microsoft account vs local account


offbyone

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Looking for input. Is there any sense for privacy/security and not being completely tied to microsoft to:

1)install windows 11 using a microsoft account in order to make the install smooth and link microsoft products to computer and also have a login to use microsoft store if necessary

2)Then after install create a local account and use that exclusively except if windows account necessary?

It seems like I need to make this call as early on in the install process as possible. Thanks for your opinions!
 

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cereberus

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Do you know that after 6 years, not one person in the world has been able to point a finger at MS and provide any evidence that MS are abusing your privacy in any way?

If they are guilty of anything it is focussed advertising but hell, mobile phones etc are 10 times worse.

The advantages of an MS account outweigh some mythical perception of increased privacy if you do not use MS account.

Sure you can switch to a local account, or setup a new one but why bother?
 

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Bree

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Looking for input. Is there any sense for privacy/security and not being completely tied to microsoft to:

1)install windows 11 using a microsoft account in order to make the install smooth and link microsoft products to computer and also have a login to use microsoft store if necessary

2)Then after install create a local account and use that exclusively except if windows account necessary?

Welcome to Eleven Forum

A good question. There are arguments on both sides.

Signing into your PC with a Microsoft account certainly is more secure than using a local account, particularly if you have a laptop that you take out and about with you and that may be stolen. There are many well known ways to break in and reset the password of a local account, giving the thief access to any online websites, banking, and/or mail accounts you may have been signed into at the time.

I had the sad duty of having to do just that for my cousin when her husband passed away, leaving no record of his PC's password. His was a Microsoft account, and there was no way I could find to reset it or convert it to a local account. The best I could do was create a new local account to retrieve his documents.

And it is for that reason that I prefer to sign into all my PCs with a local account. I have seen too many support questions on Ten Forums and here where the user has been locked out of their PC after loosing access to or the password for their Microsoft account. You're supposed to be able to get in with a local password if there's a problem with your Microsoft Account, but most users finding themselves in that position seem to have no idea what it was, or if they ever set one up.

I know I can break into all my PCs and reset the local account should I ever get locked out. I don't want to complicate that by using a Microsoft Account as my sign in for the whole PC. That's not to say I don't have a Microsoft account, nor do I fear MS are 'spying' on me. I do have one, and use it to sign into Widgets, OneDrive, the Store and other Microsoft apps. I just don't want to have to rely on it as my only way to sign into the PC.


It seems like I need to make this call as early on in the install process as possible. Thanks for your opinions!

The advantage of making the call early is that for the local account you use to set up the PC initially you can give its User folder any name you want. For a local account the name of the user folder is the same as the name you choose for the account. For a Microsoft Account the user folder name is the first 5 characters of your email address.

But you can switch a local account to being a Microsoft account, or vice versa, any time you like. You don't have to make a new local account if you initially set up the PC with your Microsoft Account.



The choice is yours, local or MS as the initial account. If you take the PC everywhere with you then a Microsoft Account would be the more secure choice. MS are certainly making it very difficult to set up a PC with just a local account as the first account, so the MS account is certainly the easier option. There's no requirement that it has to stay as a Microsoft account once you are set up though.
 
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offbyone

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Welcome to Eleven Forum

A good question. There are arguments on both sides.

Signing into your PC with a Microsoft account certainly is more secure than using a local account, particularly if you have a laptop that you take out and about with you and that may be stolen. There are many well known ways to break in and reset the password of a local account, giving the thief access to any online websites, banking, and/or mail accounts you may have been signed into at the time.

I had the sad duty of having to do just that for my cousin when her husband passed away, leaving no record of his PC's password. His was a Microsoft account, and there was no way I could find to reset it or convert it to a local account. The best I could do was create a new local account to retrieve his documents.

And it is for that reason that I prefer to sign into all my PCs with a local account. I have seen too many support questions on Ten Forums and here where the user has been locked out of their PC after loosing access to or the password for their Microsoft account. You're supposed to be able to get in with a local password if there's a problem with your Microsoft Account, but most users finding themselves in that position seem to have no idea what it was, or if they ever set one up.

I know I can break into all my PCs and reset the local account should I ever get locked out. I don't want to complicate that by using a Microsoft Account as my sign in for the whole PC. That's not to say I don't have a Microsoft account, nor do I fear MS are 'spying' on me. I do have one, and use it to sign into Widgets, OneDrive, the Store and other Microsoft apps. I just don't want to have to rely on it as my only way to sign into the PC.




The advantage of making the call early is that for the local account you use to set up the PC initially you can give its User folder any name you want. For a local account the name of the user folder is the same as the name you choose for the account. For a Microsoft Account the user folder name is the first 5 characters of your email address.

But you can switch a local account to being a Microsoft account, or vice versa, any time you like. You don't have to make a new local account if you initially set up the PC with your Microsoft Account.



The choice is yours, local or MS as the initial account. If you take the PC everywhere with you then a Microsoft Account would be the more secure choice. MS are certainly making it very difficult to set up a PC with just a local account as the first account, so the MS account is certainly the easier option. There's no requirement that it has to stay as a Microsoft account once you are set up though.

