Local vs Network user accounts

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  1. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 4,644
    Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2 Build 19042.906 (Branch: Release Preview)
       #11

    alexadrianwaltz said:
    I don't have my laptop in front of me right now but I have two questions in regards to your comment:

    1. When you say MS account, does this have to be an Outlook.com account? When I was at the Microsoft store, we went through the setup process so quickly that I don't recall whether we used an Outlook.com account or a Gmail account (if possible) for my login account. I know I was asked for my Gmail account and I was also asked to create an Outlook account.

    2. You mentioned that you can view your information on the MS Account page. Is that a webpage, if so, what is the URL for this?

    Thank you
    The web page you are looking for is
    Code:
    https://account.microsoft.com/
    Use your Outlook account to login, if this does not happen automatically. If your device is setup correctly you should not see any login dialog boxes except in some cases the page may ask you for a password. Use the Outlook password.

    Then there is a blue bar on the main page. On that bar you will see an entry called Devices. Click on that and your computer should be listed on the next page.

    Local vs Network user accounts-ms_account.png

    You can also connect your Google account to MS account, but let's not over complicate things, shall we!? :)
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  2. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,013
    Windows10
       #12

    slicendice said:
    You can sign in with a local account. Then you can link that local account to your MS account. The digital license will be transferred to your MS account and your computer can be viewed on the MS Account page.

    This is how I have clean installed Windows 10 multiple times (and all Windows editions ever since MS introduced MS accounts). I don't want to use my e-mail account and it's password to sign in to my computer. I want to use my local username and password. Each time I link my local account to MS account, Windows gets activated even if I skipped the licence KEY entry during Setup (first time I installed I entered the license key, after my device showed up on my MS account I skipped the key every time)

    What has changed in the latest Windows builds is that the digital licence is uploaded to your MS account. This was not the case in early Windows 10 versions nor Windows 8 which required you to have a valid licence key or call MS for reactivation if the local copy of your digital licence got lost or it did not match your hardware.

    This is also what the big hype about "licencing and activation has become easier" is all about. :)

    You can use the Activation Troubleshooter to get your Windows re-activated if you change hardware. Try it in a VM that is linked to your MS account and has a valid digital license, if you don't believe me.
    I believe you are confusing things. It is totally irrelevant if you login with MS or local account to clean install on same device. Device will activate provided there is a digital licence tied to mobo id or a valid embedded bios key.

    Local accounts do not show up as devices on MS account. They show a digital licence but do not say it is linked to MS account - see both pictures below.



    Local vs Network user accounts-image.png



    Local vs Network user accounts-image.png

    If you change an account from MSA to local, device gets deleted from MS account. See both pictures below.


    Local vs Network user accounts-capture1.png


    Local vs Network user accounts-capture2.png


    Also, when you linked your digital licence using a local account in 1607, it changed the login to an MS account which upset a lot of people. This has now changed in 1703 and is much clearer - there is no longer a link to link digital licence to MS account - you simply get a link to change to MS account.

    In summary:
    - use local account and digital licence IS NOT LINKED to MS account
    - use MS account and digital licence IS LINKED to MS account.

    Of course, if you can provide pictorial evidence to show otherwise, then I am interested in seeing it as this whole area is as clear as mud anyway .
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  3. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 4,644
    Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2 Build 19042.906 (Branch: Release Preview)
       #13

    Local vs Network user accounts-activation-status.png

    Local vs Network user accounts-activation-status2.png

    Local vs Network user accounts-activation-status3.png

    Local vs Network user accounts-ms_account.png

    I am logged in as a local account, but my local account is linked to my MS account. I do NOT use the MS-account credentials, which is some email and some lengthy password with 2-factor authentication, to login to my computer. At the same time I am logged in to MS account too, because my local account is linked. But I still login as a local account. My username is toni and my password is something that is not the same as on my MS account.

    As you can see I have my account linked to MS account. All is activated exactly as we want it to be. All I have done is, I abstracted the MS account part away. It's there but it is only used passively.

