How to sign into Windows 8 or 8.1 without a Microsoft account - make a local user
I was setting up Windows 8.1 on a machine and didn't want to use a Microsoft ID (Live ID) to sign into it. I didn't feel like linking this temporary machine to my existing Microsoft ID and just wanted a regular local login. Now, I realize that not using a Live ID would limit the things I could do and cause a lot more account popups when I visited apps like Music, Store, Video, and others, but still, I want the choice.
It wasn't immediately obvious to me how to create a local login, so I wrote it up here to help you, Oh Internet Person.
When you get to settings, it doesn't matter if you click Use Express Settings or Customize. Pick what makes you happy.
Setup will ask you to Sign into your Microsoft account. You can, but you don't have to. You can also click "Create a new account" at the bottom. You can click there to create a new online Microsoft account, sure, but this is also how you create a local account.
At this point, it looks like you'll need to Create a Microsoft account, but you can also click "Sign in without a Microsoft account."
You should really know what you're doing here. Don't just do this because you don't like the idea of a Microsoft account. Be aware of the ramifications. That said, you can always add an account later. I found using a local local to be better for me when making a Virtual Machine.
Here's where you actually make your local account. Put in a user name and password like you always do. This is a local account that has no ties to the online world.
Hope this helps someone.
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
When I read that page:
"Sign in to your microsoft account
Don't have an account?
Create a new one"
I of course think that it is referring to creating a new MICROSOFT account.
1) Follow this blog post.
2) Enter an invalid e-mail address, such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) Disable any Internet connection available.
Any of those will eventually make the installer offer you a local account.
Be aware that not logging in with or linking your MS account will completely block use of Skydrive on Windows 8.1 as the desktop app does not work, though if you DO link it, the only Skydrive account you will be able to access is your MS ID's.
At the moment, most Store apps ask for login credentials if you are using a local account so Skydrive is the only real loss (in that case, just move your stuff to Dropbox/Google Drive/whatever).
Thanks for the article. Funny thing I noticed when upgrading my Windows 8: I didn't manage to find the option to not use a MS Account until after I entered invalid credentials.
> You should really know what you're doing here.
> Don't just do this because you don't like the idea of a Microsoft account.
> Be aware of the ramifications.
I'm sorry, Scott, but that is *exactly* the reason why I'm using a local account for my Windows. I have used a local account since Windows provided a user account option and I will continue to use a local Windows account until MS forces me to create a local account on a Linux-based system. (please, read the subtext).
While I do have a Live-ID, I actually have several, so I can keep my personal and business identity separate. When you read the 'net, you will find numerous accounts on how people just lost their MS identity due to MS deciding that the account was not in accordance with their usage policy, some of which are really far out there. And while it's certainly MS's domain to decide the terms under which they offer their services, it's the customer's domain whether they wish to consume those services and how they protect themselves from the service provider.
What happens when you lose your MS Account? What happens when it gets hacked? What happens when you suddenly use access to your per-default-encrypted harddrive because the only recovery key for it is stored with your MS identity in the cloud? Why should I link my phone number to a US-hosted cloud company together with tons of other personal information?
There's also a very long thread on the SkyDrive integration in Windows 8.1 (http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2013/10/15/skydrive-and-windows-8-1.aspx#comments), started by Adam Czeisler, SkyDrive's Development Manager. A lot of the discussion revolves around the fact, that you are NO LONGER ABLE use SkyDrive with a local Windows account.
This new MS Account for Windows thing is a Bad(TM) thing, in my humble opinion. I'm sure a lot of non-tech-savy people won't think twice about this stuff, mainly because they don't even know these issues might pop up. And when they do happen for them, they won't know what to do. Except maybe through out their PC and buy a Mac or a Chromebook.
I'm afraid MS will continue on this path until they have managed to achieve their current goal of matching Apple's Desktop market share. (I just googled it: 3-4%).
Best regards, Michael (a no longer all that happy MS customer)
Sorry not that related, I guess but I can be pretty selfish and self-serving :)
I want to use my computer without submitting myself to advertising at every turn.
And I'll have to agree with Michael. I use different, complex, passwords for every internet based account - passwords that aren't made to be remembered by me. Don't really want that for my Windows account. Of course, that's the less problematic issue here. The real issue is that I may be old-fashioned, but I have no intention of trusting the access credentials for my local computer to a cloud based service.
And me a person who ran every beta from NT on ...
Windows 7 forever.
I'm not talking about advertisement. I'm talking about almost a requirement to access my personal asset using the credentials that are maintained on the 3rd party servers. Really?
