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What are the advantages of using a local account?

deldalton

New Member
I've read numerous posts here advising that most people do not want to sign in with a Microsoft account and instead use a local account.

What I don't fully understand is why? Can someone please elaborate the reason(s) why anyone might prefer to use a local account, rather than a Microsoft account? (I saw somewhere someone mentioned security risks but they didn't elaborate and that's all I've seen)

When I first heard about it, I thought "Yeah!" a local account sounds like a great thing to do. But, that's simply because I've always used a local account on a Windows device, without any supporting evidence as to why I should actually use a local account.

It would just be great to know I haven't missed anything vital.
 

Rallicat

New Member
I think it's really a question of how paranoid you are!!

For some, there is a sneaking suspicion that syncing all your settings and passwords with Microsoft is giving them too much information, and particularly in light of the recent stores of the NSA and GCHQ, how do we know what information is being shared around with government authorities? Is your data safe?

Of course, it's worth noting that you do have some control over what information is synchronised even if you do choose to use a Microsoft Account to sign in, and you can exclude things like passwords from the sync process. Also, remember that there is no real technical reason to go local (ie, you can still log on to your device if you don't have an internet connection. After a year of using Windows 8, I've never had a problem on the devices I use where I sign in with my Microsoft account.

Remember, if you are using something like Surface - you'll /need/ to sign in with a Microsoft account in order to use the store!

I did find one scenario where I preferred a local account. I have a small HTPC hooked up to my main TV. This is shared with my housemates and so I wanted to create just a simple 'home' account that would auto logon, and of course wasn't exposing any kind of Microsoft account where people could start racking up a bill! So, I used local.
 
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deldalton

deldalton

New Member
Rallicat. Thank you for the response. That's really helpful. It was my suspicion that people were being paranoid. But, I already have an Apple ID, and a Google account. I'm pretty sure that anyone who wanted my details already has it ...

So, I'm happy using a Microsoft account. I will, however, check the sync settings you've mentioned just in case there is anything (like passwords) that I'm not happy to sync with an account.

I appreciate, as you've explained in your HTPC scenario, that a local account does have its uses when used as a guest or public account.
 

CrippsCorner

Well-Known Member
Really I think there is only one reason for me (that I've found so far) which is having to type my password in every time I boot up the Surface... I simply cba. There seems to be a few additions to Windows 8.1 that are just there to waste time, such as not being able to simply shut an app down by swiping down anymore (it still runs in Task Manager)
 
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deldalton

deldalton

New Member
Really I think there is only one reason for me (that I've found so far) which is having to type my password in every time I boot up the Surface... I simply cba. There seems to be a few additions to Windows 8.1 that are just there to waste time, such as not being able to simply shut an app down by swiping down anymore (it still runs in Task Manager)
Admittedly, typing in my password every time will get boring very quickly. But, I can normally enter my passwords relatively quickly (through familiarity with them) so I think I could get by with it.

As for your mention of the swiping down gesture, I was using this last night and it gave me the impression that it was in fact closing all of my apps (they disappeared from the left hand side Modern UI taskbar). But, I didn't think to check the task manager. If what you're saying is correct, do you know if this is a flaw in 8.1 or by design?
 

oion

Well-Known Member
Admittedly, typing in my password every time will get boring very quickly. But, I can normally enter my passwords relatively quickly (through familiarity with them) so I think I could get by with it.

As for your mention of the swiping down gesture, I was using this last night and it gave me the impression that it was in fact closing all of my apps (they disappeared from the left hand side Modern UI taskbar). But, I didn't think to check the task manager. If what you're saying is correct, do you know if this is a flaw in 8.1 or by design?
It is by design. Instead of just swiping down, you have to swipe down and hold for a little bit before letting go. I figured this out by accident when I noticed my LCARS app with a text note I had just typed out wasn't closing and clearing properly with a swipe down. But apparently you can restart the app with a new swipe thing too:
http://winsupersite.com/windows-8/windows-81-tip-restart-app

As for local vs. MS account. I admit I was initially leery due to the "constant on" information (I disabled all sync since I don't have another Win8 machine), but it's true that Google and Facebook already have everything. The bastards. :p

The biggest reason for me to keep using my MS account for login has nothing to do with the integrated SkyDrive, though:
Windows 8.1 Will Start Encrypting Hard Drives By Default: Everything You Need to Know

Edit: Also, you can add the picture password login or PIN to your account, making the login faster.
 
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deldalton

deldalton

New Member
It is by design. Instead of just swiping down, you have to swipe down and hold for a little bit before letting go
Oh, sorry, this is what I meant! In my case then, as I was holding it down for a few moments, it was actually closing the application.

As for local vs. MS account. I admit I was initially leery due to the "constant on" information (I disabled all sync since I don't have another Win8 machine), but it's true that Google and Facebook already have everything. The bastards. :p
Exactly!

The biggest reason for me to keep using my MS account for login has nothing to do with the integrated SkyDrive, though:
Windows 8.1 Will Start Encrypting Hard Drives By Default: Everything You Need to Know
Thanks for the link. So long as there aren't any disadvantages to having encryption on then that's great!

Edit: Also, you can add the picture password login or PIN to your account, making the login faster.
And, I'll have to check this out.
 

oion

Well-Known Member
A PIN is easier to handle with the onscreen keyboard, I believe, but I personally wouldn't go for a PIN. The picture password is really neat. From the MS site Personalize your PC - Microsoft Windows :

To set up a picture password
  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
  2. (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)
  3. Tap or click Accounts, and tap or click Sign-in options.
  4. Under Picture password, tap or click Add.
  5. Sign in with your Microsoft account info, then follow the steps on the screen to choose a picture and pick your gestures.
 

mitchellvii

Well-Known Member
Really I think there is only one reason for me (that I've found so far) which is having to type my password in every time I boot up the Surface... I simply cba. There seems to be a few additions to Windows 8.1 that are just there to waste time, such as not being able to simply shut an app down by swiping down anymore (it still runs in Task Manager)
If you wish to "completely" shut down an app, simple drag it to the bottom of the screen and hold it there for about 2 seconds. It will spin around once and be truly shut down.
 

CrippsCorner

Well-Known Member
If you wish to "completely" shut down an app, simple drag it to the bottom of the screen and hold it there for about 2 seconds. It will spin around once and be truly shut down.
Yes I have been doing this as people were discussing it on WinSuperSite a few days back... however I asked if there was a way to revert back to the Windows 8 way of shutting them down, and no responses yet. Any ideas? All it's doing for me atm is wasting my time.
 
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deldalton

deldalton

New Member
I'm aggravated that I have to hold it down, too. If you find anything out please let me know!
 
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