Windows 8 Accounts
Windows 8 has two primary account categories as follows
- Microsoft accounts
- Local accounts.
In addition, there are 3 types of accounts as follows
- Standard accounts – typically for everyday computing with limited rights. This is the safest type of account and it is a Local account.
- Administrator accounts – provide the most control over a computer and have all administrative rights. These can be Local or Microsoft accounts.
- Guest accounts – primarily for people who need temporary access to a computer. These accounts have no administrative rights and are Local accounts.
All Microsoft accounts are Administrator accounts and any Local account can be a Standard or Administrator account. In addition, Windows 8 has a hidden Administrator account that must be enabled from the command line as shown here or through a 3rd party program available here.
If you add a new Local account, it will be a Standard account by default. This can be changed to an Administrative account through the Control Panel and going to Users.
When you first set up a new PC you have a choice between a Microsoft account and a Local account. To avoid a Microsoft account see the instructions here. Don’t worry if you make the wrong choice, you can always change it by following the instructions on the page here..Also, when adding a Local account you can choose to not have a password by leaving the fields blank.
If you get locked out of your PC you can get access to your files by using one of the programs listed here or by following instruction here. These programs can also remove your password allowing to to log in without one.
If you enable the hidden Administrator account, you can log onto a PC using that account since it will not have a password. Once logged in, you have access to all user accounts. If you keep this account, others will have access also – so either password protect it or disable it.
So – which type of account should you use? That’s entirely up to you but you can read the pros and cons here.
When you reset the password of a Microsoft account using the program here, it converts the account to a Local account since a Microsoft accouint cannot exist without a password. The resulting Local account will not have a password but one can be added through the Control Panel. You can also switch the account back to a Microsoft account.
You can sign on to your PC with or without a password. You can remove the password from a Local account through the Control Panel and for a Microsoft account see the instructions here. You don’t actually remove the password from the Microsoft account but merely bypass it. You should only do this for a PC operated in a private location such as your home.
And finally, anyone with a littke skill and the right tools can break into your PC so act accordingly when deciding what to keep on your system.