You can argue that Windows 10 is better when you’re using it in conjunction with a Microsoft Account. It means you can sync your data and settings, install apps across multiple devices, and automatically sign in to apps and services that use a Windows ID for authentication.
That said, some people are uncomfortable with using a Microsoft Account to log into their machines. Whether it’s concerns over security, worries about how Windows handles private data, or a simple yearning for the olden days, some users feel happier using a local account.
In this article we look at how to totally delete your Windows Account and how to make a local account on a Windows 10 machine.
How Do You Get a Windows Account?
Lots of people will have a Windows Account without even realizing it. In fact, if you’ve ever had a Hotmail email address, an Xbox Live account, a .NET Passport, or used some other Microsoft service, the chances are you’ve got one.
It is the latest incarnation of Windows Live ID, with the rebranding occurring around the time of Windows 8’s release in late 2012. It now provides a single sign-on for most of Microsoft’s services, including Outlook, Groove Music, Bing, Office 365, Skype, and OneDrive.
Replace, Remove & Delete Your Microsoft Account
Getting rid of your Microsoft Account is a three-step process. Firstly, you need to create a local account to log into Windows, then you can remove the Microsoft Account login from your computer, and finally you can go ahead and delete the account itself off Microsoft’s servers.
Before you start, be aware that although you can re-add your account to a computer, once it’s deleted online there is no return – your data will be lost forever.
Step 1: Create a Local Account
You cannot delete an account from your machine while you are signed into it – you’ll need to create an alternative login with a local account first.
To do that, access the all-new Settings menu; you can find it in the Start Menu or by pressing Windows + I.
Next, navigate to the Accounts page. Once there, make sure you’re on the Your email and accounts tab. Here you will see the option to Sign in with a local account instead underneath your name.
Click it, and follow the on-screen instructions.
Step 2: Remove the Microsoft Account Login
After you’ve set up the new local account, you’ll need to once again navigate back Settings > Accounts > Your email and accounts. This time, scroll down to the bottom of the page and the section marked Other accounts you use. You will see your soon-to-be removed Microsoft Account listed.
Select it, and you’ll be presented with two options – Manage and Remove. “Manage” is essentially a shortcut to Microsoft’s online account management portal. You need to choose “Remove” and follow the remaining on-screen instructions.
Step 3: Delete Your Microsoft Account
Now that you’ve successfully removed the account from your machine, you can go ahead and delete it from Microsoft’s database. This will ensure that none of your data is used by the company without your consent, and will prevent it being harvested by an unapproved third-party without you being aware.
Before proceeding, make sure you’ve done some basic housekeeping by deleting any credit card details you might have saved in the Windows Store, erasing all your emails and emptying the trash, removing any sensitive data from OneDrive, and backing up any important files.
Once you’re sure that you are ready to proceed, navigate to login.live.com in your web browser and enter your login credentials.
You’ll be presented with your account’s welcome page. You’ll need to navigate to the Security & privacy tab along the top of the screen, then click on More security settings under Account security (you might be asked to verify your identity with a security code).
Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and click on Close my account. You’ll be presented with a warning screen that highlights some additional steps you should take before you make the plunge. Click Next.
You’ll then be shown one final screen. Tick all the checkboxes to confirm that you understand and agree that a host of services will be deleted and lost, select the reason for the closure off the drop-down menu, then click Mark account for closure.
You will notice that you still get 60 days of grace. If you change your mind at any time during the grace period you can reactivate your account by logging back in and answering some security questions. If the 60 days lapses, your account is gone for good.
Which Type of Account Do You Use?
How do you use your Windows 10 machine? Are you running a local account, or do your prefer to use a Windows Account? What made you make that decision?
Perhaps you switched to a local account then changed your mind and reverted back? Whatever your situation we’d love to hear from you. You can let us know your thoughts, ideas, and feedback in the comments section below.