Managing user account settings on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

On Windows 10, you usually go through the account creation process during the initial setup of a new device or installation. However, there are a lot of additional configuration options that you can use to make your account more secure and to enhance the experience.

Also, you can create and control additional accounts with different permission levels to securely share the Windows 10 device with family members or friends. This allows each person to have a personal space with a custom desktop and other settings, and a private storage area to store files separate from other users.

In the case of a young person, a Child account offers additional safeguard features designed to protect them from content (such as apps, games, and websites) that isn't appropriate for their age.

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In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to create and manage user accounts, as well as the steps to view account details, change password and profile picture, and customize the sign-in options.

How to view account details on Windows 10

On Windows 10, the "Your info" page is the place to view a summary of the account information. Also, it's the page where you can connect the device to a Microsoft account or change the profile picture.

See account details

To view the account details on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Your info.
  4. Confirm your account details, such as the account type (Administrator or Standard) or if you're using a local account or a Microsoft account.

    Windows 10 Your Info settingsSource: Windows Central

    Quick note: If the page reads "Local account" under your username, then you're using an account that isn't connected to a Microsoft account. If you see your email address, then you are using a Microsoft account.

  5. (Optional) Click the Manage my Microsoft account option to adjust billing details, family and security settings, and more.

Once you complete the steps, you'll have a better understanding of your account information on Windows 10.

Switch to Local or Microsoft account

To switch from a local account to a Microsoft account (or vice versa), use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Your info.
  4. If you're using a local account, then you can click the Sign in with a Microsoft account instead option to link the account with a Microsoft account.

    Sign in with a local account instead option on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  5. Continue with the on-screen directions.

    Quick tip: Usually, when setting up a new account, additional verification may be required. If this is the case, you'll have to click the Verify button to launch the verification process, and only after entering the code, you'll be able to have full access to the account.

  6. If you're using a Microsoft account, then you can click Sign in with a local account instead option to switch to a local account.
  7. Continue with the on-screen directions.

After you complete the steps, the account will switch to a Microsoft or local account, depending on your selection.

Change account picture

To change the account picture on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Your info.
  4. Under the "Create your picture" section, click the Browse for one button. (Or you can also use the Camera option.)

    Change account picture optionSource: Windows Central

  5. Select a new image for the account.
  6. Click the Choose Picture button.

Once you complete the steps, the account pictures will appear on the Sign-in screen and across Windows 10.

How to add more email and app accounts on Windows 10

Instead of having to re-type the same account information every time you want to set up an app, you can use the "Email & app accounts" page to add multiple accounts information in advance.

Add accounts for apps

To register additional email and app accounts, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Email & accounts.
  4. Under the Accounts used by email, calendar, and contacts section, click the Add an account button.

    Add email accounts to Windows 10Source: Windows Central

    Quick note: If you're adding a Microsoft account, it'll also be listed under "Accounts used by other apps."

  5. Select the service provider you want to add.

    Select account provider on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  6. Continue with the on-screen directions.

After you complete the steps, the account information will be available when you need to connect with Microsoft Store apps.

Add accounts for work

To add accounts for apps you use for work, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Email & accounts.
  4. Under the "Accounts used by other apps" section, click the Add a Microsoft account or Add a work or school account.

    Add accounts used by other apps on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  5. Select the service you want to add.
  6. Continue with the on-screen directions.

Once you complete the steps, you'll be able to quickly set up apps for work, such as OneDrive for business.

How to manage account sign-in options on Windows 10

On Windows 10, the "Sign-in options" page allows you to manage the different methods available for authentication to your account. Using these settings, you can change your current password, set up Windows Hello Face, PIN, Security Key, or Picture Password, and you can even turn on Dynamic lock to lock the device as you step away.

Change account password

To change the account password on Windows 10, use these steps:

Important: If you're using a Microsoft account to sign in when updating the password, you'll also be updating the password of Outlook.com, Xbox Live, and other related Microsoft services. If you want to use a different password without changing your online access settings, then you may want to set a PIN with the option to use letters and symbols instead.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Sign-in options.
  4. Under the "Manage how your sign in to your device" section, select the Password option.
  5. Click the Change button.

    Change password optionSource: Windows Central

  6. Confirm your Windows Hello pin (if applicable).
  7. Confirm the current password.
  8. Confirm the new password. (You can't use a previous password.)

    Confirm new password for Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  9. Click the Next button.
  10. Continue with the on-screen directions (if applicable).

After you complete the steps, the password will update on your Windows 10 installation, as well as across devices and services if you use a Microsoft account.

Set up Windows Hello PIN

If you want to use a faster and more secure way to sign in to Windows 10, you can use a PIN instead of a traditional password.

