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How to configure your webcam, microphone, speakers and much more!
Not sure what you need for our online courses? Here's our definitive guide to setting up your computer sofware and hardware to ensure that everything works smoothly.

Posted by Sam Lowrie on 19 June 2020

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Online Training Equipment Setup Guide

This guide provides a few hints and tips for setting up your equipment ready for a Wise Owl online training course.

Windows key

Some of the instructions below refer to the "Windows key" - this is what it looks like! It's usually at the bottom left of your keyboard.

 

Setting up a second screen

You can use a computer monitor or a TV as a second screen (we'll assume that you've managed to plug it into your computer already).  The next thing you need to do is choose what to display on the second screen.  To do this you can hold the Windows key and press P on your keyboard.

Extend

You can then choose how the second screen should behave. Choose Extend so that your display will be spread across both screens.

 

Another way to do this is to right-click on the background of your desktop and choose Display settings:

Display settings

Right-click on the desktop and choose this option to change how your screen displays.

 

You can then scroll down to the Multiple displays section to choose how your screens should behave:

Extend

Choose Extend these displays from the drop down list.

 

Setting the position of a second screen

When you extend your display across two screens you can click and drag things from one screen to another.  You can tell Windows where your second screen is positioned relative to your main screen, to control the direction in which you need to drag.

Monitor position

Here I've placed my second screen to the left of my main screen.

To set the position of your second screen, right-click on the background of your desktop and choose Display settings:

Display settings

Right-click on the desktop and choose this option to change how your screen displays.

 

The dialog box will show you where Windows thinks each screen is:

Position

Windows thinks that the second screen is on the right of the first screen.

 

If you're not sure which screen is 1 and which is 2, click Identify to make the number appear on each screen.

You can then position your displays by clicking and dragging to move them:

Drag

Drag either screen to reposition it.

 

When each screen is in the correct position, click Apply to confirm your changes:

Apply

Click Apply to confirm the new screen positions.

 

If you've done this correctly, you should now be able to drag things from one screen to the other in the correct direction:

 Finish

Click and drag to move windows from one screen to another.

Changing scale and layout settings for a second screen

To change scale and layout settings for a second screen, right-click on the background of your desktop and choose Display settings:

Disaply settings

Once more, you can right-click on the desktop to change how your second screen appears.

 

Click on the screen whose settings you want to change:

Choose screen

Make sure you've clicked on the number representing the screen whose settings you want to change.

 

You can then scroll down to the Scale and layout section of the window to change various settings:

Settings

You can use the recommended settings or choose other options from the drop down lists.

 

Choosing which speakers to use

If you have multiple devices which can play sounds plugged in to your computer, you might need to choose which one you want to use.  One way to do this is to click the speaker icon in the bottom-right corner of your screen:

Speaker

Click the speaker icon in the system tray in the bottom-right of the screen.

 

The currently selected playback device will be shown above the volume control.  You can click this to see a list of other options:

Select device

Choose the name of any device to set it as the current playback device.

 

When you plug an extra screen into your computer, Windows will often set it to be the current playback device.  If you find that your speakers suddenly stop working, check which playback device Windows is currently using.

You can also choose a playback device by right-clicking:

Right click

Right-click the speaker icon and choose Open Sound settings.

 

You can then choose a playback device in the Output section of the window:

Output

Use the drop down list to select an output device.

 

Choosing which microphone to use

If you have multiple microphones available on your computer you may need to choose which one you want to use.  Typically this is necessary when you plug an external microphone or headset into a laptop which has a built-in microphone.  To do this, right-click the speaker icon:

Sound settings

Right-click the speaker icon and choose Open Sound settings.

 

You can then scroll down to the Input section and choose which microphone to use:

Choose

Choose which microphone to use from the drop down list.

 

Choosing sound settings when joining a Teams meeting

When you join a Microsoft Teams meeting you'll have the opportunity to choose which audio and video devices you'll use, and whether to enable or disable them before entering the meeting room.

Buttons

The buttons shown below your name from left to right allow you to toggle the camera, toggle the microphone and see device settings.

 

If you click the Devices button shown above, you can choose which devices you want to use in the Teams meeting:

Device settings

This panel appears on the right of the screen when you click Devices.

 

Choosing sound settings while in a Teams meeting

When you're in the Teams meeting you can control your audio and video devices using the Teams menu bar.  The menu bar appears when you move the mouse cursor over the Teams window.

Toggle camera

The left-most button on the menu bar allows you to toggle your camera.

You can use the second button to toggle your microphone.

Toggle mute

Click the second button on the menu bar to mute and unmute your microphone.  This is useful if you have crunchy snacks!

You can see other sound settings by clicking the ... button on the menu bar.

Sound settings

Choose Show device settings to choose different audio and video devices.

Web browser settings

If you're using the browser version of Teams you can control some settings using the web browser.

Browser devices

In Google Chrome the camera icon next to the star indicates that the page is using at least one of your devices. Hover the mouse cursor over the icon to see which devices are being used.

 

You can click the camera icon to change device settings:

Device settings

You can choose whether to block or allow devices and use the drop down list to select which device to use.

You may see an icon indicating that the web page has been muted:

Muted

This icon appears in between the camera and star icons at the top-right of the browser.

 

You can click the icon to choose what to do:

Unmute

Click the icon and choose whether or not to allow sounds.

You can also right-click the browser tab and choose to unmute it:

Unmute tab

Right-click the tab and choose Unmute site.

 

Troubleshooting

If you're having trouble with any of your equipment here are various places you can visit to get help:

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