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Cannot sign in to Windows account


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#1 clayto

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 09:59 AM

I suddenly stopped being able to sign in to my Windows account (I suspect due to damage caused by a rather vigorous uninstaller.)  My account online is OK, I am able to sign in to everything, Outlook, etc. But I cannot access my main account on the PC, I get as far as entering my password --- then get a notification 'we cannot sign you in' . To make do until this is  sorted I am using the more limited local Admin account (on which none of the Store apps are available, including Mail & Calendar, People). I guess having to add programs like Thunderbird and browsers to this account is using up limited storage space.

 

How do I go about getting my account back? 

 

 

 



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 10:04 AM

Reset your password.

 

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12429/microsoft-account-sign-in-cant



#3 britechguy

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 11:50 AM

John,

 

          The problem here, unless I'm misreading something, is that he can't sign in to his Windows 10 User Account, which is a completely separate issue from signing in to one's Microsoft Account.

 

           A lot of people, because they've created a Windows 10 user account using the same e-mail address and password as their actual Microsoft Account, conflate the two.  You can reset your password on your Windows 10 user account and your Microsoft Account independently of each other.  Of course, if you do it on the Microsoft Account, you will be forced to re-verify your password on that Account to reestablish the link between your Windows 10 user account and your Microsoft Account.  I have separate passwords on my Windows 10 user account and my Microsoft Account though both use the same e-mail address as the userid.

 

           I have yet to find a reliable way, without a password reset disk, to change the password on a Windows 10 account that one is locked out of, though there are a number of techniques one can try that are documented out there.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

             ~ Brian Vogel

 

 

 

              

 


#4 britechguy

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 11:52 AM

clayto, were you taking regular system image backups?   If so, I'd suggest recovering your system from one of those that was taken before using that "vigorous uninstaller."


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

             ~ Brian Vogel

 

 

 

              

 


#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 12:07 PM

Brian, is the email account used the same for both the Windows Account and the Microsoft Account? In other words I would use the same email account as the Microsoft Account but provide a different password for the Windows Account or can a person have one email for the Windows account and another for the Microsoft account.


Edited by JohnC_21, 25 June 2017 - 12:07 PM.


#6 britechguy

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 01:43 PM

John,

 

         I just tried seeing if there was a way I could create a Windows 10 user account with one e-mail address linked to a Microsoft Account with another and had no luck.  I created an entirely local account, then in Account settings clicked on "Use a Microsoft Account instead."  When you get walked through this process you have to give the e-mail address associated with the Microsoft Account you wish to link to [and that does not already exist on that machine as a user account login], are asked to enter your current Windows account password, and then it tells you that you will have to log in using the Microsoft Account password in the future and actually changes the user account to match that e-mail address, effectively "erasing" the local user name you had created.

 

         Now, after this you can change your Windows 10 account password, your Microsoft Account password, or both.  Since the password for the Windows 10 account is actually stored locally I do not believe that you need do anything further if you change it.   I know when I changed my Microsoft Account password I then had to reverify the link to it in my Windows 10 Account, which is pretty much entering the actual Microsoft Password that you've just changed it to so that the link can be reestablished.  Doing the verify process does not change the Windows 10 account password.

 

         The way userids and passwords work on Windows 10 and their relationship (or the lack thereof) to a Microsoft Account is byzantine, to say the least.

 

          Part of what you asked was, "I would use the same email account as the Microsoft Account but provide a different password for the Windows Account," and you can definitely do that.  This is precisely how my Windows 10 and Microsoft Accounts, respectively, are set up.  Both share the same e-mail address but each has its own password.  I had to go through the verification process again on my Windows 10 account after I changed the password on the Microsoft Account to reestablish the link between the two.


Edited by britechguy, 25 June 2017 - 01:46 PM.

Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

             ~ Brian Vogel

 

 

 

              

 


#7 clayto

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 07:34 AM

Thanks for the responses. However, it is all rather complicated for my slow working brain. I have only ever had one set of id for Windows / Microsoft ie. one email & one password for both -- in fact this is the first time I have learned there was such a thing as 'both.' If I have understood, it is suggested I just need to change my password ---- I say 'just' but it took me over an hour for a variety of reasons, for example security Codes timing out before I could enter them, and ironically having to use my Android to find where the codes were downloaded.

