When things aren't working on Windows 10, it could be a problem with your Microsoft account, and this guide walks you through steps to use a local account to fix the issue.

Unless your computer is connected to an enterprise network, the chances are that you use Windows 10 with a Microsoft account, instead of a local account. This is because it's the new type of account Microsoft wants you to use, as it lets you connect all your devices and access virtually every service the company has to offer.

In addition, it makes easier to reset your password, get apps from the Store, and sync settings across devices for a more seamless experience. However, the time will come when you may come across some issues in your account. For example, you may experience unexpected errors trying to update the operating system, accessing apps, and Windows 10 features like Cortana, Action Center, and Start menu not working correctly.

While there are a number of troubleshooting steps you can try for each particular problem, as part of the process, it's also recommended to try using a local administrator account to see if the problem is your Microsoft account setup on your device.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to create a local administrator account to help you troubleshoot issues on your computer, and what to do when you can't fix the original problem.

1. How to create a local Administrator account on Windows 10

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Family & other people.
  4. Under "Other people", click the Add someone else to this PC button.

  5. Click the I don't have this person's sign-in information link.

  6. Click the Add a user without a Microsoft account link.

  7. Type the information required to create a local account.
  8. Click Next.

Changing account type to Administrator

Windows 10 by default sets new accounts as Standard, this means you'll need to change the account type manually to Administrator.

  1. While in Family & other people, select the local account and click Change account type.

  2. In the drop-down menu, change the account type to Administrator.
  3. Click OK to complete the task.

2. Troubleshooting your PC with an Administrator local account

Once you've completed the steps mentioned above, restart your computer, and sign-in to the newly created Administrator local account.

The next step is to check whether the same problem you have in your Microsoft account is also occurring in other accounts.

If everything is working properly in the new account, then you now have a pretty good idea of what could be the problem. For example, if you were experiencing sudden system freeze or Cortana wasn't opening, then chances are that it's not an issue with the operating system, and it may just be a problem with your profile, as a result of misconfiguration or something that just broke.

Now that you have an idea of the problem, you can use a different troubleshooting strategy to resolve the particular issue. In case you have any questions, you can also head over the forums on Windows Central to seek help.

3. How to move to a new Windows 10 account

If you can't fix the problem and the newly created account works correctly, as an alternative solution, you can move all your files, settings, apps to the new account and then simply delete the broken account.

To start fresh with a new account, do the following:

Moving your files to a new account

  1. While in the new local account, use the Windows key + E keyboard shortcut to open File Explorer.
  2. Select This PC from the left pane.
  3. Under "Devices and drives", double-click to open the C: drive.
  4. Double-click the Users folder.

  5. Find your old account's folder and double-click it.
  6. If you get a dialog box saying "You don't currently have permission to access this folder", click Continue, as your administrator account will grant you access.
  7. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command.
  8. Type the following command line:


  9. Click OK to open a second instance of File Explorer in your new profile home folder.

  10. Using the Windows key + left arrow keyboard shortcut snap your new home folder to the left side of the screen.
  11. When Snap assist pops up, choose to snap your old home folder to the right side.
  12. Move the content inside the folders in the right side (old account) to the same folders in the left (new account).

Once you completed that task, make sure you can access all your applications. In some cases, you may need to reinstall some apps due to the fact some programs can only be installed per account, not per computer. You may also need to reactivate some of them, so make sure to have the product key ready just in case.

Deleting your old account

After moving all your files and applications, you'll need to delete your old account (the one with the problem), in order to be able to merge your new account with a Microsoft account.

To remove the Windows 10 account with the problem do the following:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Family & other people.
  4. Your old account will now appear under "Other people", select it, and click Remove.

  5. Make sure to understand what will happen after deleting the account from your computer and click Delete account and data.

Merging Administrator and Microsoft accounts

After deleting your old account, you can now merge your Microsoft and the new Administrator accounts together using the following steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Your info.
  4. Click the Sign in with a Microsoft account instead link.

  5. Type your Microsoft account information and click Sign in.

  6. You'll now be prompted to enter your current Administrator local account password one last time. From here on out, you'll only need to sign in with your Microsoft account.
  7. Click Next to continue.

  8. Choose whether to set up a pin password or click the Skip this step to complete this process.

Now all your information and Windows settings stored in the cloud will sync to your computer. However, some settings won't sync until you complete verifying your account.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Sync your settings.
  4. Click the Verify link and follow the on-screen instructions to verify your account.

Wrapping things up

After following these instructions, there is a very good chance that you won't see the same problem on your device again. However, if you come across another issue, you can always repeat these steps to start fresh with a clean account.

Were you able to fix the problem on your Windows 10 PC? Tell us in the comments below.

More Windows 10 resources

For more help articles, coverage, and answers on Windows 10, you can visit the following resources: