Local vs Network user accounts

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  1. Posts : 3
    Windows 10
       #1

    Local vs Network user accounts


    I bought a Windows 10 Surface laptop recently from the Microsoft store. The clerk at the store helped me set it up and insisted that I create a network login account which would require that I use my email account to login.

    The reason she gave was that if my computer ever failed, Microsoft would have my laptop serial number and the Windows 10 license associated with it and this would make it much easier to recover if the laptop ever failed.

    I would really prefer to use a local account rather than having to use my email address. If I switched to a local account and the laptop failed, how would Microsoft verify my serial number and Windows 10 license?

    Thank you
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  2. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 4,644
    Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2 Build 19042.906 (Branch: Release Preview)
       #2

    alexadrianwaltz said:
    I bought a Windows 10 Surface laptop recently from the Microsoft store. The clerk at the store helped me set it up and insisted that I create a network login account which would require that I use my email account to login.

    The reason she gave was that if my computer ever failed, Microsoft would have my laptop serial number and the Windows 10 license associated with it and this would make it much easier to recover if the laptop ever failed.

    I would really prefer to use a local account rather than having to use my email address. If I switched to a local account and the laptop failed, how would Microsoft verify my serial number and Windows 10 license?

    Thank you
    I hear you! :)

    You can create a local account, then link that account to your online account.

    This is how I always do it. I login to my computer with the username and credentials I choose. Once the local account is linked to the online account, you get all the MS services but you still login to your computer using your local account credentials.

    I never create an online account during the setup process, since after that it always requires me to login using my MS account credentials, which I don't want to do.
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  3. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,013
    Windows10
       #3

    slicendice said:
    I hear you! :)

    You can create a local account, then link that account to your online account.

    This is how I always do it. I login to my computer with the username and credentials I choose. Once the local account is linked to the online account, you get all the MS services but you still login to your computer using your local account credentials.

    I never create an online account during the setup process, since after that it always requires me to login using my MS account credentials, which I don't want to do.
    You are misunderstanding the whole point of what the store clerk was saying which is about linking the digital licence to MS account so you can reactivate Windows in future if you have a hardware failure e.g. mobo fails. This is not about running UWP apps which you are talking about.

    The digital licence is only linked to your MS account if you remain logged in with that MS account. The moment you change it to a local account the link is lost. Look in activation - it will only say you have a digital licence. It will not say it is linked to your MS Account.

    Sure you can reinstall to same pc without the digital link to MS account. It does not matter here if login is a local or MS Account.

    HOWEVER if e.g. mobo failed at this point, and you were using a local account, you would not be able to transfer digital licence to a new mobo.

    So basically clerk at store is right.

    There is a workaround if you really wish to use a local account i.e. login with MS account, and make sure licence is tied to MS account.

    Then create and use a second local user account (with admin or not as your prefer) but DO NOT delete initial MS account.

    This way, the digital link is kept in place in case of hardware issues later.
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  4. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 4,644
    Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2 Build 19042.906 (Branch: Release Preview)
       #4

    Why do you say that? Look at this:

    Local vs Network user accounts-digital-licence.png

    Only thing MS need to do is to swap that Serial number to the new MB serial number, and all is done.

    Here is an article on this also:
    How to re-activate Windows 10 after a hardware change


    And same thing on MS support pages:
    Reactivating Windows 10 after a hardware change

    A screenshot of the process:
    Local vs Network user accounts-activation_troubleshooter.png

    And here is how it looks like on my computer with local account connected to MS-account which is connected to my digital license:
    Local vs Network user accounts-activation_status.png
    Last edited by slicendice; 09 Aug 2017 at 05:46.
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  5. Posts : 3
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #5

    @slicendice @cereberus, I read both of your opinions on this topic, thank you.

    I'm not overly familiar with Windows 10. If I'm understanding one of the solutions recommended it would be:

    1. Leave the original login account that Microsoft created and leave it as an Admin account, BUT never use it.
    2. Create a second user account which is a local account and use this as my day to day account.

    This way if the laptop fails, Microsoft still has the original account that the Microsoft clerk created?

    Thank you
      My Computer

  6. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,013
    Windows10
       #6

    Correct.
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  7. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,013
    Windows10
       #7

    slicendice said:
    Why do you say that? Look at this:

    Local vs Network user accounts-digital-licence.png

    Only thing MS need to do is to swap that Serial number to the new MB serial number, and all is done.

    Here is an article on this also:
    How to re-activate Windows 10 after a hardware change


    And same thing on MS support pages:
    Reactivating Windows 10 after a hardware change

    A screenshot of the process:
    Local vs Network user accounts-activation_troubleshooter.png

    And here is how it looks like on my computer with local account connected to MS-account which is connected to my digital license:
    Local vs Network user accounts-activation_status.png
    I do not understand what you mean my local account connected to MS account. You are either using a local account or an MS account.

    Also, the mobo hardware id is more complicated than just the mobo serial id afaik. MS have always kept formula for it secret for obvious reasons. I know it is something like 50 digits.



    Login with local account, and it does not say licence is linked with MS account. Device is not present in your MS account list.

    Login with MS account and it does show in list. Change to local account and device is removed.

    Of course, I accept possibility that MS have changed this. I will test further.
      My Computer

  8. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,013
    Windows10
       #8

    slicendice said:
    Why do you say that? Look at this:

    Local vs Network user accounts-digital-licence.png

    Only thing MS need to do is to swap that Serial number to the new MB serial number, and all is done.

    Here is an article on this also:
    How to re-activate Windows 10 after a hardware change


    And same thing on MS support pages:
    Reactivating Windows 10 after a hardware change

    A screenshot of the process:
    Local vs Network user accounts-activation_troubleshooter.png

    And here is how it looks like on my computer with local account connected to MS-account which is connected to my digital license:
    Local vs Network user accounts-activation_status.png
    I do not understand what you mean my local account connected to MS account. You are either using a local account or an MS account.

    Also, the mobo hardware id is more complicated than just the mobo serial id afaik. MS have always kept formula for it secret for obvious reasons. I know it is something like 50 digits.



    Login with local account, and it does not say licence is linked with MS account. Device is not present in your MS account list.

    Login with MS account and it does show in list. Change to local account and device is removed.

    You are also presupposing users have made a note if serial number if indeed that is correct number. How would you get it if mobo fails?
    Of course, I accept possibility that MS have changed things. I will test further.
      My Computer

  9. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 4,644
    Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2 Build 19042.906 (Branch: Release Preview)
       #9

    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.
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  10. Posts : 3
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #10

    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.
    .
    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
      My Computer


 
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