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31 comments on “How Do I Create a Local Account in Windows 10?”

  1. Leo, you wrote:

    “I don’t recommend switching back and forth between accounts; that can get confusing.”

    Although it isn’t a panacea for this problem by any means, I do three things that really seem to help.

    To clearly distinguish between my normal (administrator-level) account and the actual “Administrator” account, I’ve…

    (1) created different wallpaper for the two accounts, the latter one of which…

    (2) I’ve manually edited to have the words “Warning: Administrator Account” splashed across the screen in humongous, garishly-colored letters impossible to miss, and…

    (3) Using a “text-to-voice” program, I’ve created logon & logoff sounds that have the voice called “Microsoft Anna” announce (respectively), “Warning: Administrator Account,” and “Leaving Administrator Account.”

    Haven’t gotten anything mixed up yet! :)

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  2. Just curious: have you ever had your Microsoft account not work, and actually needed to use your local account?

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    • Oh, and another quick one: if someone’s MS account stops working, could they create the local account at that time?

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      • All I can say is maybe. You must be signed in to the machine with an administrator-capable account in order to create a local account. If you can’t sign in, then you can’t create.

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    • I blindly followed the “trusted” Microsoft prompts on a new computer some years ago, and created a Microsoft account to sign in. All was well, and I remembered the password and all that. Then I had problems with my Internet Service, and somehow I could no longer sign in to my new user account. At that point I made a decision. I kept my Microsoft account, but when I was again able to log in to my administrating account, I changed it to local. Since then, all accounts that I create on any of my computers are local.

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    • As Leo said, the basic creation of an accounts takes very little space (around 100 MB), but if you use that account, install programs, surf the web, updates, etc., it can grow to into several Giga bytes. Everything gets dumped under your user account.

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      • A footnote: It’s a good idea to set up two or three accounts on your computer, even if you only use one. This is because if one account gets corrupted or compromised by a relatively innocuous malware, you can log in using another account and clean up.

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  3. Another reason to create a local account: I spent two days trying to get my Windows 7 PC to access a shared drive on my Windows 11 PC. Ever since Microsoft switched to using our Microsoft ID to login to Windows I have not been able to login to those PCs from Windows 7 machines. User name and password always seems to be wrong no matter what user name variations I try. The solution was simple, create a local account (make it admin as mentioned) and use those credentials to login to the Windows 11 PC from the Windows 7 PC. BTW, I have yet to login to the new local account on the Windows 11 PC and the credentials work just fine. Doubt I ever will.

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  4. Hi Leo

    After I create a local account, can I transfer data from the Microsoft account to the local account and not leave the data on the Microsoft account?

    Thanks

    Wayne

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  5. May be I am ignorant about computers but I read Askleo newsletters so that I can learn something. For the above article, I did search for “User Accounts” as mentioned by Leo. I found it in Control Panel and I clicked it. I did go into “Make Changes to your user account”. I did not find “Click on Add, edit or remove other users when it appears.”
    Please, please be explicit, thinking you are trying to “teach computers” who is a kindergarten student” in computers. I feel, only then it will be “Confident Computing”, as is the aim of such newsletters.
    If these newsletters are for computer savvy people, then I apologize and should not have subscribed.
    This comment is not worth posting but I just want you to know a reader’s feelings.

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    • Ask Leo! is primarily aimed at average and inexperienced users.

      On my computer, it’s a little different than in the article. Apparently, different Windows 10 installations might have a different method to get to the “Other users” page (my computer calls it “Family and other users”. I’m using Windows 10 21H2, and it appears that Leo is using Windows 10 21H1.

      Press the Windows key or click the Windows Start icon
      Start typing “Users” without the quotes and click on “Other users” when it comes up
      Under “Other users” click + by “Add someone else to this PC” (This step and all following should be the same as in the article)

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    • Press the Windows key or click the Windows Start icon
      Start typing “Users” without the quotes
      Click “Other users” when it comes up
      Underneath “Add someone else to this PC”, Click on the name of the account you want to delete and click “Remove”

      That’s how it works on my computer. Apparently, different Windows 10 installations might have a different method to get to the “Other users” page (my computer calls it “Family and other users”. I’m using Windows 10 21H2, and it appears that Leo is using Windows 10 21H1. The instructions in this article don’t work for me so I posted the instructions that work on my computer. So you can try the one that works on your machine.

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  6. Also if you do lose your Microsoft login, there is a hidden Administrator Account on all PCs and if you know how to make it not hidden you can use it to set up a local account and then hide the Administrator Account again.

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  7. I tried to add a local account following this article, but when I get to the Add someone else to this PC point, a dark box with no text in it but “Microsoft Account” as the title pops up for one second & then disappears. I don’t suppose there is a registry tweak where a local account can be added…???

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  8. My previous post was chopped when I included “” … so here it is again … From an elevated command prompt “net user user_name optional_password /add” … without the quotes … will create a new local user.

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  9. Part of the setting up process for Windows 10 some time ago was nominating a password. Now if I wish to change that password I go to Settings – Accounts – Sign-in options – Password. Would there be any advantage in creating a local account?

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  10. In past articles you have provided information about using Microsoft OneDrive as a means of automatically backing up files to the cloud. This seemed to be a really good idea to me, and worth the $69.99 annual fee for the 1 TB of storage. My problem is that I need more than 1 TB of storage to accommodate all my files. In one of your write-ups about this you stated “If you happen to have Office 365.…you have five terabytes of OneDrive storage (1 TB per user for up to five users).” This may sound like a dumb question, but are the “users” in this article about how to set up additional Microsoft user accounts the same as the “users” in your article about backing up to the cloud using One Drive? If so, is there any reason why anyone would not just set up four user accounts in addition to their own, using the directions you provided in this write-up, in order to access the additional 4 TB of cloud storage? If so, it seems like every Office 365 subscriber would take advantage of the additional 4 TB free storage. Or am I misunderstanding that I should be able to do this. I just bought a new Windows 10 computer, and would like to install OneDrive’s automatic cloud backup mechanism while my computer is fresh if I am able.
    Robert Hollingworth, {email address removed}

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    • It gets complicated. Yes, you can create 5 additional Microsoft accounts, each with their own separate 1TB of space. You could certainly create additional users (not local users, as this article discusses, but real Microsoft Account users), and I believe each user’s OneDrive would be separate, and stored separately on the machine.

      I have two concerns:

      • How easy or difficult it might be to access User B’s OneDrive files while signed in as User A.
      • Whether or not syncing would happen automatically when a user is not signed in. I would suspect not.
      • And, honestly, I would not be surprised if something else got in the way.

      I guess that’s three things. Smile

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    • The 5 user 5TB version of MS 365 costs $99.99. The $70 version costs $69.99. Most people probably only need the single user version. I could get along with the cheaper option, but I gave an account to some of my kids.

      I agree with what Leo said on that, but if you need more than 1TB, it’s likely that you have a lot of files you don’t use often which you can keep in an alternate account. You van then type CTRL+ALT+DELETE to switch users and access the other account(s). It takes a little juggling, but it’s doable.

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  11. I just did a Windows 10 ‘Reset This PC’ for a laptop I intend to give away. Of course, during setup it wanted my Microsoft account info, which I don’t really want on this PC. I did not see a way to get around that, so proceeded. Did I miss something that would have allowed me to set it up with a Local account only? I did also then set up a Local account, but I don’t think I can remove my Microsoft account info now.

    If there still exists a way to set it up without my account info, perhaps I could do another “Reset” and try again.

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