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Windows 8.1: Easily switch to a Local Account from a Microsoft Account

September 22nd, 2013

Windows 8.1In Windows 8, there was an easy way to switch from using a Microsoft Account to log in back to the “old fashioned” way of using a plain old ordinary Windows local account.

With Windows 8.1, Microsoft is trying harder than ever to trick you into signing in with your Microsoft account on your local puter. Most people probably will go this default route, but later they will want to switch back to a normal account as in Windows 7.

There are several guides out there that tell you that you should create a second user account that is a Local Account, move all your data over, and then delete the original.

Well, there is a much, much easier way to go about switching back to a Local Account in Windows 8.1!

Without further ado:

  1. Move your mouse pointer to the upper right corner of the desktop until the Charms bar appears
  2. Move the pointer down and click the Gear icon
  3. Click Change PC Settings at the very bottom
  4. Click the Accounts option in the left pane
  5. Under the e-mail address associated with your Microsoft Account, click Disconnect
  6. Enter your Microsoft Account password, and click Next
  7. Enter a different Username if you’d like, a new password for the Local Account, confirm the password, and enter a password hint. When done, click Next
  8. Read the message, and then just click Sign Out and Finish
  9. Log back in to Windows with your new Username and Password

Congratulations! You are now using a Local Account, which means Microsoft isn’t tracking every single thing you do on your puter.

This also means that things like automatic syncing of data to Skydrive is no longer functional, and you’ll have to enter your MS account details in if you’d like to buy apps and that sort of thing.

No second account creation is required, no copying files, and no hassle.

Also, a little tip:

Want to Shut Down quickly without using that damn Charms bar? Right-click the new “Start Button” and choose Shutdown in the popup window. Done! There are also a bunch of other handy options in the Start Button right-click menu. Check it out.

Have fun!

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  1. Dave
    June 1st, 2014 at 06:09 | #1

    This is very useful information. But what I was trying to get my pc performance back to norm. Several threads talk about how Windows 8.1 is way slower, especially regarding disk transfer speeds, and that the solution is to create a secondary account and switch to that. Problem is, I lose all of my settings and even shortcuts. Very annoying as I worked very, very hard to customize everything just right. I feel so defeated.

    • June 1st, 2014 at 10:25 | #2

      I haven’t notice any slowdown with 8.1. I still run it on my laptop despite the fact that I like Win 7 better. Win 8.1 startup and shutdown are faster, and generally I would say that the whole system is a bit snappier than Win 7. Of course, I also have an SSD, which makes a huge difference. Results with a mechanical HDD might be different!

  2. Dave
    June 1st, 2014 at 21:08 | #3

    I was seeing RIDICULOUSLY slow disk transfer speeds even after disabling Onedrive. That problem went away when I changed my account to a local one instead of creating a new one, so I got to keep all of my settings. So for now everything looks good.

    • June 1st, 2014 at 21:17 | #4

      Yeah, I didn’t touch any of that nonsense. Personally, I find the whole “cloud” push to be not only impractical, but downright idiotic. :)

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