Microsoft can bullsh*t about the recovery procedures and things like that, but just try to use them from some 3rd world country like EU :) Once I was sitting there without access to my Microsoft account for almost 3 days because of a "suspicious activity".
To the point: I'm using local account. As someone pointed out - switching to the local account disables some services like SkyDrive, which in my case means only one thing ... dropbox is back. It is sad, very sad and very wrong.
When converting to Windows 8.1 the local users lost accesso to the basic windows 8 apps (mail, calendar, etc.); i'm unable to install/uninstall/update them, they're just black holes in the main menù.
I didn't need them so it's fine, but if i was using them i would be pretty much screwed.
Scott, please do what you can to get this message to the Skydrive folks before they kill their own product.
Is it possible to transform a Microsoft account into a plain local account afterwards? THAT would be useful.
Yes there is a way.. Right hand corner to Settings> Change PC Settings> Accounts> Now look for the "Disconnect"
After you Click
Confirm by typing your MS password and your local account setup will begin: ie username, password, hint etc. This process created/restored my local account and kept my files, desktop, and only changed the nuisance of using the MS login. Caveat, I had a local Windows 8.0 account and when I did the online 8.1 update, it made me setup a MS account to login for the first time.. I had a year old Outlook account and it took. This day I found a way to get rid of the MS account login and go back to my old local account. Hope this is your answer.
I decided NOT to use the win 8 email, calendar, etc, apps because they REQUIRE an MS account. Luckily I have Outlook anyway, but anybody else wanting an email client without strings MUST use a non-MS app.
Thanks for this tip. But can you also share how-to tips on downloading apps from Windows Store, without logging in to Microsoft account.
You see, not all people in the world have their laptops or desktops all for themselves only. Usually, these devices are shared for use among family members.
Or, at work, some laptops and desktops are not supposed to be password protected, more so, with login options that are linked with one's personal Microsoft account, because these are institutional properties and not private properties. So, it's a no-no to save personal files on these devices.
I use Microsoft account in my personal devices like Surface RT, though itself is irritatingly bugged by many issues, and also in my personal laptop as well. No problem with that. But logging in using personal Microsoft account on devices shared with my family is not a good idea.
(PS: If you can also discuss tips on how to resolve issues involving Surface RT? Bluetooth, wireless connectivity, etc. Thanks.)
I had a local user account in MS8 and when I updated to 8.1 it transformed itself to the Microsoft account I had to setup (I hadn't had one before). Then I setup another local user account but it doesn't have access to most of my files and some of the software I downloaded. (weird, not everything disappeared). Plus I have to reset everything like background picture etc. (Not very important I know but I can't stand the weird floral designs 8.1 offers and I don't see the plain Asus one that I had before. I'm not interested in having personalized pictures there)
The setup and turning off the computer have also slowed down a bit.
Is there any way to convert my MS account into a local one, merge them somehow, so I don't lose the files? Or do I have to copy everything?
I absolutely don't need it at the moment. I haven't downloaded any apps or music from the store, nor do I intend to, don't have Skype, Outlook, etc, don't use SkyDrive...
However, i can't seem to follow it.
As ketan has asked, i do not know what you mean by 'express or custom settings'. I can't find such a choice here. So, please, tell us what is your step 0.
Anyway, what i do : Windows store, try to install an app, it asks for my local password, then ask to set up a Microsoft account. The page is exactly like yours, but the 'Sign in without Microsoft account' is not there.
Any clue ? switching the wifi off didn't help..
I'm a mac person and have no idea about creating MS accounts, etc. but did so using my gmail account (I think!) when he needed MS office 365 recently (currently in the free trial).
My son (13) won't use outlook (he has gmail which he also really doesn't use).
What do you recommend I do?
I kinda don't know the diff of what one can and cannot do/achieve with or without a MS account. Yeah. I have my apple ID that I use mostly for email and itunes, but that's it.
I just want to set him/it up properly. (was kinda put off that I had to even create a MS ID/account).
If the app is free, and not related to Microsoft, why on earth do they need to track it? I think it's ridiculous, and will not be using them.
Also, be very careful about your privacy settings when installing Microsoft... the default ones give the computer permission to send everything from your browsing and search history to your actual files over to them. I set mine to not do it, but I don't even trust that they won't. Some of the Linux OS's support touch screens now, and I'm already starting to look into it. I've only had the tablet a few days now, what a shame.