    What other pictures do I need to post, a flower maybe?

    EDIT: There is the option to switch to MSA, but I don't want that since that requires me to use my MSA credentials for login. I want the 2 (local and MSA) accounts to be linked. There are also other advantages to this that I don't want to get into.
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  4. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 4,644
    Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2 Build 19042.906 (Branch: Release Preview)
       #14

    I just did a VM install, just to verify that I don't speak total crap.

    Steps I took:


    1. Installed Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 15063.0
    2. Entered the License Key
    3. Created a local account
    4. Went to accounts and added my Microsoft account
    5. Let Windows use this account for all apps
    6. Checked status on Microsoft account web page.
    7. Verified that the VM shows up there
    8. deleted my VM locally
    9. created a new VM installation without entering the License Key (on same VM but totally new Virtual disk)
    10. re-did steps 3-7
    11. verified that my VM is activated.


    And indeed it is activated and I login to my VM using local account which is linked to my MS account. :)

    Should I create a Video of this or do you trust my word on it? Or better yet test it yourself if you have a valid license key you can waste on a VM.
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  5. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 4,644
    Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2 Build 19042.906 (Branch: Release Preview)
       #15

    Created a local account ONLY:
    Local vs Network user accounts-status001.png

    Went to add my MSA:
    Local vs Network user accounts-status002.png

    MSA Added:
    Local vs Network user accounts-status003.png

    Checking my local account again:
    Local vs Network user accounts-status004.png

    Checking License status:
    Local vs Network user accounts-status005.png

    After verification of my account:
    Local vs Network user accounts-status006.png

    Checking serial number:
    Local vs Network user accounts-status007.png

    Verifying serial number on my MSA:
    Local vs Network user accounts-status008.png

    I still login using my local account credentials, NOT with MSA. I suppose one could say this is now a local account which is linked online. :)
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  6. lx07's Avatar
    Posts : 5,479
    2004
       #16

    Please, without pages of screen-prints, what are you saying? That a digital license can be transferred? Of course it can.

    The answer to the OP's question is obvious. Link it to a MS account and then (if wanted) use another account or just disconnect it.

    The hardware ID for that PC is linked to the last MS account linked and can later be moved to new hardware (assuming conditions are met) using the last linked MS account.

    MS are not being tricky here - it is clear.

    The only unclear thing is how often you can do this - for a Windows 10 license you got from an upgrade from 7 or 8 it appears to be 3 times. For a new retail Windows 10 license it appears to be unlimited.
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  7. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 4,644
    Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2 Build 19042.906 (Branch: Release Preview)
       #17

    lx07 said:
    Please, without pages of screen-prints, what are you saying? That a digital license can be transferred? Of course it can.

    The answer to the OP's question is obvious. Link it to a MS account and then (if wanted) use another account or just disconnect it.

    The hardware ID for that PC is linked to the last MS account linked and can later be moved to new hardware (assuming conditions are met) using the last linked MS account.

    MS are not being tricky here - it is clear.

    The only unclear thing is how often you can do this - for a Windows 10 license you got from an upgrade from 7 or 8 it appears to be 3 times. For a new retail Windows 10 license it appears to be unlimited.
    The problem here is that people use the "Switch to MSA" method or login straight to the MSA during setup.

    I do this differently as I don't want to use my MSA password nor username when logging in to my computer, but I still want all the features the MSA gives me.

    So the answers to OPs question are:

    1. You can create a local account to which you later add your MSA
    2. You can login straight to MSA during setup
    3. You can use the Switch to MSA method
    4. You can create one MSA only account and hide it after you have created a local only account. But to me this makes no sense, as it has the same effect as steps 1-3 but with the drawback of the user having to then login to MSA for each app separately if he wants to use any of the MS services.


    ALL the above are different ways to make your account connected online and all of them transfers the digital licence you have to your MSA. BUT all makes your login method a bit different to your computer.

