Watch a video about how to create a user account. (To view captions in your language, tap or click the Closed captioning button Closed Captioning button.)

You need a user account to use Windows, and if you share a single PC with other people, each person should have their own account. Each person can customise their account with their own settings and preferences, such as a desktop background or screen saver. User accounts also help control which files and applications each person can use and what changes they can make to the PC.

When you create a user account, you can choose between two types of accounts: a local account for that PC or a Microsoft account, which works on all the Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 PCs you use. We recommend using a Microsoft account.

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Creating a Microsoft account

A Microsoft account is an email address and password that you use to sign in to Windows. You can use any email address, but it's best if you choose the one you already use to communicate with friends and sign in to your favourite websites. When you sign in to your PC with a Microsoft account, you'll connect your PC to the people, files and devices you care about. (If you need an email address, we can give you one free of charge.)

When you sign in with a Microsoft account, your PC is connected to cloud storage online. This means that:

  • Your personal settings are synchronised to any Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 PCs you sign in to with that account, including your themes, language preferences, browser favourites, and most apps.

  • You can get apps in the Windows Store and use them on up to five Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 PCs. (Some apps require specific hardware or hardware settings.)

  • Your friends' contact info and status stays up to date from places such as Outlook.com, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

  • You can get to and share your photos, documents and other files from places like OneDrive, Facebook and Flickr.

To create a Microsoft account

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Tap or click Accounts, then tap or click Other accounts.

  3. Tap or click Add an account.

  4. Enter the account information for this person to sign in to Windows. There are four ways of doing this:

    • If the person you're adding already has a Microsoft account, enter it now.

    • If the person you're adding doesn't have a Microsoft account, you can use their email address to create one. Enter the email address which that person uses most frequently.

    • If the person you're adding doesn't have an email address, tap or click Sign up for a new email address. It's free.

    • If the person you're adding is a child, tap or click Add a child's account.

  5. Follow the instructions to finish setting up the account.

Note

  • If you're having problems with your Microsoft account, you can try running the Microsoft Accounts troubleshooter. It's an automated tool that can find and automatically fix some problems. It's only available in English, but will work in all languages.

Creating a local account

A local account is an account that lets you sign in to one PC only. If you create a local account, you'll need a separate account for each PC you use. None of your settings will be synchronised between the Windows 8.1 PCs you use, and you won't get the benefits of connecting your PC to your files, settings, apps and services online in the cloud that are accessible from anywhere. You also won't be able to download apps from the Windows Store without a Microsoft account.

To create a local account

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Tap or click Accounts, then tap or click Other accounts.

  3. Tap or click Add an account, then tap or click Sign in without a Microsoft account (not recommended).

  4. Tap or click Local account.

  5. Enter a username for the new account.

  6. If you want this person to sign in with a password, enter and verify the password, add a password hint, then tap or click Next.

    If your PC is on a domain, depending on the domain's security settings, you might be able to skip this step and tap or click Next, if you prefer.

  7. Tap or click Finish.




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