Microsoft

Quick Tip: Change Microsoft live to a local account in Windows 8.1

Since the Windows 8.1 update, I have been asked many times how to change a Microsoft live account into a local account without losing data. Here is how you do it.

windows_8.1_Pro.png
When I wrote Quick Tip: Change to a local account in Windows 8.1, I was concentrating on the problem presented during the free upgrade process from Windows 8 to 8.1 where you seemingly had no choice but to choose the Microsoft account login option. In my scenario, I was starting Windows 8.1 from scratch and did not have any pre-existing apps or data to worry about.

After writing that Quick Tip, I received numerous emails asking for information on how to switch to a local account without losing all the previously installed apps and associated data. This is possible and relatively easy. It is, however, not as obvious as it probably should be, so here is how to do it.

Note: I would make sure your Windows 8 operating system is updated because you don't want anything running the background while you attempt to switch accounts.

A simple disconnect

The first thing you have to do is get to the Your Account screen. The easiest way to do that is to open the Start Screen and type "your," which should perform a search to find an entry for Your Account as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

a_live_to_local.png

Search for Your account settings

When you reach the Accounts screen, similar to Figure B, you click the "disconnect" button.

Figure B

b_live_to_local.png

Disconnect

As you can see on Figure C, you are warned to save your work before you proceed. You'll have to enter your Microsoft account password and click the Next button to proceed.

Figure C

c_live_to_local.png

Enter password

The next screen (Figure D) is where you'll choose your local account user name and password. Click the Next button when you are ready.

Figure D

d_live_to_local.png

Local credentials

Figure E is your basic, "Are you sure you want to do this" screen. Note the paragraph about files located on your SkyDrive. If everything is how you want it, click Sign out and finish.

Figure E

e_live_to_local.png

Sign out and finish

The process will take a few moments, but eventually you should see a screen similar to Figure F. Note that you can always go back to your Microsoft account if need be.

Figure F

f_live_to_local.png

You are now local.

Also read:

About

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

34 comments
pixiechix
pixiechix

I know this is an old post, but I just can't find the answer elsewhere.  I prefer to sign in with a local account.  Is there a way to access OneDrive without having to use the Microsoft account as the user profile, replacing the local account?  It always asks me to switch, which I find annoying.  It didn't do that on Windows 7.  

Omnigusted
Omnigusted

Amazing. I typed "Windows 8.1 instructions install firefox Mozilla to lower task bar."

Got this entire page of instructions regarding how to do something or other with W8.1.

Not even ONE of the posts addressed my issue.

The mind-boggling array of "Microsoft accounts," "local accounts," a something called "domains" and, likely, countless other things I do not need/want/have to learn to use whether or not I will ever need it x 3 or them. Also times three.

And I still have no idea how one gets the icon to move from desktop to lower task bar.  Wonderful. Thanks ever so much.

According to "kitekrazy," a good idea Re: W8 and, I presume, the idiotic W8.1 is: "Erase drive. Install Windows 7. That fixes a lot."


WOW I WISH I COULD BELIEVE THAT PERHAPS KITEKRAZY WAS NOT BEING JUST A TOUCH SARCASTIC. Or IS s/he? How in the world to be sure??

Kitekrazy wrote the post on 6 November, 2013. Here we are, nearly a year after the Kkrazy post was written.


Not knowing a D*** thing about this unnecessary bleep that MSoft insists everyone accept in place of the At Least Understandable WXP, W7 has not changed despite the above spate of Do This, No, Do THIS, Doing THAT Messed Up An Entire Computer.

Nope, no change. The Comp Dunce is still a C D.


And all I really wanted to do was to have the Firefox Mozilla whatever-it-is-called be handy...IN the lower task bar.


MSoft, I give up. I suppose MSoft's stockholders are ROFLing all the way to the bank. Here in What The Hades Should Comp Dunces DO-Land?, no solution could be found. Wait. I had better be more specific: I want to have FM's Click Here whatever-it-is-called in the lower task bar as already stated.

For all I know, there is no possibility of doing or getting done what I wish to BE done.

Therefore, the "I give up" words addressed to Microsoft.

I am just one person, using only one computer, having NO office or anything of that sort....and loathing W8.1 which according to a decree read here is not to be posted, since (copy) "There are other places to do that."


MSoft: according to a little document called the U S Bill of Rights, freedom of expression is guaranteed. If MSoft is emulating George Bush Junior, the shredder of U S people's rights, I am not going to pay any attention to the decree.


