The basic purpose of both local, as well as Microsoft account, is to give a secure log-in to your Windows based system. Local user accounts have been used since long and Microsoft account is a new login feature introduced in windows 8 and 10. In these operating systems, before you complete installation you are asked to choose between local or a Microsoft account. It can be confusing for users to pick a right user account since both these user accounts have their own pros and cons. Without further ado, let us find the difference between these two user accounts.
Local User Account
This is a conventional user account that requires a username and a password (optional) to login a windows system. The local user account is available in all the versions of windows including windows 10. This type of user account is native to the computer system where it is created. You can customize the personal preferences including desktop background, start menus or icons but you cannot use this user account on other computer systems. You need to create a different account on other systems and customize the personal settings from scratch again.
How to add a local user account in windows 10
Go to control panel>user accounts>manage another account. Now click on “Add a new user in PC settings”.
Now in the settings window, click on “Add someone else to this PC” under the Other People heading. In the next screen click on “I don’t have this person’s sign-in information. Now click “Add a user account without a Microsoft account”.
It will ask a username, password and a hint to your password for recovery of password.
This user account requires you to input your Microsoft email ID and a password in order to login a windows system. If you do not have one, you need to create a new Microsoft email ID. Microsoft has integrated a lot many services and devices in this single account. Unlike a local user account which is an offline account, Microsoft account is online. The other difference between these accounts is that you can create a local user account without a password but you need to have a password in a Microsoft account. It is mandatory.
Features and benefits of a Microsoft account
- One of the important features of using a Microsoft account is syncing the settings on multiple devices. You can sync the same windows settings using the same user account on other devices. You can sync themes, internet explorer settings, passwords, language preferences, ease of access and other windows settings. Make sure the sync settings are on by navigating to Settings>Accounts>Sync your settings.
- If you own multiple windows based devices like Xbox, Windows-phone or a tab, you need to buy only a single license of an app from windows store and use it on all these devices without buying separate licenses.
- You get to access the Microsoft cloud space called One-drive. Here you can upload, download and share your any type of files with friends.
- If you sign-in with your Microsoft account, you get a free virtual assistant( Cortana ) to accept your commands.
- Last but not the least, with a Windows account, you have an option to create a family and child account. This helps you have a full control over the activities of your kid’s and other family member’s accounts.
How to add a Microsoft account
The procedure is same as we followed in adding a local account. The only difference is that after clicking on “add someone else to this PC”, you need to input the Microsoft mail ID and follow the on-screen instructions.
How to check your user account-type
Are you using a local user account or a Microsoft account? You can check it by navigating to control panel>user accounts.
You can clearly see if you are logged-in via Microsoft account, a mail ID will be there under the user name or there will be a local account under the username.
You have understood the difference between a local account and a Microsoft account and find that if you do not enjoy the syncing of settings across the multiple devices across the multiple devices, you can still use a legacy local account. Otherwise, there are a lot many benefits of using a Microsoft account. Do share your own comments about these two accounts.