Saturday, September 12, 2015

Why is this a Microsoft secret ? Or how to unlink your Microsoft OneDrive account in Windows 8.1

Usually I can find most of the technical help I need for simple stuff on the Internet.   My recent epic fail in unlinking a Onedrive account prompted this post.   The answers I found ranged from "why do you want to do that" to "you can't do that" to "here is a complicated way to link multiple accounts to do something similar to that, but not really."   Of course there was also the usual name-calling and topic-hijacking you see all over help forums.  

Some of the worse hits for the search were the Microsoft documentation pages.  They have a standard format which involves small print, over-complicated explanations for simple tasks, and lots of requests for feedback to ignore.  I mostly read them to find search terms that will find the real answer.

The good news is - it is simple, but Microsoft probably doesn't want you to know that.  The Windows 8 and 10 experience is based on using a Microsoft account to log on to the PC so all the settings can be synced across devices.  Using a "local" account that is not a Microsoft account is strongly discouraged and barely explained.  But for the vast majority of business users who log on using a domain account managed by corporate administrators, logging on to the Windows 8 PC with a Microsoft account is not an option.  

If you want to link a Microsoft account to a local account or domain account:
  1. Hit the Windows 8 key or the logo in the start bar to bring up Windows 8 metro screen
  2. Hit the search icon in the upper right corner, or pull the charms bar up
  3. Type PC settings and hit enter
  4. Click on PC settings, and then choose Accounts.  You will see this screen -->
  5. Click on "Connect to a Microsoft Account"
  6. You will be prompted for what settings you want to sync, and for the userid and password of your Microsoft account
To unlink a Microsoft account from a local account or domain account
  1. Steps 1-4 from above
  2. Screen will show the current linked Microsoft account.  Click on it to unlink.
You're welcome.  

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