When installing Windows 8 you are asked I you want to use a Microsoft Account or a Local Account.

If you want to control the name of your USERPROFILE path you need to create a Local Account with the desired USERNAME and then associate an MS account to it. Answer: How to choose a username when using a Microsoft Account in Windows 8?

Is there ANY difference in functionality (SkyDrive, settings/app sync, etc.) related to creating a Local Account with a desired username first and then associating it with a Microsoft Account later (instead of using ONLY a Microsoft Account without a Local Account)?

I want to control the name of my USERPROFILE path but am not sure if this "Local + Microsoft Account" approach causes any loss in functionality or if it provides a superset of functionality.

Why do I want to control the USERNAME and USERPROFILE path by using a Local Account?

Let's say your username is "bill" and your email address is "bgates@hotmail.com".

If you choose to use a Local Account, you get a nice "clean" USERPROFILE path of:

  • C:\Users\username

    Or in this example, C:\Users\bill

If you choose to use only a Microsoft Account, with the email of "bgates@hotmail.com", you get a "messy" USERPROFILE path of:

  • C:\Users\first_five_chars_of_email+_three_digit_counter

    Or in this example, C:\Users\bgate_000

I do not like the path name to my user files to be in the latter format.

I want a clean USERPROFILE path of "C:\Users\bill" instead of the "C:\Users\bgate_000" but I do not know if anything will be "less seamless" if I use the "Local+Microsoft Account" approach instead of the "Microsoft Account-only" approach.

  • If you go to profile.live.com, do you see your name along with your email? Sometimes if you do not have your profile set correctly, it'll have no option but to use your email. I have a Microsoft email account and used a Microsoft Account to login to my Win 8 system - My name was automatically set in C:\Users – agirish Dec 9 '12 at 4:59
  • great point, I will check that and or reset profile and test. If I want a very short path name like say C:\Users\K then does the live account profile need to just have "K" in first name and other stuff blank (I assume). (i.e. did it create C:\Users\Abishek Girish as your full path?) – Kerry Dec 9 '12 at 5:13
  • Nope - It created a directory by the name "Abhishek" (C:\Users\Abhishek). Its a Microsoft Account, with my first name set as "Abhishek". – agirish Dec 9 '12 at 5:17
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    one letter could be a problem. Try with a minimum of 4-5 in first name. – agirish Dec 9 '12 at 5:29
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    I directly set it up with a Microsoft Account. Did not use a local account – agirish Dec 9 '12 at 5:30

Yes, it does. It is actually possible to remove the online association from an account that was created as an MS one.

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    Note: Except that you will have to provide a new user name while doing the disconnection. You can later rename it in Computer manager back to what you used to have. – Robert Koritnik Feb 12 '14 at 23:54

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