Tluck
Tluck

@Omnigusted If you want to add the shortcut to the taskbar, just press the windows logo key + s key together, search firefox, then right click on the firefox and pin to the taskbar.

رها امیر
رها امیر

Hi

I'm login with Administrator account to windows 8.1 

but when try to switch to microsoft account give the 0xd00000bb Error

and siad the Local account can't switch to microsoft account

but when I switch from the user account "name" and administrator type to microsoft account it switch easy without any problem but I want to switch to microsoft account with Administrator name and type account


please help me how can do that

deejaynyc
deejaynyc

Extremely helpful article.  I had issues after upgrading to Windows 8.1, and this required a repair install, which left me with a Microsoft Live account. This solved the problem.  Thanks again.

Xircal
Xircal

Great article and I used it to create a local account.


But guess what? If you want to use Skype, you have to switch to a Microsoft account. The app won't load if you only have a local account.

SKK
SKK

@Xircal You can install a local version of Skype instead of the metro version

pablodee
pablodee

Just be careful ... after being tricked into going to a live account I swapped back to a local account .... suddenly NO EMAILS!!!! ...I lost all my emails !

lms
lms

Hi,

Thanks for all the useful info.

I have just installed Win 8 Pro and then used the free upgrade to Win 8.1 and as I was doing this for a friend I did not create a Microsoft Account but used the work around to login locally.

Unfortunately I seem to have caused a problem which does not let me save settings meaning that every time I reboot I loose folder settings, i.e. if I have set the Control Panel to show Big Icons when I reboot it reverts to listing, the Default view. I also loose the screen settings, resolution and Colour  reverting back to Default.

Has anyone else experienced this and if so is there a solution??.

Regards,

                 Leslie

sl8ck3r
sl8ck3r

Terrific instructions, it worked perfect, thanks for your continued informative tips.

tsantez
tsantez

It's simple, once you upgrade with windows 8.1 and it ask for a creation of a live account to continue, simply click I'm not "your username" and it Windows will finalize your settings and take you to the log on screen where you can log on locally as before the upgrade.  MCP

rajmenon
rajmenon

I was tricked in to signing on with MS account. I want my old password back. Is it possible?

extrememike
extrememike

This update messed upeverything!!!

So this morning my PC was apparently running an important update on the background. Upon clicking around on the desktop the PC became irresponsible switched to the window 8 tile layout and the same.... So I decided to force shut down the pc and try again.

My surprise is that now I m not able to log in using my Microsoft Account. It looks like it will take the login after saying "welcome" but it will redirect itself in a few seconds and say "Signing out".

I reset the password of my Microsoft account, restarted the PC, disconnect/reconnect from my wireless network, reboot my modem, etc...

Can you help please???

Jonathon Dogue
Jonathon Dogue

Thank you for showing me how to fix at least one of the problems this "upgrade" has caused.

Wow. Been a faithful MS user for 30 years. This update to 8.1 is a real clusterfuck.  They've gone well out of their way to make sure as many people as possible simply give up and allow them and their partners to monitor our computers 24/7

bexwhitt
bexwhitt

You don't have to use a microsoft account to upgrade


After the upgrade when it asks you log in to your Microsoft account click

on create new account on the next screen select sign in without a microsoft account

and you are up and running with your existing local account


Gisabun
Gisabun

@bexwhitt Didn't see anything other than a Microsoft account to sign into.

nsemrau
nsemrau

I also found that after switching from a MS Live account to a Local Account in Windows 8.1 that I lost all access to the MS Store. This is different than Windows 8. The main reason that I wanted to switch back to a local account was so that my network credentials allowed me access the private folders on my server. I found a solution to this - hopefully it helps.

1. I switched back to a MS Live account so that I could have access to the MS Store again.

2. I opened the Credential Manager (Start > type credential...)

3. I selected "Windows Credentials"

4.  I added a Windows credential for my server with my username and password.

I now have access to both the MS Store and my private network folders.

Dogcatcher
Dogcatcher

When I first tried going back to a local account from an outlook.com account in 8.1, I was given a new desktop with none of my old settings or icons.  Maybe this is a security feature.  Regardless of the reason, I did not want to re-do my prior configuration.

So, I restored the PC to its pre-8.1 state and re-installed 8.1 from an ISO, refusing every attempt to get me to sign up with a Live or Outlook account.  Fairly obscure blue-on-black links lower on the pages provide a way forward.  When given the chance, I entered my old local login credentials and everything moved along as expected.  I was pleased to see that my existing desktop and programs were intact.

