What happens to Windows 10 login should MS servers go down?

  1. Scottyboy99's Avatar
    Posts : 2,192
    Windows 10 Pro (64 bit)
       #1

    What happens to Windows 10 login should MS servers go down?


    Hypothetical question but logging into Windows 10 is heavily reliant on the MS account and I wonder what would occur if MS servers were down (or maybe your own ISP is having problems)?

    We always get met with a login screen as we have several family users (all MS accounts as opposed to local). I presume on login there is some kind of handshake/authentication with MS servers? But what happens if the MS server was down for any reason? I assume it would still login ok and in effect act as a local account - would the login pause/stay on 'logging in' for a set time waiting for a MS response before timing out after a set period?

    it only got me thinking because my wife logged in earlier. Normally after a couple of seconds she's on the desktop but earlier on it took a bit longer on the 'logging in' phase - it wasn't anything to write home about, say 10 - 20 secs. But it got me wondering whether on this occasion she was just the victim of a sluggish MS server response or something like that. We did test again a bit later on and she was back to logging in within a second or two.
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  2. DavidE's Avatar
    Posts : 357
    Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
       #2

    An easy test is temporarily disable/disconnect your network connection and see how everything works.
    For me, it's more likely my ISP service will go down, and i don't have any internet connection possible.

    As a backup precaution, create a Local Admin account.
    Then you can login in with that if something happens to MS servers/accounts and no-one can login with a MS account.
    You can have it PW protected where only you know the PW, so you can do whatever needed in case of emergency.
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  3. f14tomcat's Avatar
    Posts : 47,375
    Triple boot - Win 10 Pro, Win 10 Pro Insider (2) - (and a sprinkling of VMs)
       #3

    Scottyboy99 said:
    Hypothetical question but logging into Windows 10 is heavily reliant on the MS account and I wonder what would occur if MS servers were down (or maybe your own ISP is having problems)?

    We always get met with a login screen as we have several family users (all MS accounts as opposed to local). I presume on login there is some kind of handshake/authentication with MS servers? But what happens if the MS server was down for any reason? I assume it would still login ok and in effect act as a local account - would the login pause/stay on 'logging in' for a set time waiting for a MS response before timing out after a set period?

    it only got me thinking because my wife logged in earlier. Normally after a couple of seconds she's on the desktop but earlier on it took a bit longer on the 'logging in' phase - it wasn't anything to write home about, say 10 - 20 secs. But it got me wondering whether on this occasion she was just the victim of a sluggish MS server response or something like that. We did test again a bit later on and she was back to logging in within a second or two.
    Scotty...you could test that scenario. Shutdown. power off. Unplug the Ethernet or if on WiFi, turn off the router. No possible connection (unless you hit a neighbors WiFi lol). Power back up...see what happens!
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  4. Scottyboy99's Avatar
    Posts : 2,192
    Windows 10 Pro (64 bit)
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Ok thanks to you both, yes I do have a local admin account that we never use as another way in.

    i just wondered if anyone had any experience of what happens - I was hesitant to test the scenario in case it had any side effects. I might take a recent system image first before trying this out.
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  5. DavidE's Avatar
    Posts : 357
    Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
       #5

    Periodically log in with the Local account to make sure it still works.

    I had a situation once where a MS account was getting errors and warnings.
    The local account worked without any problems.
    It was a pita to fix the MS account, it took me several hours.
    That was with 8.1, but such things can happen.
    I agree, backup images are important and i do them regularly.
    Unfortunately, restoring a backup image would not fix a problem with a MS account (for me).

    Turned out it is a bug, and the MS account had to be "fixed".
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