    1. Adding MSA to your local account lets you login using your local account credentials
    2. Logging straight to MSA during setup requires you to always use your MSA login credentials
    3. Switching to MSA requires you to login using MSA credentials( I have to check if this only applies to the password or username too ) BUT your user folder will be whatever your original local account username was.




    If you deactivate the MSA link after it had been established, your activation status will disappear, until you reconnect again No matter if your computer was activated or not before you added the MSA.

    Either way how you decide to do it, YOU MUST make a connection on your computer to your MSA or your license will not be transferred to your MSA account and in case of hardware failure you may not be able to reactivate Windows again.

    Your MSA is connected to the Windows Activation Servers, so when you do the "I have switched hardware" troubleshooting steps, the app communicate in tandem with both your MSA and the Activation Servers and cleans up all residues of your old hardware after your new hardware has a renewed digital licence locally and on your MSA.
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  8. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,013
    Windows10
       #18

    slicendice said:
    Created a local account ONLY:
    Local vs Network user accounts-status001.png

    Went to add my MSA:
    Local vs Network user accounts-status002.png

    MSA Added:
    Local vs Network user accounts-status003.png

    Checking my local account again:
    Local vs Network user accounts-status004.png

    Checking License status:
    Local vs Network user accounts-status005.png

    After verification of my account:
    Local vs Network user accounts-status006.png

    Checking serial number:
    Local vs Network user accounts-status007.png

    Verifying serial number on my MSA:
    Local vs Network user accounts-status008.png

    I still login using my local account credentials, NOT with MSA. I suppose one could say this is now a local account which is linked online. :)
    Now I understand your misunderstanding of my posts!

    Picture 4 - that is NOT a local account - it is an MS Account.


    You have added a second account which is an MS account, not changed you original local account to an MS account!

    That is in effect the workaround I said in my first post (in reverse but comes to same thing).

    You now have two accounts - a local one and an MS one!

    Try just using a local account and changing it to an MS account i.e. not adding a second MS account as I showed in my pictures!

    In summary, you cannot change an MS account to a local account and retain digital link - you need two accounts.

    Those two accounts are totally independent of each other - you have not linked local account to MS account as you state! That is not possible.
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  9. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,013
    Windows10
       #19

    lx07 said:
    Please, without pages of screen-prints, what are you saying? That a digital license can be transferred? Of course it can.

    The answer to the OP's question is obvious. Link it to a MS account and then (if wanted) use another account or just disconnect it.

    The hardware ID for that PC is linked to the last MS account linked and can later be moved to new hardware (assuming conditions are met) using the last linked MS account.

    MS are not being tricky here - it is clear.

    The only unclear thing is how often you can do this - for a Windows 10 license you got from an upgrade from 7 or 8 it appears to be 3 times. For a new retail Windows 10 license it appears to be unlimited.
    Re. last point, you are right - it seems digital licences can only be transferred three times (regardless if original was oem or retail).

    If you have a Windows 10 retail standalone retail key, it is same as 7/8 retail key with no limits. I always advise trying to use a key first before using a digital licence transfer (this sets up a new digital licence with transfer limit remaining at 3).

    This also applies to using a 7/8 retail licence to reactivate whilst still possible).
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  10. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 4,644
    Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2 Build 19042.906 (Branch: Release Preview)
       #20

    cereberus said:
    it seems digital licences can only be transferred three times (regardless if original was oem or retail).
    That sounds just about right. Except for a license that has unlimited transfers. But for such licence you pay much more than normally. I have to check how this works...

    Ok it seems that if you buy a new retail copy of Windows 10 you can transfer the license as many times as you want. If you have an OEM license you can not transfer to new computer. If you upgraded from retail 7 or 8 to 10, you can transfer only once. If you upgraded OEM or Retail Windows 10 from Home to Pro...your licence is now retail regardless and can be transferred unlimited times.


    How this can be compared to a hardware upgrade I have no idea still...it is a bit confusing, just like all MS rules. Need to find the right MS doc for this.
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