I haven't yet tried a local login with an over-the-wire update from the Store.  I'll have to try that on another PC.

I prefer a local login because it allows me to decide when I will touch Microsoft's cloud.

 

MikeyD215
MikeyD215

I actually followed this exact procedure on my own when setting up my new WIN 8 (Pro) laptop last January. The question I have is this: What is the best way to update to 8.1 under  this scenario. I know that I have to sign in to the Microsoft Store to access the download, which requires use of the Microsoft account credentials. But I would have done so through my (converted) local administrator windows log-in. I have three (3) local accounts; two limited and the admin, which is used almost entirely for maintenance, installations, etc.

So even if I get into the Store, wouldn't I still be logged into Windows in my local admin account? What difference would that make, if any?

Can anyone explain, please?

abacrotto
abacrotto

Hello, Mark. I have a question in regards of a migration from Windows 8 Enterprise to 8.1. Is there a way for me to do the upgrade without having to reinstall the applications ? I have Visual Studio and a lot of development tools for desktop I don't want to install again after upgrading.

Thanks in advance.

Regards.

Ariel.

Spawn05
Spawn05

A friend of mine recently upgraded to 8.1. There was a small problem he didn't anticipate, that 8.1 does not have windows media player. He downloaded  one from where he thought was a safe Microsoft site instead he got redirected to some other site and it ruined his whole installation.  If 8.1 had come with the Media Player to begin with this would not have happened. Whats the be deal with only having it on the Pro edition only.

Gisabun
Gisabun

@Spawn05 If it doesn't have Microsoft.com as the domain [with exceptions like outlook.com, live.com, etc.] then it ain't a Microsoft account. Try Media Player Classic.

kitekrazy
kitekrazy

Erase drive. Install Windows 7. That fixes a lot.

dhamilt01
dhamilt01

@kitekrazy That's like saying to a couple with a problem child, if they didn't have sex, they wouldn't have a problem child. True ... but still a cop-out.

Gisabun
Gisabun

@kitekrazy Reminds me of the Neanderthals who say to switch to Linux.

dhamilt01
dhamilt01

If you only have a Microsoft account, how do you create a new local account that has all your Metro and desktop settings and configurations from your Microsoft account? When I tried creating a new local account, it had none of my Microsoft settings etc. TechNet support couldn't solve this problem.

sheridan
sheridan

My account is in my first name surname format. When I follow your process, naming the local account, and the password I want it complains that the account name is already in use. It wants me to suggest a new account name!

I absolutely don't want to change the name of the account... I just don't want my info in the cloud on SkyDrive.

So I'm afraid this solution does not work for me, or for anyone else whose account is in their own name, which I suspect is most of us!

Its another badly thought out MS solution.

register2@optonline.
register2@optonline.

While trying to get to use my local account I ended up where it asked me to create a 4 digit pin number. Now when I log on, it asks for my pin # .  Since I'm the only one using my computer, it works for me, but what are the ramifications of using a pin vs a local or Microsoft Account password?

waukena
waukena

Hi. I disconnected and now have a local account. 

But after 8.1, I can't access the Windows store! How can I get in? It asks for an account to get in.

solutions
solutions

I have found a more frustrating issue. I had a system that was a media sharing hub. It had a local account that was already linked to a Microsoft account under Windows 8. It shared media with systems running Windows 7 using the local account. I upgraded this system to 8.1. During the upgrade, the local account was converted to being ONLY a Microsoft account, and all the sharing permissions were broken such that the other systems no longer had access to any of the shares. Looking in Local Users & Groups, the local account was still there, so I was not able to simply re-create it to re-enable the permissions - I tried REMOVING BOTH the Microsoft and Local accounts - and then creating a new Local account with matching name and password as the other computers and re-establishing the shares. Then I linked the same Microsoft account so that I could reconnect the same apps - AND IT CONVERTED THE ACCOUNT TO MICROSOFT and BROKE THE SHARING AGAIN! This is in a Workgroup - I'm afraid to try this in a domain! Windows 8 and 8.1 systems have to coexist and share with Windows 7 that don't have Microsoft accounts! How do we do this??

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

I prefer the Microsoft account login for my test machines at TechRepublic, but for my personal gaming machine, for example, I stick with a local account. What is your preference?

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