Switch from a Local Account to Microsoft Account in Windows 8.1

By | March 6, 2015

Windows-8-Metro-logoWhen I recently built my new PC, I upgraded to an Asus Maximus VII Hero motherboard with the Z97 chipset and Intel® I218V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller. I installed Windows 8.1 via a flash drive, and I immediately could tell that Win 8.1 did not include a driver for my Intel LAN controller. It was obvious because during installation Win 8.1 asked to create a local account and did not ask for my Microsoft account. I provided a basic user name just to get the installation complete and install my network driver. I had the driver included on the flash drive, but I have not yet gone through the process of slipstreaming updates or drivers yet.

With the new driver installed and internet connectivity, I wanted to switch to my Microsoft account so I could get to my synced settings, apps, backgrounds, etc. Here are the steps to keep your current home folder while also switching from a local to a Microsoft account:

  • Go to Charms Bar -> Settings -> Change PC Settings –> Accounts
  • Choose your account, then click Switch to a Microsoft Account
  • Provide your Microsoft account email address and click Next
  • Provide the password and click Finish.
  • Depending on if you have two-factor authentication set up or not, you may have to confirm using the account by text or email with a code. Microsoft just sends me a text message that includes a PIN which I must then supply to Win 8.1.

After a few minutes, all of my synced items are available me on my new PC.

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