By Peter Weverka

For home computers, passwords may be unnecessary in Windows 10 unless you need to keep someone else in the house out of your business. Laptop users should always create a password. Don’t make it easy for a thief to use your computer.

Windows 10 offers two types of passwords, and if you prefer not to enter a password when you turn on your computer, you can start Windows 10 without entering a password. The two types of passwords are

  • Microsoft Account password: You need this type of password to secure your computer and to take advantage of Windows 10 features such as the Microsoft Store for apps, OneDrive for online storage, and synchronizing settings between computers.

  • Local password: This type of password secures your computer against unwanted entry.

To tell Windows 10 how you want to handle passwords, go to the Start screen, select your name (at the top of the Start menu), and choose Change Account Settings from the drop-down menu that appears. The Accounts screen opens. From here, you can manage passwords:

  • Change your local account to a Microsoft Account: On the Your Info screen, select Sign In with a Microsoft Account Instead. On the following screen, Enter the email address and password of your Microsoft account and select the Sign In button. On the following screen, enter your current Windows password and select the Next button.

  • Convert your Microsoft Account to a Local account: On the Your Account screen, select Sign In with a Local Account Instead. (You may be asked to enter your Microsoft Account password. As well, Windows 10 may ask you to verify your identity to Microsoft by submitting a security code. Enter your e-mail address and click Next. Then go to your email account, get the security code, and enter it in the Enter the Code screen.) The Switch to a Local Account screen appears. Negotiate the screens that appear, entering your local account user name, password (twice), and password hint.

  • Start Windows 10 without entering a password: Convert your Microsoft Account to the Local account type, if necessary (see the instructions in the previous item in this list). Then, on the Accounts screen, select Sign-in Options. Under Password, select the Change button. The Change Your Password screen appears. Enter your password and select Next. In the following screen, leave all boxes blank and select Next. Then select Finish.