Accounts Add Microsoft account to Local account for Hybrid account in Windows 11

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A Microsoft account (MSA) is a good choice if a user wants to use the same account on multiple devices, or wants to make it easy to use all / any Microsoft services. Setting up a preinstalled Windows 10 on a new device, after a clean install, or creating a new user on existing Windows installation, everything works from the moment the user signs into the desktop for the first time. OneDrive will be set up automatically, theme, colors, settings and Microsoft Edge favourites and settings will be synced as the user prefers.

However, there are a few cons in using a MSA as your Windows sign-on account. First, the username, or rather the user profile and user profile folder name. When creating a Windows user account with an MSA, the user profile and its folder will be named using a 5 character acronym based on the MSA email address.

Some examples:

  • MSA user Joe.Brainwaith@some_email_provider.com, first letter in first and last name in upper case would have a profile folder JoeBr.
  • Mrs. Betty Ivana Smith with MSA email b.i.smith@some_email_provider.com would have her user profile and its folder named as bismi
  • Me signing in to WIndows with my MSA email, my username would be karif, instead of Kari that I prefer
The above sample user profiles would look like this in Users folder:

User profiles 1.jpg


I'd rather have Users folder looking like this:

User profiles 2.jpg


OK, this is easy to achieve. You just clean install Windows using a local account (tutorial, Step 21) instead of an MSA, and switch to MSA when first booted to desktop (tutorial on our sister site Ten Forums). User profile keeps the name ypu used when setting up the local account, instead of picking up a five character acronym from your email address.

The same when creating additional user accounts. Create them as local accounts, then switch them to MSA. This way, you can name the user profiles and their respective folders exactly as you wish, and keep the profile names even after switching to an MSA account.

However, that's not what this tutorial is about. In this tutorial, you will see how to keep signing in to Windows with a local account, named as you wish, but then associate / integrate it with a Microsoft account. This method keeps your Windows sign-in account and your MSA totally separated, yet giving you 100% same benefits and features than when signing in with an MSA.

I call it Hybrid Account - a local account with full MSA integration.


1. Clean install Windows using a local account (tutorial, Step 21), or create a new local account (tutorial on Ten Forums).

2. Instead of switching to a Microsoft Account, open Microsoft Store (or any other Microsoft Store app), and sign in to it using your Microsoft Account:

Sign in to Store.jpg


3. Enter your Microsoft Account email, password, and if two-factor authentication is enabled (as it should be!), the authentication code as prompted.

4. When done, the prompt in below screenshot will be shown. Click Next to fully integrate your Microsoft Account with your current local account:

Intergrate MSA to a local account.jpg


5. You will still use your local account and its password or PIN to sign in to Windows, but with fully integrated Microsoft account. You will have all benefits and features of using a Microsoft Account like syncing, Edge synking, OneDrive automatic setup, and so on, only difference really being, that you will continue to sign-in to Windows with a local account.

6. There's only one small tell-tale to show the difference between a Hybrid Account and a Microsoft Account. The difference can be seen in settings. Using this method, a Hybrid account as I call it, a local account with full MSA integration, Windows Settings > Accounts > Your Info will show this:

Local account with MSA integration.jpg


Comparing it to a WIndows user account user signing in to Windows with an MSA; the difference can be seen:

Microsoft account.jpg


Only this small tell-tale shows the difference. In all other aspects, signing in to Windows with a Hybrid Account or Microsoft Account is the same.

7. All done. You will continue to sign in to Windows with a local account, yet you have a Microsoft Account, all its benefits and features, integrated and at your disposal. You can change or remove your Windows sign-in password and possible PIN, without it affecting your Microsoft Account.

I sincerely recommend this approach, instead of signing in to Windows with a Microsoft Account!

Kari


 

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dacrone

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1) isnt this the same as just signing into apps only with your Microsoft account?
2) thats not your real email on the screenshots.. right?...
 

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Kari

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1) isnt this the same as just signing into apps only with your Microsoft account?
2) thats not your real email on the screenshots.. right?...
It's a little bit more than just signing in to Microsoft apps only. It is exactly the same than using a Microsoft account in Windows 10 and later, onnly difference being that you will sign in to Windows with your local account credentials. Everything else is exactly the same than if signing in to Window with a Microsoft account.

About the email, why would I use someone else's email in my tutorial samples and screenshots?

Kari
 

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dacrone

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Local time
1:40 PM
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It's a little bit more than just signing in to Microsoft apps only. It is exactly the same than using a Microsoft account in Windows 10 and later, onnly difference being that you will sign in to Windows with your local account credentials. Everything else is exactly the same than if signing in to Window with a Microsoft account.

About the email, why would I use someone else's email in my tutorial samples and screenshots?

Kari
didn't mean you would use someone else's email... was a subtle hint that you may want to blur it out.... but your call

also, what other perks come from this that are not the same as having a local account and signing into apps with your Microsoft account? please elaborate...
 

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Kari

PhD in Malt Based Liquids
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didn't mean you would use someone else's email... was a subtle hint that you may want to blur it out.... but your call

I didn't take it in any negative way, my reply was meant to be a joke.

Larry Laffer's MS account is my so called junk account, email I use when an email is required to access some site or service, but for which I do not want to give my real email. The account has a very strong password and two-factor authentication, I have no problems with showing it.

In fact, quite the opposite: I have been advocating 2FA, telling people how extremely simple it is to protect their email addresses. You could say, that publicly displaying the email address is my way to show sceptics how much you can trust 2FA.

Kari
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Operating System
    Windows 11 PRO x64 Dev
    Manufacturer/Model
    Hyper-V Virtual Machine (host in System 2 specs)
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-8550U
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Microsoft Hyper-V Video
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Laptop display (17.1") & Samsung U28E590 (27.7")
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 PRO x64 Dev Channel
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP HP ProBook 470 G5
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-8550U
    Motherboard
    HP 837F KBC Version 02.3D.00
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel(R) UHD Graphics 620 & NVIDIA GeForce 930MX
    Sound Card
    Conexant ISST Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Laptop display (17.1") & Samsung U28E590 (27.7")
    Hard Drives
    128 GB SSD & 1 TB HDD
    Mouse
    Wireless Logitech MSX mouse
    Keyboard
    Wireless Logitech MK710 keyboard
    Internet Speed
    100 Mbps down, 20 Mbps up
    Browser
    Edge Chromium Dev Channel
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    2 * 3 TB USB HDD
    6 TB WD Mirror NAS
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