 

And alas, it has not worked. The new password is accepted online for Outlook and my Lumia phone, etc. but not for signing in to my account on the PC. The response is just the same when I enter it: "We can't sign into your account."

 

What now?



#8 britechguy

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 09:23 AM

I would wait for further advice from others to see if a solution to this that I'm unaware of exists to let you somehow get into that Windows 10 account on your machine.

 

If it's impossible to get into it then I'd create a local account with admin privileges and use that to copy over all of your user data from the existing account that you are locked out of.  After that I'd remove the locked out account, then change the local account to a "Use a Microsoft Account to sign in" and employ the e-mail address and password for the Microsoft Account you wish to have as you Windows 10 linked account.  There should not be a conflict if the original linked Windows 10 account has already been removed from the machine.  You would, of course, then have to set up your e-mail client (e.g. Thunderbird, Win10 Mail App) and the like again.

 

That, or take a look at the various "How to change a Windows 10 password without a reset disk" tutorials out there and see if you can find one that works.  If you can't, you'd still be doing what I propose in the paragraph immediately preceding this one.

 

You also have the option of copying off your user data from that account to an external drive and doing either a Windows 10 Reset with the "wipe" option (as opposed to "keep my files") or a fresh installation of Windows 10, both of which are pretty much starting from scratch.


Edited by britechguy, 26 June 2017 - 09:27 AM.

Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

             ~ Brian Vogel

 

 

 

              

 


#9 clayto

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 06:36 AM

"If it's impossible to get into it then I'd create a local account with admin privileges and use that to copy over all of your user data from the existing account that you are locked out of.  After that I'd remove the locked out account, then change the local account to a "Use a Microsoft Account to sign in" and employ the e-mail address and password for the Microsoft Account you wish to have as you Windows 10 linked account.  There should not be a conflict if the original linked Windows 10 account has already been removed from the machine.  You would, of course, then have to set up your e-mail client (e.g. Thunderbird, WinMail App) and the like again.

 

 

Yesterday I spent a whole afternoon and evening with a succession of MS Chat advisors working hard on this, and ended up no further forward (as far as I can see). I think the last one was trying to do something very much like what britechguy describes (see quote above) but the core problem so far is that no one has been able to access my original MS / Windows account --- so how will I transfer its contents. The 'temporary' local Admin account is limited in a number of ways (as I am learning) eg. it will not display in Desktop any of my Store apps apart from a few tiles like Mail and Edge which do not launch, and while they are listed in Start they will not launch anyway: "Edge cannot be opened using the Built-in Administrator Account".

 

After a bit more research, this afternoon I intend to see if I can re-connect to the last chat session in the hope I can get further.


Edited by clayto, 27 June 2017 - 06:37 AM.


#10 britechguy

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 08:24 AM

As far as I know the built-in administrator account, like all administrator accounts, can take ownership of any file on the system and do anything it wants with them.

 

If your existing user is abc@xyz.com, then under the folder C:\Users you are most likely to have a folder named abc under which all the data files created by that user reside (except for things you might have intentionally placed somewhere not under that user's folders, e.g., Public, but you should know about those and deleting a user account won't delete those).

 

You need not worry about your apps, as those can always be downloaded again, and if they were paid apps and you have linked the Windows 10 account back to the Microsoft Account in which that purchase is recorded you can do so at no cost.

 

If push comes to shove, you could boot a Live CD version of Linux and get your files back that way, and that's been discussed at length, and recently, in the Linux forum.  Linux will pay no attention to Windows permissions and can copy those files off to external storage (or to the Public folders temporarily, or . . .) without issue.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

             ~ Brian Vogel

 

 

 

              

 


#11 clayto

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 12:15 PM

Success at last! Another long chat session with a MS tech has my Windows account back in use and running better than before (except a few problems mentioned below) --- quite a lot of reinstatement required. One thing I learned is that it does help to note the Case number and quote it, when trying to restart a Chat support session at a later time. The tech genuinely seemed delighted to have made a breakthrough with an issue colleagues had not succeeded with the previous day.

 

Problems persisting are 1) I am still unable to download / update apps from the Store (which is why I was not so confident about restoring them)

2) I cannot set a PIN code, which was my preferred sign in option.

 

Thanks for all the advice, I am better informed than I was a few days ago. 






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