Windows 10

Why use the Microsoft account in Windows 10

Microsoft account
On Windows 10 a small revolution has begun that has brought the PC operating system into the modern era: we can, in fact, turn on a friend’s or company computer and find all our files and all our personalized settings thanks to the Microsoft account bit like in Chrome, where all the settings are synchronized from the Google account, in Windows 10 everything is linked to the Microsoft account and you can access your settings and preferences anywhere, just by entering our email address and Microsoft password.
In this guide, we will show you what it means to use the Microsoft account in Windows 10 and what we can do to convert a local account offline or how to add a Microsoft account on an already configured PC.

READ ALSO: How to make friends and guests use the PC separately and safely

How to log in with Microsoft account in Windows 10

Microsoft encourages you to enable this option by asking during installation to log in with an online registered account that is very different from the local one you were used to in previous versions of Windows.
In the following chapters, we will show you how to insert the Microsoft account in various scenarios, so as to have everything synchronized when we use the same credentials on other computers.

Add a Microsoft account the first time you start Windows 10

The easiest procedure to add a Microsoft account to your PC can be applied the first time you start Windows 10 after buying a new computer or after complete formatting.
As soon as the system starts we choose as a nation Italy, we confirm the settings on the keyboard with Italian layout, we ignore the addition of another layout and, after a few minutes, we will see the screen appear where you can log in with your Microsoft account.
First start

We insert our Outlook email, our username or our Skype name, press on forwarding and enter the access password.
The installation will proceed normally and, as soon as we have access to the desktop, we will be able to immediately use the synchronization of the settings and personal files (as we will show you in the final chapter of the guide).

After adding the account, we invite you to protect it adequately, choosing a security PIN or other unlocking methods, as seen in the guide Protect access to Windows PC with lock screen and password.
Compared to the local account, the online account password is encrypted inside the PC: we will not be able to recover it via tools or hack systems, but we will be able to access our account by resetting the Microsoft password, as seen in the guide Reset the Windows 10 password to access the PC.

Add a Microsoft account to a local account

If we chose to create an offline local account but changed our mind later, we can add the Microsoft account later without any problems, by converting the local account into an online synchronized account.
To do this we open the Start menu at the bottom left, we open the app Settings, let’s go to the menu Account and then on the menu Your info, so you can press on the item Sign in with a Microsoft account.
Local access

A new window will open where you just have to enter your Microsoft account email or username, followed by the login password, to activate your account and start synchronizing our settings and preferences.

Also in this case, the security rules that we told you about at the end of the previous chapter apply: therefore we set a PIN or a biometric unlock to make access to our personal account much safer.

Add a Microsoft account on an already configured PC

Do we have a PC already configured with another Microsoft account in our hands and do we want to join our own, perhaps as a new access user? In this case, just open the Start menu at the bottom left, press on the app Settings, press on Account, then on Family and other users, and finally on the voice Add another user to this PC.
New account

The classic Microsoft account configuration screen will open, where we can enter our login credentials and thus obtain a new user account synchronized and completely separate from the other account already present (each will have its own personal files, while for the programs we can use both ours and those installed by the other account to be used by everyone).
The presence of a PIN or a biometric lock system is even more useful in this scenario, since only in this way will we be able to protect the account from unwanted access by the other computer user or any other person sitting for use the PC in question.

If we are looking for a way to create a protected account for minors who will use the PC, we invite you to read our guide If your child is always on the computer: how to control and limit him.


Using the Microsoft account on Windows 10 we will be able to synchronize our settings (as seen also in the guide on how to Synchronize settings and data between Windows 10 PCs) and we can also synchronize our personal files, using the cloud space offered by OneDrive (as seen in the guide Synchronize and upload folders to Onedrive without moving them).
Using the Microsoft account on Windows 10 we can also save the license used on our computer (Product Key) and reuse it on another PC if the license allows it; we talked about this in the article How to transfer a Windows 10 license to a new computer.

If we want friends or relatives to use our computer, we invite you to read our in-depth analysis of How to make friends and guests use the PC separately and safely.

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