Need help setting up Windows 10 with your Microsoft account? Read more here
Jump to different sections of this article here:
Sign in with a Microsoft Account
If you signed in with your Microsoft account when you set up windows, Great!
If not, that’s OK – you can sign in at any time. And if you’re not quite sure what a Microsoft account it, read on.
What it is
Have you ever used Outlook.com, Hotmail, Office 365, OneDrive, Skype, Xbox or Windows? The email address and password you used for any of those services is your Microsoft account. If not, it’s easy to create a free email account at Outlook.com and make that your new Microsoft account.
Your Microsoft account gives you access to apps and games from the Windows Store, and lets you see your settings and other stuff across multiple Windows 10 devices.
How to sign in
- Go to Start , then select Settings > Accounts > Your account.
- Select Sign in with a Microsoft account instead.
- Follow the prompts to switch to a Microsoft account. You may need to verify your identity by entering a confirmation code.
Your local account will switch to a Microsoft account. The next time you sign in to Windows, use your Microsoft account name and password. Your apps and files will not be affected.
If you find that you’re having issues signing in, or if you forgot the password for your Microsoft account, the Microsoft account FAQ may have some helpful pointers.
Set up accounts
If you plan to share your PC with other people, consider adding accounts for them. It’s always nice to share, and this way your friends will have some personal space – including separate files, browser favourites and a desktop they can call their own.
Add an account
- Go to Start , then select Settings > Accounts > your account.
- Select Family & other users (Or Other users, if you’re using windows 10 enterprise).
- Under Other users, select Add someone else to this PC.
- If the person you’re adding has a Microsoft account, enter their email address, select Next, then select Finish. After they sign in, their online email, photos, files and settings will be waiting for them.If the person you’re adding doesn’t have a Microsoft account, enter their email address, select Sign in without a Microsoft account (it’s OK that it said “not recommended”), then select Local account. Set their username, temporary password hint, then select Next > Finish.
Set up your family
It’s easy to share your Windows 10 PC with family members. Add family members once and they’ll also be able to use other Windows 10 PCs you sign in to.
Add kids to your family to help them stay safer online. Adults in the family can view reports of kid’s online activity, limit how long and when they use their devices, and help make sure they they don’t see inappropriate websites, apps or games.
Manage family settings online at account.microsoft.com/family and changes will be applied to any windows 10 PC the child signs in to. You can also add adults to your family who will be able to apply settings to children in the family.
If you set up Family Safety on an earlier version of Windows, you’ll need to add your family members again for their settings to apply on Windows 10 devices.
Adding someone to your family
- On your windows PC, go to Start , then select Settings > Accounts > Family & other users (You’ll need to be signed in to Windows with a microsoft account. Here’s how to do that
- Select Add a family member.
- Select Add a child or Add an adult.
- Enter the email address of the person to send them an invitation to join. If they don’t have and email address, click The person I want to invite doesn’t have an email address and follow the directions for setting up a new account.
- Once they’ve accepted the email invitation, get them to sign in to Windows 10 using the same email address you sent the invitation to.
Manage family settings
After you’ve added a child to your family on Windows, here’s how you manage their activity.
- On your Windows 10 PC, go to Start , then select Settings > Accounts > Family & other users.
- Select Manage family settings online. This will open a website where you can manage settings.
- You’ll see a list of any children you’ve added. Select the child whose settings you want to manage.
- Select settings to turn off for your child’s account
- Recent activity allows you to see what websites they’ve been visiting, what apps and games they’ve been using, and how much time they’ve been spending on their devices.
- Web Browsing lets you chose what websites your child can and can’t see.
- Apps & games allows you to limit the apps and games that your child can download from the Windows Store. It also lets you unblock any app or game that you’ve previously blocked.
- Screen time allows you to set the maximum amount of time they can spend on their devices.
Set up email and calendar
Email and scheduling
You’ve found the apps – now make them useful by adding your accounts. If this is the first time you’ve opened either of the apps, you’ll see the welcome page. Follow the instructions to set up your account. Otherwise:
- In the Mail or Calendar app, select Settings in the bottom left-hand corner.
- Go to Accounts > Add account, select your account type, then follow the instructions.Your mail and calendar start syncing as soon as your account is set up.
A couple of handy things to keep in mind:
- After you’ve calmed down from the excitement of adding one account, you can go back to the Settings to add more.
- No need to add the same account twice – when you add it to one app, the other app automatically connects to the same account. Switch back and forth between the two by selecting the Mail or Calendar icons at the bottom left side of the window.
- If you have more questions about how to use the apps, find answers by going to Settings > Help > Open Help.
Change your account picture
- Go to Start , select your account picture, then select Change account settings.
- On the Settings screen, under Your picture select Browse.
- Find the picture you want to use, select it, then select Choose picture.
Windows remembers the last three pictures you’ve used, so you can easily switch back to a recent favourite.
If you’d prefer to take a new account picture, select Camera and release your inner artist.
Protect your PC
Windows 10 is safer and more secure thanks to Windows Defender and WIndows Firewall.
Windows Defender uses real-time protection to scan everything you download or run on your PC. Turn off real-time protection temporarily and enter firewall. Then select Windows Firewall > Turn Windows Firewall on or off.
If your PC is connected to a network, you might not be able to change your Windows Firewall settings because of network policies. Contact your administrator for more information.
Get other guides to learn the basics
Windows 10 revolutionises the way you use your apps. Click Here to view our free Quick Start Guides for the new versions of your favourite apps such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more.