I have recently upgraded my Windows 8 laptop to Windows 10. I want to change my laptop password to something different from my email password (Microsoft account) because I think that having the same password for both is a really bad idea. I believe this wasn't possible to do in Windows 8?

I've gone into "Settings -> Accounts -> Your email and accounts" and selected "Sign in with a local account instead". However, upon completion, it says Windows is already using that name. Please enter a different user name.

Am I actually creating a brand new account? Because that is not what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to unlink my existing laptop account from my Microsoft account. Am I doing this the right way or is there a better way of doing it?

  • Yes it is creating a new local user account, you cannot have 2 different passwords on a microsoft account. – Moab Jan 13 '16 at 2:54
  • @Moab Is there any way to covert the laptop account from a Microsoft account to a local account or do I have to create a separate account? What happens to my documents, settings, etc? Is the old account still accessible and visible from the login screen? It sounds messy... – CJ Dennis Jan 13 '16 at 3:13
  • See this...addictivetips.com/windows-tips/… – Moab Jan 13 '16 at 3:17
  • Exactly what happens when you create a user in Windows 8.x or Windows 7 or so you mean something else – Ramhound Jan 13 '16 at 3:18
  • 1
    @Ramhound Why do you assume that I'm so familiar with creating accounts on Windows 7 and Windows 8 that I automatically know what to do? I've had work PCs before where the accounts have been set up by our support people and when I got my laptop (Windows 8) in the first place it prompted me for all the information to create an account. I've never set up an account manually on Windows >=7 before. – CJ Dennis Jan 13 '16 at 3:24

Thanks to Moab's comment and link I found the information here: http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/switch-from-a-microsoft-account-to-a-local-account-in-windows-10/

So, here are the steps (sans pictures) to do this:

  1. Go to "Your email and accounts"
    • Either "Windows menu button -> Settings -> Accounts -> Your email and accounts"
    • or "Windows menu button -> {your username} -> Change account settings"
  2. Select "Sign in with a local account instead"
  3. Enter your current password and click "Next"
  4. Change the username (mandatory, unfortunately)
  5. Enter your new password and confirm it
  6. Enter a password hint (also mandatory, unfortunately. However, it does accept a single space: as your hint)
  7. Click "Next"
  8. Click "Sign out and finish"

Once back at the login screen select your new username and type in your new password. Your files will be where you left them but now the path won't match your username as it did before as it will still include your old username.

You may find that some settings are different such as being prompted again: "Do you want to make {non-Edge browser} your default?"

Bonus information: To log out of your account manually, click the Windows menu button -> {your username} -> Sign out.

Bonus bonus information: To change your local username back to your original one:

  1. Open "User Accounts" in Control Panel (I typed "account" into the Settings window's search or you can use one of the methods from the following link)


  2. Click "Change your account name"
  3. Type your new account name and click "Change name"
  4. Log out (see Bonus information above) and your new old name will be applied!

Windows doesn't care that you've used that name previously.

  • Step 4 is only required if you originally created the user profile linked to the Microsoft Account. If for example you created a local account and linked it to a Microsoft Account, a new profile would be created for the linked profile and the old profile would become unused until you unlinked it from a Microsoft Account. – Ramhound Jan 13 '16 at 18:29
  • You likely have a profileName and profileName1 situation going on, you might want to check that out, because Windows would have allowed you to continue to use the username if it was possible. – Ramhound Jan 13 '16 at 18:30
  • @Ramhound I now get why you're talking about creating additional local accounts so much. You are going by the question's title, rather than the description of my problem. I am not the only person to do this! A lot of the time the OP doesn't realise their title isn't 100% accurate. I always go by the description. The title is just a way of drawing me into reading the question. – CJ Dennis Jan 13 '16 at 22:38
  • The title should be fixed by the author then – Ramhound Jan 14 '16 at 0:35
  • @Ramhound Are you just talking about me or everybody? You can't fix a mistake you don't realise you've made. I can change the title of this question (now that I have the answer) but it won't stop me in the future from describing the problem as well as I can but falling short of the mark. On SE, just like in life, communication is a two-way process. The listener must do their best to understand the speaker and not rely on the other person's ability to express themselves perfectly every time. The speaker should do all they can to prevent misunderstandings, even if they fail sometimes. – CJ Dennis Jan 14 '16 at 2:43

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