Thank you kindly for this incredibly thoughtful answer!
I am still unsure what to do. I thought the 2 account concept might be a good idea. But it is interesting that you say you always use a single local account. You seem very experienced with this. Do you prefer starting with a local account or do you switch your microsoft account to a local account?

This is a laptop and I will pretty much move my life into it. I do a lot of stuff locally generally like I use microsoft office installed, not online. I do some development with a ton of software tools and so it takes a long time to get my environment set up cleanly so I like to have a stable setup.

By the way, super weird that microsoft doesn't prompt you to choose the c:\Users\username. My microsoft email account isn't exactly a business professional name and I don't like how they pick the first 5 letters. I know you can hack changing it in the registry, but weird they don't let you choose it.
 

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Bree

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Do you prefer starting with a local account or do you switch your microsoft account to a local account?
I prefer to just have a local account and only individually sign in the few apps I need with my MS account. But that's just my personal preference, not a recommendation. Probably a hangover from my using Windows 7 for so long :wink:

super weird that microsoft doesn't prompt you to choose the c:\Users\username. My microsoft email account isn't exactly a business professional name and I don't like how they pick the first 5 letters. I know you can hack changing it in the registry, but weird they don't let you choose it.
It has always been that way, starting in W8 I think, certainly in W10. Even if you always intend to use a MS Account it can be annoying that you can't choose the user folder name to be different from the first characters of your email (especially if they are an 'unfortunate' combination that spells something rude).

Two workarounds to choose your use folder name, even if you intend to use an MS Account as your sign in.

Use a workaround to set up initially with a local account, then switch it to the MS account once it's all set up.

Set up with your MS Account, then immediately create a new local account with your chosen name, and make it an administrator. Switch the initial account to a local account, then switch the new local account to your MS account and use that one from now on. As you have created this as another administrator account you can safely delete the first account, it's no longer needed.

In either case, switching from a local account to an MS account does not change the user folder name. That is fixed at the time it was created, when you first signed into that account.

One further thing, I always create at least one more local account and make it an administrator. I only ever use it for maintenance purposes. You never know when you might get locked out of a corrupted account, and it's always useful to have a second way in.
 

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    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October. Windows Update offered the 22H2 Feature Update on 20th September 2022.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 128GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro 22H2 RTM as a native boot vhdx.
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    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 128GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro 22H2 RTM as a native boot vhdx.

flashh4

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Set mine up with a MS account & forget about everything !

Chuck
 

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Alex__ASSR

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I don't mind using a microsoft account, what bothers me is having to keep putting a password,
I like to leave the screen free to log in automatically.
But the times I tried to put the automatic login, with an MS account,
windows always asks me for the password or PIN, I can't log out without both options.

I just want to login as in the offline account.
 

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Kari

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1)install windows 11 using a microsoft account in order to make the install smooth and link microsoft products to computer and also have a login to use microsoft store if necessary

2)Then after install create a local account and use that exclusively except if windows account necessary?

My approach is exactly the opposite, tutorial already being linked in this thread. I do not want my Windows login being tied to my MS account, so I install Windows with a local account, connecting it then later to my MS account for easy MS apps and services access.


Kari
 

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cereberus

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Virtually all the replies here are related to the way you cannot choose your own username if selecting an MS account. None address the OPs question re. privacy concerns (real or imagined). In the end, an MS account is more secure if used with a PIN (assuming a TPM).

So is a local account more private, or does it not matter. It all comes down to trust - do you trust MS's privacy policy? As I stated in first post, there is no evidence to support MS abuse your data, and people who say otherwise are just talking bs.

I am always amused people will run random privacy tools from unknown users on internet so long as it attacks big bad MS, totally ignoring possibility the tools could be harvesting data, passwords etc.

If I install a tool, I need to be confident of its heritage.

I have many criticisms of MS development but privacy abuse is not one of them.
 

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fruh

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To me, having my PC constantly doing background stuff for syncing the account and whatever MS thinks it has to do is enough to stick to a local account (and disabling all the then-useless scheduled tasks).

Do I refuse to use a MS account even harder because MS reminds me I need one in any possible way by placing banners all over Windows and because they force new users to make a MS account? Absolutely yes :)
 

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Bree

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....None address the OPs question re. privacy concerns (real or imagined). In the end, an MS account is more secure if used with a PIN (assuming a TPM).
It was a bit of both, really....
....Is there any sense for privacy/security and not being completely tied to microsoft....
No question, an MS account is more secure than a local one.....
So is a local account more private, or does it not matter. It all comes down to trust - do you trust MS's privacy policy?
I tried to be as balanced as I could. Yes, I do trust MS's privacy policy, more than I'd trust Google's at least... :wink:

My preference for a local account is purely to make life easer signing in, and to be able to have a local account with no password for my machines that never leave the house. That and the ease of fixing the sign in should an issue arise with my MS account.
 

