During the initial setup of Windows 8.1 you are prompted to login using your Microsoft account. The OS is not very clear on this matter so it might seem like it’s mandatory, when in fact this is not the case.
Using Windows 8.1 with a Microsoft account does have its advantages as the system is deeply integrated with cloud storage (OneDrive) and you can sync your settings across multiple Windows 8.1 devices. The Microsoft account is also required to download Metro apps from Windows Store.
But all of these perks mean nothing if you’re not using them so you should be aware that you can easily switch from your Microsoft account to a local account in Windows 8.
1. Open up the Charms Bar and select the Settings Charm or use the Win + I keyboard shortcut. Go to PC Settings – Accounts – Your Account. Click on the Disconnect link located under your e-mail address.
2. The Switch to a local account panel will show up, asking you to enter your e-mail password to confirm that it’s your account.
3. Now enter the name and password of your local account and optionally a password hint and hit the Next button.
4. Windows will inform you of the change you are about to make. Click on Sign out and finish and you’ll be able to log in using your local account.
Reverting from a local account to a Microsoft account
Should you ever change your mind and want to use your Microsoft account on Windows 8.1 you can always go back to PC Settings – Accounts – Your Account and click on the Connect to your Microsoft account link.