To add a PIN to your Windows 10 account, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Sign-in options.
  4. Under the "Manage how your sign in to your device" section, select the Windows Hello PIN option.
  5. Click the Add button.

    Windows Hello Pin optionSource: Windows Central

  6. Click the Next button.
  7. Create a new PIN.

    Create Pin Password on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

    Quick tip: You can also check the available option to allow letters and symbols as part of your PIN.

  8. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, you can start using the PIN instead of a password to quickly sign in to your account.

Usually, a PIN is more secure than a password, because it's only tied to one device, and it's never transmitted over the network, and it only works locally. You can't use it to access your device remotely, and you need to set it per device.

Set up Picture Password

Windows 10 even lets you use a picture as a password. This authentication method allows you to use gestures on an image to sign in. Usually, this option is more suited for a touchscreen device, such as Surface Go 2, Surface Book 3, and Surface Pro 7.

To configure a picture password, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Sign-in options.
  4. Under the "Manage how you sign in to your device" section, select the Picture Password option.
  5. Click the Add button.

    Add a picture password option on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  6. Confirm the current password.
  7. Click the Choose new picture button from the left pane.

    Choose new picture option on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  8. Select a new image.
  9. Click the Open button.
  10. Click the Use this picture button.

    Use this picture optionSource: Windows Central

  11. Confirm three gestures on the image, including circles, straight lines, taps, or a combination of the three, which you'll use as a password.

    Confirm picture password gestures on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  12. Repeat the gestures to confirm.
  13. Click the Finish button.

After you complete the steps, sign out, and when you try to sign back in, you can start using gesture patterns to sign in.

On compatible devices, such as Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro 7, you can also set up Windows Hello Face to sign onto your device using only your face.

If your computer doesn't include biometric authentication hardware, you can always get a fingerprint scanner addon or a camera with Windows Hello support.

Require sign in on wake

If the option is available, you can also decide if Windows 10 should prompt you to enter a password when your computer wakes up from sleep:

To enable or disable sign in on wake, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Sign-in options.
  4. Under "Require sign-in," use the drop-down menu and select:

    • Never — A password will never require after your PC resumes from sleep.
    • When PC wakes up from sleep — You'll need to enter a password when your PC resumes from sleep.

    Require sign in on wakeSource: Windows Central

Once you complete the steps, when the device wakes up, it'll require sign in depending on your configuration.

Enable Dynamic lock

Dynamic lock is a security feature that locks your device when you step away. The feature uses proximity technology, which means that you'll need to connect a Bluetooth device like a phone or wearable before you can set it up. Once Dynamic lock is enabled, if you step away with the Bluetooth device, after 30 seconds, Windows 10 will lock automatically.

To enable Dynamic lock on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Devices.
  3. Click on Bluetooth & other devices.

    Add Bluetooth or other devices optionSource: Windows Central

  4. Click the Bluetooth option.

    Bluetooth option on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  5. Enable Bluetooth on the device that you want to pair.
  6. Select the device from the list.

    Pair Bluetooth device on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  7. Continue with the on-screen directions to complete the pairing.
  8. Click the Home button.
  9. Click on Accounts.
  10. Click on Sign-in options.
  11. Under the "Dynamic lock" section, check the Allow Windows to automatically lock the device when you're away toggle switch.

    Enable Dynamic lock on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

Once you complete the steps, you can test the feature by stepping away from the room with your Bluetooth device, and then after 30 seconds, Windows 10 will lock the desktop or laptop automatically.

How to connect to organization on Windows 10

In the "Accounts work or school" page, you can connect your computer to an organization to access shared resources, such as network, apps, and email.

Typically, if you work in an organization, your network administrator will provide the information needed to add your device to the network.

If you have the required information, you can connect to the network using these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Access work or school.
  4. Click the Connect button.

    Access Work or School Settings on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  5. Confirm your work or school account.

    Set up a work or school account on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

    Quick note: You can also select the option to join to an Azure Active Direction or local Active Directory domain from this page.

  6. Click the Next button.
  7. Continue with the on-screen directions (if applicable).

After you complete the steps, you'll have access to the organization resources as established by your network administrator. Usually, these are not settings you'll be customizing on a computer you use at home.

How to add multiple accounts on Windows 10

If you want to share the device with multiple people, the "Family & other people" page includes the settings to add, remove, and manage user accounts.

Add family accounts

Under the "Your family" section, you can add family members to the computer, so each person has their own experience, settings, apps, and a place to store files separately from everyone else.

You can add two types of family accounts, including a "Child" and "Adult," both providing different features.

