Windows 8 & Windows RT tutorial


Connect your Microsoft account

A Microsoft account is your email address and a password. When you use your Microsoft account to sign in to your Windows 8 or Windows RT PC, it's your key to free online storage, mobile entertainment, thousands of apps in the Windows Store, and connecting your devices and accounts seamlessly. If you already use services like Xbox, Outlook.com, or MSN, you've already got a Microsoft account.

After you connect a Microsoft account, you can do a lot with it: get apps, play Xbox games with friends, play music in the Music app, and add your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to the People app so you get updates from the people you care about in one place.

Apps from the Windows Store

Windows Store

Get apps from the Windows Store, and use them on up to five PCs running Windows 8 or Windows RT. You need a Microsoft account to get apps from the Store.

Your people in one place

Contact info and status

Link your Outlook.com, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts to the People app, and you'll see your friends' contact info and status updates in one place.

Your photos in one place

Connected account

Link accounts to your Photos app to see your SkyDrive, and Facebook photos all from one app.

Connect a Microsoft account now

You can choose to sign in to your PC without a Microsoft account, but you need a Microsoft account to fully experience all these benefits. When you first set up your Windows 8 or Windows RT PC, you have the option to sign in to your PC with a Microsoft account.

If you're not sure if you've already connected a Microsoft account to your PC, here's how to find out:

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

  2. Tap or click Users.

If you see a button under your account that says Sign in with a Microsoft account, you haven't connected a Microsoft account to your PC yet.

If you haven't connected a Microsoft account to your PC yet, you can do it now:

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

  2. Tap or click Users, tap or click Sign in with a Microsoft account, and then follow the instructions.

  3. Add an account picture to go along with your sign-in info.

How to change an account picture

After you set up your Microsoft account, you can set an account picture to go along with your sign-in info. This will help personalize your account and distinguish it from any other people that are used on the same PC.

By the way, here’s how to change your account picture:

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

  2. Tap or click Personalize, and then tap or click Account picture.

Depending on your PC, you can upload a favorite picture as your account picture or you can take a new photo or video clip to associate with your account. The account picture is there to reflect that your account is unique to you, so make it your own!

More than one Microsoft account

If you have more than one Microsoft account and want to decide which one to make your primary account, follow the steps in this guide (English only). If you're a gamer, for example, you might want to use your Xbox Live ID, or if there's an email address you use the most, you might want to use that. We'll help you decide.

Next: 5. Personalize the Start screen