Microsoft to “Encourage” Users to Ditch Local Accounts for Microsoft Accounts on Windows 10

Windows 10 Microsoft Accounts

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Microsoft appears set to ramp up efforts to get Windows users to ditch local accounts in favor of Microsoft Accounts. A recent Windows 10 Insider build (Windows 10 Release Preview build 19045.4353) includes a change that will show notifications in the Settings menu urging users to sign in with a Microsoft Account.

The notifications in the Settings > Home section state “Sign in to your Microsoft account: You’ll be able to back up your files and photos to keep them more secure.” While there is a prominent sign-in button, users will can still dismiss the notification, for now.

Why Use a Microsoft Account?

Microsoft’s Push for Microsoft Accounts Microsoft has long touted the advantages of using a Microsoft Account with Windows instead of a local account. These benefits include syncing data and settings across devices, online storage via OneDrive, and access to services like Office and Xbox.

However, many users prefer local accounts for privacy reasons and to avoid linking their PC to an online account and services. Microsoft has made it easier to setup Windows with a local account in recent years, but clearly wants to reverse that trend.

The new notifications indicate Microsoft will become more insistent that users sign-in with a Microsoft Account going forward. Precisely how frequent and aggressive these prompts will be remains to be seen.

Microsoft’s Motivations

Microsoft likely sees getting more users on Microsoft Accounts as a way to increase engagement with its ecosystem of services and products. Having an account makes it easier to setup subscription services, access cloud storage, and use Microsoft’s productivity software.

There are also potential security benefits to Microsoft Accounts, with the company able to use multi-factor authentication and backup account recovery options. However, users with privacy concerns around data collection may resist.

Privacy advocates will likely push back against Microsoft making local accounts more difficult to use. But the company seems set to continue “encouraging” everyone to create an online account for future Windows versions.

Still More than a Year to Go for Windows 10

Microsoft will officially cease support for Windows 10 on October 14, 2025. The current version, which is 22H2, will be the final one.

Source via 2

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.

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