts the tweaks.

The basic education settings in the Set Up School PCs app include:

  1. This app gives a unique and a friendly name to each student’s PC which further helps in management.
  2. The app automatically adjusts the computer systems according to Microsoft’s recommended school PC settings which include the shared PC mode, automatic account cleanup, and a faster sign-in.
  3. Joining each students PC to the Azure Directory tenant and the schools Office 365 account.
  4. If the school has a licensed MDM (Mobile Device Management) provider, this app enrolls each student automatically in the MDM. The settings, however, can be changed later if required. Moreover, the students are not allowed to remove their PCs from the device management systems. They can never change the School PC settings as well.
  5. The app removes all the unwanted software preinstalled in the PCs and keeps only the ones required for learning.
  6. The tool saves the wireless network profile on each PC and adjusts the configurations automatically.
  7. Guest account option for the visitors and younger students in the school. Guest accounts also help in the case of lost passwords.
  8. The app locks down the students PC in case of any suspicious activity.
  9. There is also an optional secure testing included in the PC settings.
  10. Without any manual adjustments, the app keeps updating the student’s PCs time to time.
  11. It installs the useful apps for students like Sway to create interactive reports, OneDrive for their cloud storage and more. It also customizes the Start layout for the students.
  12. One of the very important features of the Set Up School PCs app is that it removes the unwanted and distracting apps from the PC like Solitaire and more.
  13. Students are not allowed to add their personal Microsoft account to the PC.

Set up School PCs step-by-step

1. Download the Set Up PC School app from the Windows Store. Launch the Setup School PCs app and click on Get Started button at the bottom.Set Up School PCs app

2. The next step is to sign into your school’s Office 365 account. Enable the student’s PCs to automatically connect to Intune for Education, Azure AD and Office 365. You can, however, skip the sign-in and jump to complete the setup. Make a note that if you set up the PC without signing in, Student’s PCs won’t be connected to management services or the cloud services, which may give you troubles later.

  • If you choose to sign in, select the account from the list and click Next. If you don’t see the account in the list, you can add a new account. You may be asked to provide the login details. Give the app required permissions to access your account. Click on Next. 
  • Select the school’s wireless network page if you the student PCs to connect automatically to school’s wireless network. See if the school’s wireless network is in the list of available networks, add it manually if required and click Next. If you have an ethernet connection, you can skip the step of adding the wireless network.

3. The next step is to name the PCs. Select some short and easy to remember the name for the PCs. The Setup School PCs app will be using this name to then onwards. Once done with the name, click Next.

4. Head over to the configuration page for further settings.

  • Since it is a Student PC, install only the base Windows image and remove apps pre-installed by the device manufacturer.
  • Select Allow local storage so that the students can save files to the Desktop and Documents folder. Don’t select this option if it is a shared PC.
  • If you want the guests to use student PCs, Let guests sign-in to these PCs.
  • From the configuration page, you can change default lock screen background and set your school’s logo or any custom background.

5. Next is ‘Take a Test app‘. Here you can set the assessments and quizzes for the students. The app adjusts the settings in a way that students won’t be able to access anything else on the PC while taking the test.

  • Select if you want the ‘Take a Test‘ button to appear on the screens of students’ PCs. The other two check boxes let you decide whether to allow keyboard text suggestions and allow teachers to monitor online tests.
  • Add the assessment URL if any. You can anyways fill it later also.
  • Click Next when done with the above settings. Click Skip if you don’t want to setup the Take a Test app.

6. Recommended Apps- Here you have to select the apps according to your own preferences from a set of apps recommended by Microsoft.

7. Summary- Under this tab, you can review the package settings summary. Check all your settings and change if required. Click Accept if the settings are OK.

8. Save Package- This is where you can save all your settings. Click Save Package and select Insert a USB Drive Now. Insert your drive and save your package settings there for further portable usage and click Save. The app will show the notification when the package is saved to your USB drive. Click Next and you are done. There is also an option of adding another USB if you want to.

9. Run Package- Click Run Package and select Get the Students PC Ready and follow the instructions. Click Next and select Install the package.

Follow the given instructions, and you are all done with the Setup School PCs. Click Create a new package if you want the package with different settings.

For a detailed read, you may visit docs.microsoft.com.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.