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How to remove a Microsoft account from Windows 10 without knowing the password

How to remove a Microsoft account from Windows 10

In today’s day and age, one can never have too much security when it comes to personal data. It’s no secret that trading said data can lead to huge profits in today’s market – and where else would one go to find a person’s own data other than their personal computer and associated accounts?

With that in mind, having a safe password set up on your personal computer and all of your accounts is one of the many steps you can (and really should) take in order to prevent bad actors from accessing data you don’t want them seeing. This goes doubly so if you’re using a laptop which you’re more likely to take out of the safety zone of your own home.

While having a secure password set up is great when it comes to the security of your device and accounts, it does act as a bit of a double edged sword. Should you happen to forget the password you use for a certain account (and this does happen more often than you’d think), the very thing you set up to prevent foreign intrusion is now preventing you from properly accessing your device and / or account as well. With Microsoft’s heavy insistence and encouragement of using a Microsoft account with Windows 10, chances are you might have previously created a Microsoft account a while ago for the sole purpose of using it with your operating system. There’s also a chance you purchased a pre-owned device which had Windows 10 set up using a Microsoft account you don’t know the password for.

If that is the case, you’d probably like to know how to remove a Microsoft account from Windows 10 without knowing the password. Well, I’m happy to inform you that you’re in luck, as that’s just the process we’ll be going through together in this article!

As an important note before we get started, you should know that Windows 10 absolutely requires having at least one user account, as it won’t operate properly without it. That means that, if the only account on your device is the Microsoft account you wish to delete, you’ll need to create a new account before you can remove the unwanted one. You have two options when it comes to creating a new account – you can either create a local account (which doesn’t require you to provide an email address or have a Microsoft account), or you can create a new Microsoft account. Once you create an account you can use to access Windows 10 properly, you’ll be able to remove the unwanted Microsoft account.

How to create a new Local account on Windows 10?

Let’s go through the process of creating a new local account on Windows 10 first.

If you already have a user account you can access set up on your PC, feel free to skip these steps and move on to the process of removing the Microsoft account.

If, on the other hand, you don’t have an account you can access, you’ll want to follow the steps below in order to create one:

If the process was completed successfully, you should now be able to see the new user account on the user account list.

How to remove password from Windows 10?

All set up? Great! Now you’ll see how this process ties into removing the unwanted Microsoft account from your Windows 10 installation – without knowing the password!

Once you’ve made sure that you have a user account you can access, follow the steps below in order to finally get rid of that pesky Microsoft account that is bugging you:

  1. Sign in to the local user account we just created (or sign in to a Microsoft user account you wish to use instead)
  2. Open the Start Menu and type in “netplwiz” (without the quotation marks

Congratulations! You have now successfully removed the unwanted Microsoft account from Windows 10. As you might imagine, this process can indeed also be used for unwanted local accounts – it works in exactly the same way, too! Once again, if you chose to put a password on your newly created local account, make sure to use a password hint that won’t give your password away to bad actors! If, on the other hand, you chose to use a different Microsoft account, make sure to always have a way to recover the password handy, as you never know when you might need it – it might just save you the trouble of going through the process we just described.

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Marom

Marom is a senior writer at WIRED specialising on information security, digital privacy, and hacking. A former technology correspondent for Slate, she was also a staff writer for Future Tense, a publication and project of Slate, the New America Foundation, and ASU. Additionally her work has appeared in Gizmodo, Fast Company, IEEE Spectrum, and Popular Mechanics. She is a New Yorker who calls the city home.
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