Microsoft Accounts: What you should know

By Ayse Stenabaugh

A Microsoft account is an account that you setup through Microsoft that helps you access certain services. When setting up a Windows 8 or Windows 10 computer or new user account you will be asked to create a Microsoft account. Otherwise Microsoft accounts are also used for Microsoft Office, Skype, Xbox, Outlook, Hotmail, MSN and more.

Creating a Microsoft account for your Windows user can help you preserve certain settings and will allow you to more easily sync settings and files across multiple devices. You will also need to setup a Microsoft account if you wish to download any programs or entertainment from the Microsoft Store.

Microsoft Account Tips:

  • You can setup a new Microsoft account or view your account settings and privacy by visiting
  • When setting up your account make sure to include 2 recovery options (phone or email) in case you forget your password or get locked out of your account. This information, also called your security information, should be updated any time you change your phone number or email address.
  • If you use multiple Microsoft Account services you should try to use the same account to access all services to avoid having to remember multiple account emails and passwords. If you have an existing email address you can even use that to create your Microsoft account.

How to know if your using a Microsoft Account

In some cases when logging onto a computer with a Microsoft account it will show your email address at the login screen. If you are want to be sure you’re using a Microsoft Account or would like to switch your local user account to a Microsoft account, follow these steps. First click on your start menu in the bottom left corner of your screen. Then click on the gear icon in the bottom left of the start menu to open settings. Once settings is open, click on accounts. Here you will see manage your Microsoft Account if you are logged in with one and you will have the option to switch to using a Microsoft Account if you are not logged in with one currently.

If you are using a Microsoft Account to login to your computer you can help locate a lost or stolen device by visiting to see the last known location of any devices that you logged into your Microsoft Account on. If you registered a video game console with Microsoft you will also see your XBOX consoles listed here as well as warranty information related to your device. You can also view system information on any PC listed here by clicking on device info & support.

Microsoft Office

If you have Microsoft Office you can use your Microsoft Account to safeguard your software so that you won’t lose your license key that is required to re-install office. Just visit to login to your Microsoft Account. Once you are logged in, enter your 25 character product key to add your Office product to your Microsoft Account. Once you do this you can visit to redownload your software any time. This means if you lose your disk or product key, as long as you know your Microsoft Account information and have access to it, you will be able to re-download your software to re-install it.

Using a Microsoft Account makes it easier to manage your devices especially if you have multiple devices that you would like to sync together. If you would like help setting up a Microsoft account or are in need of technology support contact Jester’s Computer Services in Fairfield PA at (717) 642-6611 or visit us on the web at or on Facebook.