Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Question about computer login

  1. #1

    Question about computer login


    We've had our Windows 8 laptop for a few months now. When I first set it up, I signed into our Windows Live account with Microsoft. So our Microsoft Office and Outlook are all tied to that, along with Skydrive. When we power up the laptop in the morning, we log in with the e-mail address and password that we use to sign into Microsoft.

    The time may come when the password for that account might have to be changed for security reasons. How or where would I do that so that it gets changed across all formats, like when I log in to the laptop when it's powered up for the day or comes out of standby and so forth?

    I was thinking of a hypothetical situation where, say for example, a smartphone that had been used to share photos to Skydrive was lost or stolen, one would want to change the password to the Skydrive account.

    If I were to go to Internet Explorer right now, sign into my Microsoft account settings, and change my password there, would that new password work when I power up the laptop tomorrow morning and log in with my e-mail address and password? Or is there somewhere else in the laptop's settings where I would change the password?

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  2. #2


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Yes, your new password would work.. so long as you were connected to the internet. If you were not, it would use a cached copy of the old password.
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  3. #3


    Thank you for your response.

    I was just looking around on my laptop's settings. I went to Control Panel-User Accounts and Family Safety-User Accounts-Make changes to my accounts in PC settings, and I see from there I can change the password, so I guess I partially answered my own question. In that case, if I were connected to the internet, my Skydrive password should change as well. (If not, I could do it manually.) This is the reverse of my first question, where I had wondered if changing my Microsoft account password on my account by going to the account settings via IE browser would change the password I use to log in to my laptop every day, or would that require an extra step on my part.

    Edited to add:

    I think what I have been trying to say or ask is whether changing my Microsoft account password would automatically change the password I use to sign into the actual computer itself, and vise versa. If I were to sign into my Microsoft account from another computer and change my Microsoft account password from there, would I then find that I had to use the new password to access this laptop? Or would I have to change the password via the Control Panel on this laptop in order to access my Microsoft account from this laptop?
    Last edited by MaddyMay; 23 Oct 2013 at 23:15. Reason: Clarification
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  4. #4


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Quote Originally Posted by MaddyMay View Post
    I think what I have been trying to say or ask is whether changing my Microsoft account password would automatically change the password I use to sign into the actual computer itself, and vise versa. If I were to sign into my Microsoft account from another computer and change my Microsoft account password from there, would I then find that I had to use the new password to access this laptop? Or would I have to change the password via the Control Panel on this laptop in order to access my Microsoft account from this laptop?
    YES, it would.

    Don't ever change your MS Account password from the PC, always do it by logging into it from a browser and change it there, and never try to log into your PC if your internet is down or you are disconnected.

    Otherwise, switch to a Local Account and you will not have to worry about if your MS account is accessible. I always make this rule for PCs and Laptops: My Home PCs will have MS accounts, my Laptops will all use Local Accounts.

    See you are making it too complicated, if you ever have to change the password, always do it from a browser and from the MS Account website. I think if you try to change it from the computer, it may Open a Browser Window and make you log IN to your MS account.

    Finally, I've had the same MS password for the last 15 years, don't worry about them changing it. But always check the email which that account is hooked into, just in case.
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  5. #5


    Thank you. This is interesting, always learning new things about Windows 8.

    never try to log into your PC if your internet is down or you are disconnected.
    Are you saying that if my internet were not working for some reason or if I was not online already, I would find myself in a situation where I would be unable to log into my own computer? That would be an odd scenario for Microsoft to create. Sometimes people are in a situation where they have to log in and then choose a network, and it's my understanding that Microsoft does tend to want people to use a Microsoft account rather than a Local account.

    I'm trying to get a handle on all of this because this laptop (which serves as our home PC) will be moving back and forth between 2 residences. It hasn't been to the second place yet, so it will have to be connected for the first time to a secure wireless network, and I'll need to be logged in to the laptop in order to do that. It looks like it might be a good idea to change our account to local rather than a Microsoft account before we leave our current location. I gather it's simple to change a local account back to a Microsoft account if/when we want to? We do sometimes use the tiles from the Start screen.

    (I suppose, too, that at the second location, I could use an ethernet cable when logging in to the laptop for the first time and accessing the wireless settings from there. Bottom line is, I don't want to find myself in a situation where I am unable to log into my own computer.)
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  6. #6


    N. Calif
    Posts : 2,592
    W10 Pro (desktop), W10 (laptop), W10 Pro (tablet), W10 (laptop)


    As was stated earlier, if your internet connection was down so that your pw could not be verified by the server, then you would login using your old pw since windows keeps it cached. Once you then connected to the internet, the cached pw would be synced with the new pw from the server. That's the way it works for machines that use a domain account as well.

    BTW, if you update the pw on the server and want it synced to your PC, press Ctrl-Alt-Del then Lock the computer. You will then be able to unlock with the new pw and the local and server pws will be in sync.
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  7. #7


    @Strollin,

    Thank you. I'll make a note of that.

    So just to be clear...At this point I have not changed my Microsoft account password yet. So let's say next week we go to another location with this Windows 8 laptop, still running under a Microsoft account rather than a Local account. In location #2, with a secure wireless internet connection that this laptop has never been on yet, I power up the laptop and get to the login screen. I am not on the internet. My Microsoft account ID is on the screen, I type in my password, hit the 'enter' key. I would be successfully logged in to the laptop, even though I have no internet connection yet? At least not until the laptop finds the secure network and I type in the password. (Honestly, I'm not trying to be dense here, although it may look that way, LOL!)
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  8. #8


    N. Calif
    Posts : 2,592
    W10 Pro (desktop), W10 (laptop), W10 Pro (tablet), W10 (laptop)


    Yes, because the password is cached locally.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    OK, thanks for your patience, Strollin.

    I just powered down the laptop and took it beyond the range of my router. I powered it back up, it definitely had no internet connection. I was able to log in to my computer although I was offline . I had found posts, though, from people in this scenario who were finding they weren't able to log in to their computers at all if they had no internet connection, but those posts were from Dec/12 and thereabouts. One person had suggested creating a Local user account so that one could still use the computer offline. I did wonder, though, if I did that, whether or not I would have enough admin rights to sign into a secure wireless network. As XweAponX said, I could always change my Microsoft account to a local account as well, so there would still be only one account on this laptop with full admin rights. If I needed to use any of the Microsoft account services, like the app store or Skydrive, I could just sign in.

    Anyway, it does look like, when we are in our other location and I power up the laptop there, I will be able to log in and connect to the secure wireless there, even if the laptop is not actually connected to the internet at the time that I am logging in.

    And I think I'm clear now, on what I would do if I needed to change my Microsoft account password.

    Thank you to everyone who responded to this post.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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