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How to add alternative Microsoft account to Windows 10

Windows 10 system can be set up with a local account or with a Microsoft Account. With a Microsoft Account, users can access more features on the OS which are otherwise unavailable.

If you decide to use a local account, you can still sign in to certain UWP accounts with a Microsoft Account but keep your user account local. An example of this is the Microsoft Store that requires signing in before apps can be downloaded from it.

Alternative account for UWP apps

If you use a Microsoft account on Windows 10, all UWP apps that you install will ask to sign in with it. They automatically detect the account when you set them up or run them for the first time.

If you want to keep the Microsoft account for your Windows 10 PC from signing in to UWP apps, but still sign in to them, you can set up an alternative account that these apps will detect instead.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to the Accounts group of settings.
  3. Select the Email and accounts tab.
  4. Scroll down to the Accounts used by other apps section.
  5. Click Add a Microsoft Account.

  1. Add an alternative Microsoft Account for apps to use.
  2. Once the account has been added, select it.
  3. Open the dropdown and select ‘Microsoft Apps can sign me in’.
  4. When you next have a UWP app that asks to sign in, you can use the alternative account to do so.

Limitations

The second/alternative account will only work for apps. For OS-features like OneDrive, the Microsoft Account associated with your user account is going to be used.

You can set up more than one alternative account but in some cases e.g. when you’re signing into Microsoft 365, you may not be able to use an alternative account.

Alternative accounts, and their information e.g. contacts, will appear in other apps on Windows 10 e.g., they may appear in the Mail app and/or the People app.

You can remove an alternative account any time you want.

Some apps may insist on using the same account that’s connected to your user account and there’s no way to get around this. You can choose to not sign into the app but nothing else.

Conclusion

The main reason users may want to keep accounts separate is security; they may not trust an app or they may not trust Microsoft with the information they’re storing in an app. An alternative account can also be used to configure different profiles in an app, where there is support for it.

 

 

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