Choosing the Right User Account Type during Windows 11 Setup

Ed Bott explains the pros and cons of each account type and explains why a combination of two account types might be the best option. When you set up a Windows PC, you are given the choice of up to four separate account types. On Windows Home edition, however, the choice is limited to two personal options: a local account or a Microsoft account. The Setup program is persistent about trying to convince you to sign in with a Microsoft account, even on versions of Windows 11. Microsoft account allows automatic full-disk encryption for the system drive on Windows 10 or Windows 11 also sync settings between PCs and details your successful activation on any Microsoft consumer service. Windows telemetry data is not associated with a Microsoft account. It gives you access to Microsoft’s consumer services, including OneDrive, Xbox Live, Skype, and Microsoft 365. A local account is another option for Windows 10 or 11 Home editions. In Windows 11 Pro, there is a restriction that requires you to sign in with a Microsoft account, but it can be worked around by entering an address “” as your Microsoft account. This version also does not require answering security questions and allows the user to bypass the feature entirely. One also has the option to convert it to a local account after initially signing in with Microsoft. A domain account can be created by an active directory account and can be used to sign in after joining a company’s enterprise network. Microsoft Entra ID is a cloud-based account that can be used when your organization uses Microsoft 365 or has an Office 365 Business or Enterprise subscription.