Article Number: 000132604
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Microsoft created two different types of accounts that can be used to log in to a Windows 10 device.
A Microsoft Account is a "connected account" that is not tied to the device itself. A Microsoft Account can be used on any number of devices. Windows Store apps, settings, and data can be accessed from any device you sign in to using cloud storage. To purchase apps from the Windows Store, you must have a Microsoft Account.
If you lose or forget your Microsoft Account password, you can recover it from any other device with access to the Internet.
A local computer account is an account that is created for a particular device. Information that is created or stored in that account is tied to that computer and cannot be accessed from other devices.
If you lose or forget your local computer account password, you must remember the password hint to regain access to the account (in Windows 10 version 1803 this is changed to security questions.) Alternately, another administrator account on the computer can reset the password. If you do not remember your password hint or security questions, you must reset Windows . This destroys any data, programs, and settings you have on the computer.
Dell recommends that customers create Microsoft Accounts for their devices to avoid reinstalling the operating system if the password hint is forgotten.
Closed captions: (English-only video, with subtitles available for several languages, but only in Fullscreen mode.)
To reset your Microsoft Account, browse the Microsoft Reset Your Password site with any device that is connected to the Internet. You must supply some security information to verify that you are the owner of the Microsoft Account. You may also need access to the text-enabled phone number used to create the account.
Windows 10 supports creating a password reset disk if you do not want to use a password hint or security questions. For more information about this tool, see Microsoft KB article, "Create a password reset disk for a local account in Windows 10 "
To update the security questions for a local account in Windows 10 version 1803 or higher, follow these steps:
To add or remove a password from a Windows 10 local account, follow these steps:
Video (English Only) - Local Password Reset Windows 10
If you have lost or forgotten your local account password hint or security questions, resetting or reinstalling the operating system is the only solution that is supported by Dell.
To restore Windows to its original factory settings, see Dell Knowledge Base article, "Reset or reinstall Windows 10 on a Dell computer."
To seek alternative support for lost passwords, search using your favorite search engine:
Out of warranty? No problem. Browse to the Dell.com/support website and enter your Dell Service Tag and view our offers.
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18 Aug 2022