How to Create a Local Account in Windows 10

By Peter Weverka

“Local account” is Microsoft’s name for your ability to start your Windows10 computer without signing in to Microsoft. Before you create or sign in with a local account, save your work. Then follow these simple steps:

  1. 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.

  2. Choose the Sign In with a Local Account Instead link. Enter the password of your Microsoft Account and select Next.

    local account Windows 10

  3. In the next screen, enter a user name, a password (twice), and a word or two to jar your memory if you forget your password; then select Next.

    create local account

    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.

  4. Select the Sign Out and Finish button.

    Your Microsoft Account closes, Windows restarts, and you see the Windows 10 screen.

  5. 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.