Creating child account

On Windows 10, a Child account provides a controlled environment with features to keep young members safe while using apps, playing games, and browsing the internet. Using this account type, the person will be able to use the device, personalize the desktop, launch application, create and store files, as well as safely browse the internet using Microsoft Edge. Also, you'll be able to control their activities, enforce limits on apps and games, control screen time, and more using the Microsoft family dashboard online.

To create a child account on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Family & other users.
  4. Under the "Your family" section, click the Add a family member option.

    Add a family member option on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  5. Select the Add a member option.
  6. Specify the Microsoft account address.

    Create a child account on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  7. Click the Next button.
  8. Click the Confirm option.
  9. Click the Close button.

Once you complete the steps, a standard account with limited access will be created for the child, and the new member will be able to sign-in immediately. However, the organizer (you) won't be able to control the account until they click the Accept Invitation button from the email invitation sent during the account creation process.

If you want to set up a kid-friendly account Windows 10, then this guide walks you through everything you need to know.

Creating adult account

An Adult account is very similar to a traditional account on Windows 10, but adding someone as part of your family allows them to manage child accounts.

To create an adult account on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Family & other users.
  4. Under the "Your family" section, click the Add a family member option.

    Add a family member option on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  5. Select the Add an organizer option.

    Create an adult account on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  6. Click the Confirm option.
  7. Click the Close button.

After you complete the steps, the new family member will receive an email invitation that they must accept to use the computer and manage parental control settings using the online dashboard.

Similar to a traditional account, an Adult account uses a Standard account type, which gives the user freedom to complete most tasks. However, they can't change security settings, install apps, or modify anything that could affect other users.

If you want to change the account type, you can learn more about this process in this guide.

Creating non-family member account

From the "Other users" section, you can add new accounts for people who aren't part of your family with or without a Microsoft account. Usually, these are the settings that you would use to add someone to your computer.

Setting up Microsoft account

Using a Microsoft account to create a new account is the recommended method to share a device with other people because it's easier to set up, sync settings across devices, and users can quickly recover their password.

To add a new member using a Microsoft account on Windows 10, use these steps:

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

    Create new account on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  5. Confirm the email address or phone number of the person you want to add.

    Create new Windows 10 account using Microsoft accountSource: Windows Central

  6. Click the Next button.
  7. Click the Finish button.

Once you complete the steps, the new member can start using the device immediately as a standard user. If you want to change the account type to administrator, you need to select the account, click the Change account type button, and then select the Administrator option and click the OK button (usually, not recommended).

Setting up local account

Like in previous versions, you can still set up an account without a Microsoft account, which is typically referred to as a "local account." This is a more traditional account that allows you to use a computer but without the benefits of cloud integration.

To create a local user account without a Microsoft account on Windows 10, use these steps:

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

    Create new account on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

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

    I don't have this person's sign-in information option Source: Windows Central

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

    Add a user without a Microsoft account optionSource: Windows Central

  7. Confirm the username.
  8. Create a password.

    Create Local Account on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  9. Complete the security questions in case you need to reset your password from the Sign-in screen.
  10. Click the Next button.

After you complete the steps, the local account will be created using the standard account template, but the account won't be able to take advantage of Microsoft online services.

In addition, from this page, you can also set up a kiosk account, which allows network administrators to configure a computer as a kiosk device to serve a specific purpose in the organization.

How to remove an account on Windows 10

If you no longer need an account, Windows 10 includes the settings to remove them quickly.

Remove family account

To delete a family member account, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Family & other users.
  4. Under the "Your family" section, click the Manage family settings online option.

    Manage family settings online option on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  5. Sign-in with your Microsoft account (if applicable).
  6. Under the user account section, click the More options menu and select the Remove from family group option.

    Remove account from family group on Microsoft accountSource: Windows Central

  7. Click the Remove button.

Once you complete the steps, the user account and data will be erased from the device.

Remove non-family account

To remove a local account or Microsoft account, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Family & other users.
  4. Under the "Other people" section, select the account that you want to remove.
  5. Click the Remove button.

    Delete local account button on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  6. Click the Delete account and data button.

    Delete account and data option on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

After you complete the steps, the account and data from the user will no longer be available on the device.

How to manage account sync settings on Windows 10

If you use a Microsoft account, you can use the "Sync your settings" page to enable, disable, or specify which settings should sync to the cloud and across Windows 10 devices.

To change sync settings on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accounts.
  3. Click on Sync your settings.
  4. Turn on the Sync settings toggle switch.

    Sync your settings on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

  5. (Optional) Under the Individual sync settings, turn on or off the settings that you want to sync across devices.

Once you complete the steps, only the settings you specified will roam across devices.

If you can't manage these settings, then it's likely that you haven't verified your account from the "Your info" page, or you have one or multiple work or school accounts connected in the "Access work or school" settings page.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources: