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Microsoft Account or Local Account on Windows 10?


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#1 F1Help

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 01:55 PM

Hi,

When setting up a new Windows 10 PC as a home user, would you recommend adding a Microsoft Account or a Local Account?  I've read several articles on this topic but have not made up my mind yet, so I thought I'd ask here - what do you like to use and why?

Thanks.



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#2 saw101

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 03:17 PM

Good read: https://www.digitalcitizen.life/should-you-use-local-or-microsoft-account-windows-10

 

Personally I prefer a Local account. I can always setup a MS account later if my needs would be better served.


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#3 britechguy

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 04:38 PM

There is going to be no answer to this question that's satisfactory as everyone has their own personal reasons for choosing a Microsoft Account linked Windows 10 user account versus a local Windows 10 user account.

 

I'm the flip side of the coin from saw101.  I really prefer a Microsoft Account linked Win10 user account.  I like having the ability to set up an account on another machine, if required, and having the vast majority of my typical environment sync down at the point of setup.  I also like having all of my Microsoft software, e.g. Office, and its licenses associated with my Microsoft account since if one loses one's media/license key this can be used at reinstall time to obtain the license key.  In addition, things like being able to turn off the lock screen when waking from sleep (see Settings, Accounts, Sign-In Options pane, Sign-in Options item [it's first]).  If you're using a local account you cannot change this setting and certain others because they are related to data kept on Microsoft's cloud related to your Win10 user account.

 

It's really a personal choice.  There is no right or wrong answer to it.


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.

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#4 Guest_Joe C_*

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 05:19 PM

Personally, I'm the opposite of britechguy, I do not like the idea of depending on some gigantic corporation to allow me to recover my os or any software. I prefer to keep my own licenses on the software that I purchased. Being punished for not having an account (better log in options) is not something I would be willing to encourage M$ to continue doing. We should not so easily give in to the strong arm tactics M$ has started with Windows 10



#5 cafejose

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 07:34 PM

Good read: https://www.digitalcitizen.life/should-you-use-local-or-microsoft-account-windows-10

 

Personally I prefer a Local account. I can always setup a MS account later if my needs would be better served.

I agree with saw101's statement.

One can always setup the MS account later.  Sometimes internet where you are stops working.  MS account no good at those times, but local account allows you to still use your own computer.  

 

On the other hand, the advantages of the MS account have been at least introduced.  If you like those benefits, then you make the choice which fits.


Edited by cafejose, 14 April 2018 - 07:46 PM.


#6 britechguy

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 07:44 PM

 

 

 Sometimes internet where you are stops working.  MS account no good at those times, but local account allows you to still use your own computer.  

 

 

 

This is absolutely incorrect, and it's easy to test it out yourself.  Unplug your ethernet cable (if that's what you're using) or turn off your WiFi adapter then restart the machine.  You will be able to log in if you're using a Microsoft Account linked Windows 10 user account.

 

A local copy is kept of your password because it's obvious that people may want or need to use their computers when they do not have internet connectivity.  The Microsoft Account linked Windows 10 user account would have been DOA if you couldn't still use your computer when internet service is not available.


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 F1Help

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 09:32 AM

Thanks for your replies.

If using a Microsoft account, can the Windows 10 username be based on just the first name, whilst leaving both the first name and surname in the Microsoft Account?

For example:

Name in Microsoft Account:
John Smith

Windows 10 Username:
John

Location on Computer:
C:\Users\John\



#8 britechguy

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 10:08 AM

The name used for the file structure on your machine is dependent on the e-mail address used as the userid for the Microsoft Account, not the full name you specify for yourself in the Microsoft Account.

 

If you use a Microsoft Account linked Win10 user account whatever name you have given yourself in that account will be displayed on the login/lock screen.

 

My name, in real life and used on my Microsoft Account is Brian Vogel.  The e-mail address I used to establish that Microsoft Account starts with "britechguy@".  The file structure for my user account on my machine is C:\Users\brite.   I have another user account, also Microsoft Account linked, the first part of the e-mail address for that is "guyslp@".  The file structure is C:\Users\guysl.  It's clear that the file structure naming convention is to take the first 5 characters of the supplied e-mail address and use that for a given user's home folder.

 

You are not obligated to have both a First and Last name in your Microsoft Account, and I just went in to edit my profile and removed my last name just to test that out.  Since you do not log in with either of those, but the e-mail address, they're simply allowed, not required.  When I had neither first or last name entered in the profile what showed up on the login screen was the e-mail address, in full.

 

Addendum:  The above presumes you created the account as a Microsoft Account linked user account from the start.  If you convert a local account to Microsoft Account linked then your home folder will still stay the same as it was when you created the account as local.


