This section contains settings to customize your user account. It also lets you create a new user account.

How to Access It

  • Invoke Settings Charm either through the Charms Bar or key combo “Win + I”.
  • Select “Change PC Settings” option located at the bottom of the Settings Charm pane. This will launch PC Settings.
  • Select “Users” tab from the left pane of PC Settings.

Account Type

Windows 8 provides you with two account types.

  • Local Account: It is basically a normal user account comprising of username and password. It has the same functionalities as seen in existing Windows systems. The limitation of a local account is that it remains constrained to the specific system. The settings and data of the local account can’t be synced and shared across several machines.
  • Microsoft Account: It is essentially an email id, accompanied with a password. The email id doesn’t have to be a Microsoft Live Id. It can be an email id from any mail service. The main advantage of using Microsoft Account as a user account is the ability to share your data and settings across several devices running Windows 8 – be it a PC, a tablet, or a smartphone.

You can switch to either of the accounts in this section.

Options

There are three types of passwords for a user account in Windows 8.

  • Normal Password
  • Picture Password – A picture on which 3 gestures are recorded. You gain access to your account when you draw those 3 gestures correctly on the picture. The gestures can be a combination of a tap, a straight line or a circle.

When you click on “Create a picture password”, it will ask your current normal password for authentication. After you are authorized, you are asked to choose a picture and draw three gestures on it. When you have drawn the gestures twice for confirmation, this will create your picture password.

  • PIN – A 4-digit code to provide quick access to account. When you click on “Create PIN”, it will ask your credentials for authentication. On successful authentication, you can enter your desired 4-digit code and create the PIN. To login next time, you directly enter the PIN. You won’t even need to hit “Enter” after entering the correct PIN. You will directly gain access to your PC.

Other than that, this section lets you specify whether or not you want every user of the machine have a password to gain access to the machine.

You can also add a new user through this section. Click on “Add a User” which will give you options to create either a Microsoft Account or a local account. If you choose Microsoft Account, you need to enter an email address and a password. In case of a local account, you are required to enter a username, password and a security question.

About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. ( and The Redmond Cloud (

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