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

Search for Your account settings

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

Figure B

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

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

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

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

You are now local.

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