Windows 8 introduced Microsoft accounts, which are generally roaming accounts that allow you to synchronize settings and files from computer to computer. Today we want to discuss what Windows 10 brings to user account management, and the options available to you.
In the old PC settings on Windows 8.1, you were limited to three options, but in Windows 10, those options have been expanded to five and things have been rounded out quite a bit.
To access the Accounts settings, you first need to open the Settings and click or tap “Accounts”.
In the Accounts group, the top-most option is “Your account”, which lets you among other things, manage your Microsoft account, change your profile picture, and more
Managing your Microsoft account must be done online. You cannot do so locally (though you can still have a local account, which we’ll explain shortly).
A Microsoft account allows you to sync your settings and basically roam from computer to computer. Your apps, profile picture, color choices, and more are uploaded to the cloud so wherever you log into next, it appears as you left it on the previous device. This obviously shares a lot of information with Microsoft and it may very well be a bit overkill for some users.
Luckily, if you simply want to maintain an account locally, you can still do that. Simply click the link “Sign in with local account instead” to create one.
You won’t need an email account or phone number or anything else, you’ll simply be prompted for a user name and password. To actually switch to the local account, you will have to sign out of your Microsoft account, so make sure you save anything you might have been working on before you do that.
Beyond being able to create a local account on the “Your account” page, you can create a new profile picture if you have a camera attached.
Finally, if you want to add more Microsoft accounts, or a work or school account, then you can do so using the links found at the bottom of the “Your account” page.
While the new user account settings in Windows 10 aren’t too terribly different from Windows 8.1, there are enough changes therein that merit a closer examination. You still have the option between a Microsoft account and local one, and there are still three sign-in options, but it’s safe to say new users who skipped Windows 8 will want to bring themselves up to speed as soon as possible.
Additionally, the user account items found in the old control panel will largely go unused. There’s simply not enough remaining there that we feel needs to be covered. For most users, the new settings will give them all the control and options they need to not only administer their own account, but other users on the system as well.