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Using a Microsoft account vs local account for Windows 10

KuJoe
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Go to solution Solved by Delicieuxz,

I have used Windows 10 with both a local and a Microsoft account, and the only "benefit" is that you don't have to type in your username and password for Microsoft programs like Skype and OneDrive. However, maybe you don't want to always be logged into those programs, and so maybe that isn't a benefit to you at all. Plus, if you do want to always be logged into those programs, then you could just log into them and not log out of them with a local account.

 

At the same time, a serious downside to using a Microsoft account to log into Windows 10 is that the amount of data Microsoft harvests from you is ramped up while using a Microsoft account, and the data that is harvested from you is tagged with even more personal identifiers than data that is harvested while using a local account.

 

 

 

Microsoft's telemetry tags 1.JPG

Microsoft's telemetry tags 2.JPG

Microsoft's telemetry tags 3.JPG

 

Also, using a Microsoft account results in your Windows user folder being named being some dumb and messy abbreviation of what your Windows account name is, such as maybe "kujo-6", or if using my LTT name it would be something like "delic-8". Whereas using a local account will result in your Windows profile folder being named exactly what your Windows account name is: "KuJoe", or "Delicieuxz" - and so a local account keeps Windows profile folders better organized, cleaner-looking, and more satisfying, IMO.

 

So, overall, there are no benefits to using a Microsoft account, only the downsides of messy system account folder naming, reduced privacy,more data-harvesting activity, and the data that is harvested with a Microsoft account including even more personal details than the data that's harvested with a local account. Using an MS account with Windows 10 is purely a for-Microsoft thing, as it benefits Microsoft hugely with no detectable benefit to and only giveaways from the system owner.

So I need to add a new user to a few of my devices and I'm wondering if it's time for me to switch over to using a Microsoft account instead of a local user? I searched around for some pros and cons but they're all from 2016 and 2017 so I'm not sure what's changed since then. Assuming I don't have issues with 2FA (Duo) using a Microsoft account should I consider switching to that? I have seven Windows 10 installs that I currently access but I'll be adding at least 1 more in the future once my ODroid H2 arrives so being able to sync settings does look appealing, but I'm not sure if there's any trade-offs. So what's your opinion? Do you use a Microsoft account or local account and why?

-KuJoe

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The way I see it one of the best things about an online account is changing your password across devices (assuming they have net access). But I've chosen not to log into MS every time I want to use my PC.

If you're interested in a product please download and read the manual first.

Don't forget to tag or quote in your reply if you want me to know you've answered or have another question.

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1 minute ago, keskparane said:

The way I see it one of the best things about an online account is changing your password across devices (assuming they have net access). But I've chosen not to log into MS every time I want to use my PC.

That brings up a good point, I like to keep my local account password something really easy to remember so that means I would need to change my Microsoft account to something easy also? I guess I'll be sticking with local accounts for that reason alone. :(

-KuJoe

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I have used Windows 10 with both a local and a Microsoft account, and the only "benefit" is that you don't have to type in your username and password for Microsoft programs like Skype and OneDrive. However, maybe you don't want to always be logged into those programs, and so maybe that isn't a benefit to you at all. Plus, if you do want to always be logged into those programs, then you could just log into them and not log out of them with a local account.

 

At the same time, a serious downside to using a Microsoft account to log into Windows 10 is that the amount of data Microsoft harvests from you is ramped up while using a Microsoft account, and the data that is harvested from you is tagged with even more personal identifiers than data that is harvested while using a local account.

 

 

 

Microsoft's telemetry tags 1.JPG

Microsoft's telemetry tags 2.JPG

Microsoft's telemetry tags 3.JPG

 

Also, using a Microsoft account results in your Windows user folder being named being some dumb and messy abbreviation of what your Windows account name is, such as maybe "kujo-6", or if using my LTT name it would be something like "delic-8". Whereas using a local account will result in your Windows profile folder being named exactly what your Windows account name is: "KuJoe", or "Delicieuxz" - and so a local account keeps Windows profile folders better organized, cleaner-looking, and more satisfying, IMO.

 

So, overall, there are no benefits to using a Microsoft account, only the downsides of messy system account folder naming, reduced privacy,more data-harvesting activity, and the data that is harvested with a Microsoft account including even more personal details than the data that's harvested with a local account. Using an MS account with Windows 10 is purely a for-Microsoft thing, as it benefits Microsoft hugely with no detectable benefit to and only giveaways from the system owner.

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22 hours ago, KuJoe said:

So I need to add a new user to a few of my devices and I'm wondering if it's time for me to switch over to using a Microsoft account instead of a local user? I searched around for some pros and cons but they're all from 2016 and 2017 so I'm not sure what's changed since then. Assuming I don't have issues with 2FA (Duo) using a Microsoft account should I consider switching to that? I have seven Windows 10 installs that I currently access but I'll be adding at least 1 more in the future once my ODroid H2 arrives so being able to sync settings does look appealing, but I'm not sure if there's any trade-offs. So what's your opinion? Do you use a Microsoft account or local account and why? 

Very simple. Contrary of @Delicieuxz. says

 

Microsoft account give you:

  • The ability to sync some of the account settings and personalisation settings between your systems, helping make your other systems an extension of each other.
  • Use OneDrive at the get go, and be accessible to any system of the same account, as it is linked to your Microsoft
  • Purchase once for all devices (up to 10). If you buy something from the Store, you don't need to buy it again on your other system, as your purcahses is not tied to the system, but rather account
  • Main Microsoft linked account (first one that is Admin) get the OS product key stored inside, allowing re-installation without having to pull out the product key of your system, even after large changes.
  • All the apps are setup for you and ready go, and everything is in sync
  • You can connect your phone to your Microsoft account as well, and enjoy features like send/receive/view past SMS on your PC, no need to touch your phone and enjoy a nice keyboard to type on (Android only). Some notification can be sync to your PC, like low battery alerts, you can easily access your phone photos, and more to come. (like: see phone app on your PC and interact with them, Timeline feature of Windows on your phone, so say you have a document on OneDrive that you open in Word, you'll see in on your phone timeline via Microsoft Launcher (Android only), and run it, the document will open on your phone and resume where you left off. You read a news items on your PC via the News app, you can refer to it back on your phone, was reading a website on your phone as you were coming home, well you can send it to your PC for reading)
  • Purchased and rented movies/shows from the Store can be playable on any connected device.
  • Protection against password reset. No one can by-pass your account password. So if you have encrypted files, no one can get one of those password reset disks, remove or replace your account password, login and access to your encrypted files.  This is because your password is managed by Microsoft servers, and not done on your P, and while you can login offline just fine, you have protection system in place which you don't have/can't have on a local account.

In other words, using a Microsoft accounts allows you to be part of Microsoft ecosystem, and turn all your devices as an extension of one and another, and not separate devices living in their own world.

 

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Thanks for the info @GoodBytes, I really like the idea of using a MS account but I don't want to have to open up KeePass every time I want to login to Windows via RDP (locally I just use a PIN) so I'm going to stick with local accounts so I can keep using easy insecure passwords offline while keeping my MS account password complex and impossible for me to remember. :)

 

-KuJoe

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