If other people use your computer, you may want to create more than one local account. When each person who uses your computer has a separate account, you can keep data, apps, and settings tidy and private. Have only one administrator account for each computer.
Create a new Microsoft accountOn the Start screen, select your picture on the left side of the screen. In the pop-up menu that appears, choose Change Account Settings, as shown.
The Settings app opens to the Accounts screen. Your account information appears with the words Local Account under your name, as shown.
If you see don’t see Local Account, you already have a Microsoft Account and don’t need to follow these steps:
- Select the Sign In with a Microsoft Account Instead link. The Sign In screen appears. To create a new account, select the Create One! link.
- On the Create Account screen, create the account with an email address or a phone number. Messages about your Microsoft Account will be sent to the email address or phone number you enter.
- Email address: Type the email address you want to use for this account in the Email Address box and select Next.
- Phone Number: Select the Use a Phone Number Instead link. Then enter your phone number and select Next.
- In the Create a Password box, type a password. Dots appear instead of what you type. Use at least eight characters, including at least two uppercase letters, two lowercase letters, two numbers, or two symbols. No spaces are allowed.
Your password should be easy enough for you to remember and type, but not easy for someone else to guess. Don't use the names of any family members (including pets). A good password can be difficult to create, so try this trick: Think of a memorable phrase or lyric. Next, use the first letter from each word, capitalizing some of those letters. Then substitute some letters with numbers (for example, 3 for the letter E or the number 0 for the letter O). Don't put your password on a sticky note near your screen.
- Enter your first and last name; then select Next.
- In the What’s Your Birth Date? screen, enter your country or region if it is not already selected.
- Select the month, day, and year of your birth. (You can lie, but be sure to remember your response.)
- Review your entries and select the Next button.
- On the Verify screen, enter the code Microsoft sent to the email address or phone number you entered in Step 2.
- Select the Next button. The Sign In to This Device Using Your Microsoft Account screen appears. Enter the user name and password to your local account, if you had a password. Then click Next. Congratulations! You just created a Microsoft Account.
Create a local account“Local account” is Microsoft’s name for your ability to start your computer without signing in to Microsoft. Before you create or sign in with a local account, save your work. Then select the Start button, select your picture on the Start menu, and in the pop-up menu that appears, choose Change Account Settings. You see the Accounts screen. If you see the words local account on this screen, you’re already signed in with a local account.
You can’t download and install apps from the Microsoft Store without signing in with a Microsoft Account. Nor can you upload files to OneDrive. So why have a local account? If you’re concerned about privacy and security, if you don’t want Microsoft to peer over your shoulder and track your every move when you use your computer, consider creating a local account. You can always switch to your Microsoft Account when you want to install apps from the Microsoft Store, use OneDrive, or use Skype.To create a local account for someone else to use your computer:
- Choose the Sign In with a Local Account Instead link. You see the Are You Sure screen, shown. Select the Next button.
- Enter the password of your Microsoft Account in the Making Sure It’s You screen and select OK.
- In the next screen, shown, enter a user name, a password (twice), and a word or two to jar your memory if you forget your password; then select Next.
Passwords are case sensitive. In other words, your computer recognizes uppercase letters and lowercase letters when you create and enter a password. Remember which letters in your password are upper- and lowercase.
If you want to sign in to your local account without having to enter a password, leave the Password, Reenter Password, and Password Hint text boxes blank.
- Select the Sign Out and Finish button. Your Microsoft Account closes, Windows restarts, and you see the Windows 10 screen.
- Enter the password you created in Step 3. When you start your computer, Windows 10 assumes that you want to sign in with the account you were using when you last shut down your computer. If you shut down when signed in with your local account, you are asked to provide the password for your local account the next time you start your computer.
When you start a computer with more than one account, account names appear in the lower-left corner of the Windows 10 screen. Select an account name in the lower-left corner to tell Windows which account to open.
Switch from a local to an existing Microsoft accountFollow these steps to sign in with your Microsoft Account when you are currently signed in with your local account. On the Start screen, select your name in the upper-left corner of the screen and then choose Change Account Settings from the pop-up menu that appears. The Accounts screen opens. Your account information appears with Local Account under your name.
If you don’t see Local Account under your user account name, you’re already signed in with your Microsoft Account.
- Select the Sign In with a Microsoft Account Instead link. The screen shown appears. Type the email address or phone number of your Microsoft Account and select the Next button.
- Enter the password of your Microsoft Account and select the Sign In button.
- In the Current Windows Password text box, enter the password of your local account and select the Next button, as shown. The Accounts screen opens, where you see the user name and email address of your Microsoft account.
Create a local account for someone in your householdConsider creating a local account for each person who uses your computer. A local account is more than just a way to sign in. Each local account preserves the user’s settings and Internet browsing history. When you set up a local account, Windows 10 creates separate folders called Documents, Pictures, Videos, and Music for the account holder. Only the account holder can open and edit files in these special folders. To create a local account, select your name on the Start screen and choose Change Account Settings on the menu that appears. The Settings app opens to the Accounts screen.
To create a local account, you must be your computer’s administrator. To see whether you’re the administer, look for the word Administrator below your name on the Your Info page of the Settings screen.
- On the left, select Family & Other Users. On the right, select Add Someone Else to This PC. The How Will This Person Sign In screen appears.
- At the bottom of the How Will This Person Sign In screen, select the link called I Don’t Have This Person’s Sign-In Information.
- On the next screen, select Add a User without a Microsoft Account.
- On the next screen (it’s called Create a User for This PC), enter the user name in the first box, as shown. Use the person's first name, last name, first and last name, initials, or nickname — something easy to remember and type.
You are not required to use a password with a local account, which makes signing in easy. However, without a password, anyone can use the computer and access information that you might want to protect.
- In the Password box, enter a password (or skip to Step8 if you don’t care to create a password for your account). A dot will appear for each character you type.
- In the Reenter Password box, type the same password exactly.
- In the three drop-down menus, choose a security question and type the answer in the text box. If you forgot your password, you will be able to recover it by answering a security question correctly.
- After completing all the available boxes, choose the Next button. In the Accounts screen, the new user name appears under Other Users, as shown.
- Return to the Start screen and select your user name. Notice that the new user name appears on the drop-down menu. You can switch between accounts by selecting a user name on the drop-down menu. To sign out of an account, choose Sign Out.
- In the drop-down menu, select the new user name to switch to that account.
- A screen appears with the new user name. If you used a password on the new user account, type that password in the box and select the onscreen right arrow or press Enter. If you didn’t use a password, select the Sign In button.
The first time you sign in as a new user, you have to wait a moment while apps are installed for the new user. Soon the generic Start screen appears. (Any settings you changed in your account do not transfer to other accounts.)
When you start a computer for which you’ve created more than one user account, the users’ names appear in the lower-left corner of the Windows 10 screen. To tell Windows which user to sign in with, select a user name on the Windows 10 screen before signing in.