Edited by britechguy, 15 April 2018 - 10:10 AM.
Addendum

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 F1Help

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 01:47 PM

Great explanation - that was just what I needed to know.  :)

I'm a little surprised that the name used for the file structure is arbitrarily taken from the e-mail address, and then truncated to 5 characters.  It would be nice if Microsoft would allow the user to specify this name regardless of the method used.



#10 britechguy

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 02:49 PM

I'm a little surprised that the name used for the file structure is arbitrarily taken from the e-mail address, and then truncated to 5 characters.  It would be nice if Microsoft would allow the user to specify this name regardless of the method used.

 

Well, in reality, they never did give you the choice.  It was always built off of whatever you chose for the login ID for the account.  Go back to Windows 7, at least, and if you choose a username that's "too long" it truncates it to create the C:\Users\ home folder.

 

In reality most people never even know what that folder is actually named, since Documents/My Documents (depending on the Windows vintage) lands you there and very few people navigate to it by drilling down from C:.  Even if you do, it's fairly easy to recognize which goes with what account unless someone changes their local account name entirely, in which case the folder structure under C: retains the original name.  I have a Win7 machine on which I made a major account name change and before I realized that the folder name wouldn't change (and I hadn't paid any attention to it prior).  That's how I learned about this little quirk.


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 cafejose

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 10:39 PM

 

 

 

 Sometimes internet where you are stops working.  MS account no good at those times, but local account allows you to still use your own computer.  

 

 

 

This is absolutely incorrect, and it's easy to test it out yourself.  Unplug your ethernet cable (if that's what you're using) or turn off your WiFi adapter then restart the machine.  You will be able to log in if you're using a Microsoft Account linked Windows 10 user account.

 

A local copy is kept of your password because it's obvious that people may want or need to use their computers when they do not have internet connectivity.  The Microsoft Account linked Windows 10 user account would have been DOA if you couldn't still use your computer when internet service is not available.

 

Are you trying to say, someone who setup their computer with Microsoft account but no Local account can still sign in to their machine and make use of it in case any kind of internet failure happens?  If the boxes here that put us onto the internet stop working but computer works, then we can still sign in to our machine and use MS Office programs, and print documents?  If telephone lines are interrupted (which supply our internet connections) then we can still sign into and use the computer?



#12 britechguy

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 08:37 AM

 

 

 

 

 Sometimes internet where you are stops working.  MS account no good at those times, but local account allows you to still use your own computer.  

 

 

 

This is absolutely incorrect, and it's easy to test it out yourself.  Unplug your ethernet cable (if that's what you're using) or turn off your WiFi adapter then restart the machine.  You will be able to log in if you're using a Microsoft Account linked Windows 10 user account.

 

A local copy is kept of your password because it's obvious that people may want or need to use their computers when they do not have internet connectivity.  The Microsoft Account linked Windows 10 user account would have been DOA if you couldn't still use your computer when internet service is not available.

 

Are you trying to say, someone who setup their computer with Microsoft account but no Local account can still sign in to their machine and make use of it in case any kind of internet failure happens?  If the boxes here that put us onto the internet stop working but computer works, then we can still sign in to our machine and use MS Office programs, and print documents?  If telephone lines are interrupted (which supply our internet connections) then we can still sign into and use the computer?

 

 

Yes.  And, as I said, simple to test, too.

 

A Microsoft Account linked Windows 10 user account differs from a local account pretty much exclusively by the fact it has a cloud connection, which is entirely optional when internet service is not present.

 

I've logged in to my machines on multiple occasions when I don't have an internet connection and all I use are Microsoft Account linked Win10 user accounts.  Heck, you can try this in so many places where you need to log on to your computer and have no active internet connection that I can't even begin to count them.

 

It's well known that people need to be able to use their computers absent any connection to the internet.  Do you really think that Microsoft would design a log in protocol that makes this impossible and encourage its use as the preferred one?


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

 

 

 

              

 


#13 cafejose

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 10:10 PM

Good.  I prefer not to try to test it, but will just accept what you said.  (post # 12).



#14 F1Help

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 12:06 PM

I think it would be best for me to start with a Local Account and set the desired username.  This account can be changed to a Microsoft Account later if needed, and the original username (non-truncated) would remain.



#15 britechguy

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 12:39 PM

I think it would be best for me to start with a Local Account and set the desired username.  This account can be changed to a Microsoft Account later if needed, and the original username (non-truncated) would remain.

 

The original username would only remain as part of the file structure, or at least that's my memory.   What shows up on the login screen will be whatever you put in for first and/or last name on the Microsoft Account to which you link the formerly strictly local account.


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

 

 

 

              

 





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