This is a useful post related to this issue that might help:
Allows you to use the 8.1 Mail App without a Microsoft account and works with other apps too apparently!
I should not have to constantly "upgrade" to the latest version of Windows.
It costs a fortune.
I setup Win 8.1 on a machine with a random account,(the M$ server is going to fill up quick) :)
At least it can revert back to local account now.
I will never use any cloud storage.
I will look into Linux alternatives.
I will keep using XP until it's last day.
Bye bye Microsoft,it's been a pain in the neck, the pocket and now my privates/privacy.
Merry Christmas Scott. :)
When creating users for your personal computing device. Create two users at first. One is the administrator which is MS linked and the other is the local account "Public user" that is not MS linked. Log in under the public profile you created to do your normal stuff. Anytime you need to install a program from the store, you can do that under the Admin account (Right click and click run as admin) and make that program available to the guest user. Therefore you are in a way pleasing Microsoft in having a linked account that is only used to do admin stuff. Then you got your local public account that can only do limited privileges. Again don't forget the old right click and run as administrator, type in the credentials and presto. You have your apps running on a local account. I am doing my best to get use to it as well with a lot of things that I would need to get use to.
Most of you are too young to remember the days of Windows 1.0 to 3.2 and such that only had Program Manger and Shell to use. Then when Windows 95 came out. So many users were scared that their old windows applications would not work. Then we got Windows 98, then XP. Then along came Vista. Each one having service packs created that update the OS. Either it being security flaws being fix to features being added and or taken away. I remember disliking Vista in the very beginning. But after a months I came to like it. Not to long ago Windows 8 came and now we have Windows 8.1. This trend will always continue. A Corporation making improvements by doing their best to resolve customers issues and at the same time driving them forward to the next new level of experience they best see fit.
Yes, 8.1 Start menu gives you the Metro with your desktop background still being the same. Ask yourself this; For those who still using XP and Vista. How many of you actually use all the programs under that Start Menu? And I do mean all the programs.
If you really wanted a way to have a Start Menu on Windows 8, but lacking a lot of detail a lot of sacrifice, then do this. After you log into your Windows 8 machine "I haven't updated to 8.1 yet so I don't know if it will work under it; but it should?" Go to desktop mode if not already there.
Create a folder on the desktop called "Start Menu" without the quotes of course. Right click on the TaskBar and click on Toolbars and click the check box by Desktop. After that, click on Apply then click then click on OK.
You should see the word "Desktop" on your TaskBar". Under default settings there should not be any icons after it except for what shows up by the clock for your startup items. If you left click and drag the triple dot line to the left of the word desktop to the left. You will get to see mini icons of what is on your desktop plus a few more. Keep dragging this line to as far left you can go. And you should have switched positions with what was left of it.
Now go back to the right and left click and drag that triple dotted line to the left until only the word Desktop is shown with ">>" beside it.
Now with a simple movement of a mouse pointer from left to right on the task bar. Very far left is your Start "Metro" ||| Desktop >> ||| "Pined Taskbar items and active programs" then Startup items if any and the Clock.
Remember that folder I had you create on the desktop "Start Menu". This is the folder where you can create all your short cuts and subfolders to get close too but yet no cigar feeling of having that old Start Menu back. You could rename it to programs, but that is your choice. Other than that, that is as close you will get. But it will take your part to put your Start Menu together. Please note, programs that you install after word will not put a shortcut here. You will have to do that yourself. So go hunting and start creating your shortcuts and build your own start menu.
I know the feeling in your stomach must be aching with dreadful sorrow of having to do a lot of searching and creating your own shortcuts to the folder first. Then create your sub folders and move the short cuts accordingly. Like Games, Tools, Productivity and such.
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Apparently that isn't advised under 8.1...
I have a new 8.1 installation and want a LOCAL USER ID to have access to all the apps already installed under the MS User ID...
It will be my primary User Id moving forward...
Is there an easy way to do that...?
I just acquired a new DELL Laptop pre-installed with Win 8 and Woe how I've been whinning and wriggling with pain of the fact that I have to use SKYPE by forcefully signing into some Microsoft account but couldn't all the same; and here you are with a soloution... I can't wait to return home soonest so I log onto the Laptop and quickly go thru what you show here... am crossing my two index numbers soooo tight that it works.
I've had to change passwords, create accounts in vain!!
Thx SCOTT - big up for this..
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I had no idea you can click "Create a new account" to show the "Sign in without a Microsoft account" link.
I had always entered an invalid MS account a few times. That would cause it to relent and offer me that link.