Windows 10 tip: Switch back to a local account from a Microsoft account

During Setup, Windows 10 encourages you to use a Microsoft account. But if you prefer to use a local account, the option is there. Here's how to switch back easily.

Windows 10: Learn to disconnect OneDrive for good

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The last step in restoring a local account is to create a local user name and password

Click to enlarge

When you install Windows 10 for the first time, the Setup program tries very, very hard to convince you to sign in with a Microsoft account. The option to use a traditional local account is available, but it's easy to miss.

There are good reasons to use a Microsoft account on a home PC, especially if you use cloud services like OneDrive or Office 365 Home or Personal. The ability to sync settings between Windows 10 devices also comes in handy if you own more than one Windows 10 PC.

But if you don't use those services and you prefer to use a local account, you can remove the connection to a Microsoft account any time. Here's how:

  1. Open Settings > Accounts and click Your info.
  2. After confirming that the account is set up to use a Microsoft account, click Sign in with a local account instead.
  3. Enter the password for your Microsoft account to confirm that you're authorized to make the change, and then click Next.
  4. On the Switch To A Local Account page, enter your new local user name and password, along with a password hint, as shown here.
  5. Click Next to sign out from the Microsoft account and sign back in using your new local account.

This change doesn't affect any files or installed Windows desktop programs.

If you've set up any apps from the Windows Store, you'll need to sign in again. You can continue to use any Microsoft cloud services as well; you'll just need to sign in individually.

Previous tip: Stay organized using virtual desktops

Next week: Another Windows 10 tip from Ed Bott

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