Windows Mixed Reality immersive headset safety, health, and comfort

This article explains how to use Windows Mixed Reality immersive headsets safely and comfortably.


Failure to properly set up, use, and care for your headset can increase the risk of serious injury, death, property damage, or damage to the product or accessories.

Safety considerations

  • Follow all setup procedures, user guidelines, and instructions from:

    • Your Mixed Reality headset and motion controller manufacturers.
    • Publishers of your software applications, 2D or 3D content, and content experiences.
  • Make sure anyone else using your headset understands:

    • The health and safety information in this guide.
    • Any other safety or usage instructions from the device and content providers.
    • The setup and orientation procedures to become familiar with the system.
  • Use your headset in safe surroundings. Using your headset can distract you and keep you from seeing your physical surroundings. Mixed Reality immersive headsets can fully obstruct your view, and content that appears far away might block your view of nearby physical objects.

    Use only in a safe place that's appropriate for your activities. Avoid trip hazards, stairs, low ceilings, and fragile or valuable items that you could damage. Avoid situations in which people or things might unexpectedly approach. Don't use your headset when you need to view and attend to your physical surroundings for safety.

  • Create a boundary. Follow all setup recommendations for Windows Mixed Reality, including using your headset to create a boundary. Boundaries can help you avoid obstacles.

    Your PC setup and some applications or experiences can cause delays or errors in the boundary display. Always use caution and be aware of your surroundings, even if you've created a boundary.

Health considerations

  • If you're prone to motion sickness, get migraine headaches, or have an inner ear disorder, you might be at increased risk of discomfort.

  • Having an interpupillary distance (IPD) outside the optimal range for the device might increase discomfort. IPD is the distance between the center of the pupils of the two eyes. Devices might work best for users whose IPD falls within a certain range.

  • You need good binocular vision to view stereoscopic 3D content. If you have a binocular vision disorder, such as strabismus, eye misalignment, or crossed or wandering eye, viewing 3D content isn't comfortable.

    Some people might have a pre-existing binocular vision disorder that they're not aware of until they try viewing 3D content. Consider consulting an eye doctor if you aren't able to view 3D content clearly and comfortably.

Comfort considerations

Some people might experience discomfort such as nausea, motion sickness, dizziness, disorientation, headache, fatigue, or eye strain when using Mixed Reality, particularly as they adjust to using it. Motion sickness and related symptoms can occur when there's a mismatch between what you see and what your body perceives.

Certain conditions can increase your risk of discomfort:

  • Being a new user.

    Start slowly. Keep your first sessions brief. For most people, discomfort should lessen as you become accustomed to Mixed Reality.

  • Games or movies that make you feel as if you're moving through space or looking down from above.

  • Interactions that involve tracking moving objects.

  • Using the headset for extended periods without a break.

    Take breaks periodically, and stop and rest if you experience any discomfort. The timing and length of breaks depends on the individual user and how you're using the headset.

If you experience discomfort, stop using the headset and rest until you feel better. Sitting still in a well-lit environment can help speed recovery from disorientation. If you feel disoriented, avoid activities that require balance, coordination, or other capabilities until you recover.

Take note of the type of content you were viewing and other aspects of the situation in which the discomfort occurred, so you can adjust or ease into the situation next time. People differ in the time they take to adapt. Consider taking more frequent or longer breaks.

See also