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How to switch between Local and Microsoft accounts in Windows 8

By on October 17, 2012 | Last Updated: December 11, 2012 | Read 60,244 times.
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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. How to switch from a Local account to a Microsoft account in Windows 8
  3. How to switch from a Microsoft account to a Local account in Windows 8

 

Introduction

When creating accounts on Windows 8 you have the option to choose a Local account or a Microsoft account. A Microsoft account, formerly known as a Windows Live ID, is an account that has been registered with Microsoft so that you can use their online services such as Hotmail, SkyDrive, Calendar, or the Windows Store. In order to use most of these services and integrate them into Windows 8, you will need to use a Microsoft account when logging into a Windows 8 computer. A local account, on the other hand, is one that is only usable on the local computer and does not have any integration with Microsoft's online services. This type of account is what has traditionally been used in previous versions of Windows.

Note: If you are logged in as a local account you can still use the Windows Store if you enter your Microsoft account information when starting the app.

If at any time you wish to switch between the two you can do so through the Users setting screen in Windows 8. The instructions below will walk you through switching between a Microsoft and a Local account so that you can use the most appropriate account for your needs.

 

How to switch from a Local account to a Microsoft account in Windows 8

If you are currently using a Local account in Windows 8 and would like to switch to a Microsoft account, please go to the Windows 8 Start Screen and type Users. When the search results appear click on the Settings category as shown below.

 

Users search

 

Now click on the option labeled Users, which will open the User Settings screen.

 

Switch from Local account to a Microsoft account

 

Please click on the Switch to a Microsoft account button. This will bring you to a screen where you will be prompted for your current Local account password. Please enter the password and click on the Next button. You will now be at a screen that prompts you to the enter the email address that is associated or that you wish to associate with your Microsoft account.

 

Enter Microsoft account email address screen

 

Enter your email address and then click on the Next button. If this email address is not associated with an existing Microsoft account you will be prompted to register the account. Once you are done, you will be shown a screen that shows that your local Windows 8 account has been switched to a Microsoft account.

 

Switched to Microsoft account confirmation

 

Now click on the Finish button.

There is one last step that you need to do before this account is fully activated. After you convert your account to a Microsoft account, Microsoft will send an email to the email address that you just used. You need to read that email and then click on a link to verify that you are in fact the one who initiated this request. If you cannot find this email in your Inbox, please check your SPAM folders. Once you verify your account, log out of Windows and back in using your Microsoft account.

Your Microsoft account is now ready to use.

 

How to switch from a Microsoft account to a Local account in Windows 8

If you are currently using a Microsoft account in Windows 8 and would like to switch to a Local account, please go to the Windows 8 Start Screen and type Users. When the search results appear click on the Settings category as shown below.

 

Users search

 

Now click on the option labeled Users, which will open the User Settings screen.

Switch from a Microsoft account to a Local account

 

Please click on the Switch to a local account button. This will bring you to a screen where you will be prompted for your current Microsoft account password. Please enter the password and click on the Next button. You will now be at a screen that prompts you to the enter the information you wish to use for the local account.

 

Local account information

 

Please fill in the desired user name, password, and a hint that will be used to help you remember your password. When you are done filling in the information, please click on the Next button. You will now be brought to a confirmation screen.

 

Confirmation screen after switching to a local account

 

Please click on the Sign out and finish button and Windows will log you out and bring you back to the Windows Welcome screen where you can now login with your local account.

 

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