Chapter 7: User accounts and account settings

It's important to note that you can log in to Windows 8 either as a local user, or with an online Microsoft account. If you use a Microsoft account, then you will be able to share many of your settings, such as your Lock Screen picture, user account picture, Favourites and Desktop background, across any other Windows 8 computers that you log into using your Microsoft account. If you use a local account to log in to your computer, then you will only have access to the local settings that you have configured for that particular computer.

A Microsoft account is a new type of account, but if you already have a Hotmail account or a Windows Live ID, then you can use that account to log in to your computer and that will become your Microsoft account. The Microsoft account facilitates access to other services as well, such as Xbox Live, Outlook (the new name for Hotmail) and SkyDrive, which is Microsoft's new cloud storage service.

The first time you boot up a Windows 8 computer, you will be asked to log in. Don't worry if you don't already have a Microsoft account. You will be able to create one very easily, as long as your computer has an active Internet connection.

With a Microsoft account, more user settings can be managed online, including your password and security features, and you can also add connections to your Twitter, Facebook and Gmail accounts, which will then allow you to have all of your contacts in one place. These contacts will show up in the 'People' app on the Start screen and, for example, you'll be able to read Twitter updates and statuses through this app.

Another thing that having a Microsoft account allows you to do is access the Microsoft Store. It is from this store that you can download new apps for your Windows 8 computer. Microsoft keeps a library of all the apps that you have downloaded in your account, and when you use another computer you are able to bring up this library and install any apps that you may need on your new computer. This only applies to apps that you have downloaded from the Microsoft Store, not apps that you may have downloaded through a Web browser or installed off a disc.

Proudly sponsored by Trend Micro

Previous chapter: Networking

Next chapter: What are Windows 8 apps and where do I get them?

Go back to the index

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Elias Plastiras
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?