How to Log In to Windows 10 With a Non-Microsoft Email Address

By default, Windows 10 asks you to create a Microsoft account when you log in to Windows for the first time. But if you’d prefer to use an email that you actually use for, you know, email, that’s an option too. Windows 10 accepts new non-Microsoft email accounts on setup, and you can create a new Windows user with any email account.

Doing this will get you most of the benefits of using a Microsoft account—like syncing your settings between Windows PCs. But you won’t have to remember an entirely different email address to do it.

Starting From Scratch

If you’re setting up your computer for the first time, or re-installing Windows after a system wipe, the setup process is simple. We’ve used the latest version of Windows available at the time of writing.

Simply follow the on-screen instructions as they appear, then when you’re asked to provide an email address, enter any valid address that you’d like.

You’re then prompted to enter a password (and it need not be the same one that you use for the email address, which is essentially functioning as your username).

Now enter your country and birth date, then choose whether you’ll send anonymized data to Microsoft or receive its promotional messages—both are optional. Follow the remaining instructions and you’ll have access to the Windows desktop in no time.

Creating a New Account on a Current Windows Setup

If your Windows machine is already set up, you can add a new account with a new email address to use instead of your Microsoft account. Click the Start button, then type “account” and click the search result for “Manage your account.”

On this page of the Settings menu, click “Family & other people” in the left-hand column. (Maximize the window if you can’t see it.)

Then, click “add someone else to this PC.”

In this window, you can add any email address to create a new user for this installation of Windows. Click “Next,” then “Finish.”

Click the Start button again. Click on your user profile icon, then click the new user you just created to log in with the alternate email for the first time.

Note that if you’ve used this email to create a Windows or Microsoft account before, you’ll need to use the same, correct password again. If this is the first time you’ve used this email in Windows, you’ll be able to create a new password.

Also note that, since this is merely a secondary account on your PC, it won’t have administrator privileges unless you grant them from the primary account, though the new account does have access to all installed and shared programs. Also, using a non-Microsoft email as your login does not automatically set up email in Windows applications like Mail, though you can do that manually.

Can I Change My Hotmail or Office Email Address to Another Email Without Changing My Account?

No. At the moment, accounts linked to Microsoft online identities cannot be switched over to another email address. However, it’s possible to change your linked Hotmail or Office login to a local-only account, removing any identity connection directly to Microsoft from your PC.

Michael Crider has been covering technology on the web since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order. He wrote a novel called Good Intentions: A Supervillain Story, and it's available on Amazon. You can follow him on Twitter if you want.