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    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 128GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro 22H2 RTM as a native boot vhdx.
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    Dell Lattitude E4310
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    i5 M 520
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    4GB
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    500GB HDD
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    Other Info
    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround. In-place upgrade to 22H2 using ISO and a workaround.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 128GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro 22H2 RTM as a native boot vhdx.

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ThrashZone

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My preference for a local account is purely to make life easer signing in, and to be able to have a local account with no password for my machines that never leave the house. That and the ease of fixing the sign in should an issue arise with my MS account.
Hi,
I've been there in "ms account security lock down" before and this was just simply using web mail, actually a couple times they locked my ms account for 30 days each for nothing more than trying to access advanced account settings :ffs:

This is mainly why I'd never tie a computer login with ms account not even a laptop.
 

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Location
S/E England, UK
OS
Windows 11 Home
I've been there in "ms account security lock down" before and this was just simply using web mail, actually a couple times they locked my ms account for 30 days each for nothing more than trying to access advanced account settings :ffs:

This is mainly why I'd never tie a computer login with ms account not even a laptop.

Yes, that's precisely the sort of complication I want to avoid.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
    CPU
    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon Graphics
    Monitor(s) Displays
    laptop screen
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768 native resolution, up to 2560x1440 with Radeon Virtual Super Resolution
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung EVO 870 SSD
    Browser
    Edge, Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October. Windows Update offered the 22H2 Feature Update on 20th September 2022.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 128GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro 22H2 RTM as a native boot vhdx.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    i5 M 520
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    4GB
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500GB HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround. In-place upgrade to 22H2 using ISO and a workaround.

    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

    My SYSTEM FOUR is a 2-in-1 convertible Lenovo Yoga 11e 20DA, Celeron N2930, 4GB RAM, 128GB ssd. Unsupported device: currently running Win10 Pro, plus Win11 Pro 22H2 RTM as a native boot vhdx.

ThrashZone

Minor Threat
Power User
VIP
Local time
10:16 AM
Posts
1,156
OS
Linux-Mint-Cinnamon-20.2 Win-7-10-11Pro's
Hi,
I don't think I'd even associate a ms account later either frankly
I have in the past just for a 10 pro license purchased from ms directly but even it disappeared from my account after getting rid of the ms user account later :scream:
So I wouldn't even pay ms more for a 10-11 license, now I just do as cheap as possible they actually come with keys and activate.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux-Mint-Cinnamon-20.2 Win-7-10-11Pro's
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    asus x3
    CPU
    10900k & 9940x & 5930k
    Motherboard
    z490-Apex & x299-Apex & x99-Sabertooth
    Memory
    Trident-Z Royal 4000c16 2x16gb & Trident-Z 3600c16 4x8gb & 3200c14 4x8gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Titan Xp & 1080ti FTW3 & evga 980ti gaming
    Sound Card
    Onboard Realtek x3
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1-AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz/ 2nd 1-ASUS VG248QE 24"/ 3rd LG 43" series
    Screen Resolution
    1920-1080 not sure what the t.v is besides 43" class scales from 1920-1080 perfectly
    Hard Drives
    To many to list
    PSU
    1000p2 & 1200p2 & 850p2
    Case
    D450 x2 & 1 Test bench in cherry Entertainment center
    Cooling
    Custom water loops x3 with 2x mora 360mm rads only 980ti gaming air cooled
    Keyboard
    G710+x3
    Mouse
    Redragon x3
    Internet Speed
    xfinity gigabyte
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    mbam pro

ThrashZone

Minor Threat
Power User
VIP
Local time
10:16 AM
Posts
1,156
OS
Linux-Mint-Cinnamon-20.2 Win-7-10-11Pro's
Well, MS goes through private user's files/activities the same way as google, but it is required by the law, so .. it is OK?!
Hi,
A good fight but we all pay in privacy
Seems they can watchdog uploads and cloud/ websites in general rather than trolling everyone's private local files.

Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux-Mint-Cinnamon-20.2 Win-7-10-11Pro's
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    asus x3
    CPU
    10900k & 9940x & 5930k
    Motherboard
    z490-Apex & x299-Apex & x99-Sabertooth
    Memory
    Trident-Z Royal 4000c16 2x16gb & Trident-Z 3600c16 4x8gb & 3200c14 4x8gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Titan Xp & 1080ti FTW3 & evga 980ti gaming
    Sound Card
    Onboard Realtek x3
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1-AOC G2460PG 24"G-Sync 144Hz/ 2nd 1-ASUS VG248QE 24"/ 3rd LG 43" series
    Screen Resolution
    1920-1080 not sure what the t.v is besides 43" class scales from 1920-1080 perfectly
    Hard Drives
    To many to list
    PSU
    1000p2 & 1200p2 & 850p2
    Case
    D450 x2 & 1 Test bench in cherry Entertainment center
    Cooling
    Custom water loops x3 with 2x mora 360mm rads only 980ti gaming air cooled
    Keyboard
    G710+x3
    Mouse
    Redragon x3
    Internet Speed
    xfinity gigabyte
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    mbam pro
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