Types of User Accounts

Windows 8 offers four basic types of user accounts: the built-in Administrator account, user accounts with administrative privileges, standard accounts, and a Guest account. They vary in how much privilege they grant to the person using the account.

With Windows 8, you also have the choice of setting up the user accounts as local or Microsoft accounts. You can read about these types of accounts in the following sections.

Microsoft accounts

With Microsoft accounts, you have the greatest flexibility for taking advantage of many of the newest Windows 8 features. To set up a Microsoft account, you must use a valid e-mail address. You can use an existing account, such as one you use at your office or a third-party account such as Yahoo! Mail or similar. If you do not have one, you can set up an e-mail account during the Windows 8 user account setup.

A Microsoft account provides the following features:

  • Allows you to log in to a computer on which you have not previously set up a user account. (Conversely, with local accounts, you must set up a local account on each computer on which you want to log in.)
  • Provides access to Microsoft Xbox Live and Windows Phone accounts.
  • Enables you to download apps from the Windows Store.
  • Syncs settings across multiple computers. For example, if you work on two or more computers, logging in with the same Microsoft account on each one will enable you to keep your favorites, history, sign-in info, and languages synced between the ...

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