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Create a Local Account in Windows 8 and Log In Without Internet Connection

The other day I was in a Hotel that didn’t have a WiFi connection. I tried to log into my Windows 8 laptop, and couldn’t. That was quite annoying. To log in locally, you need to make a local account, here’s how to do it.

When you’re first setting up Windows 8, it’s recommended to use your Microsoft account, but there is an option to login without using your Microsoft account.

Sign Up

But, most users will use their Microsoft account to to set up their machine. Here’s how to create a local user account after you’ve already set up Windows 8. When I tried to log in with out a Microsoft Account, I got this screen. I didn’t have time to sit and mess with creating a local account, but I did later.

Open Control Panel >> PC Settings and under Your Account, click Add a User.
Add User

Now, click Don’t Want This User to Sign In With a Microsoft Account.

Without Email

Next, on the Add User screen, click Local Account.

Local Account

Enter in the User Name, Password and Password Hint. Then hit Next.

Enter User Data

That’s it! Click Finish.

Done

The next time you log off of restart your machine, you can log into your local account. However, it’s not that obvious. To see it, click the arrow on the left of your online logon.

login

Then you’ll see the new account, click on the local account you just created.

Select Local Account

Go ahead and log in to your Windows 8 system. I recommend using a different password that  your Windows Account.

logging in

There you have it! Now you can check your local files and get things done without having Internet access.

New Account

While the Live login is nice in a lot of situations because it syncs between machines, sometimes you just want to log in locally. Good thing there is a way!

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12 Responses to Create a Local Account in Windows 8 and Log In Without Internet Connection

  1. Zaphod_42 October 30, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    Stupid that the Windows-Live-Login did not create a local backup for login without internet connection. So a Windows-8-machine is no more usefull than a google chromebook …

    • lassi March 20, 2013 at 1:02 am #

      it should have created.

      but sometimes the offline caching of the password just bugs out and will not let you login….

  2. PGS_Khon November 24, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    I don’t like having to keep hotmail/livemail/whatever open like that
    all the time. From my install it seems there is no option though – don’t
    log into hotmail, can’t use the pc. If MS want to pay for the machine
    & provide all the software, that’s fine – but not when they won’t. I don’t always have a connection, but sometimes I want to use the net without logging into yahoo/ms/google/etc. it really isn’t necessary.

    SO…. how do we set up Win8 for internet use WITHOUT having to access an MS based account to start the PC?

    • Sarah Bright February 2, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

      So you just click switch to local account in control panel–> user accounts and family settings–> change account type–> Administrator :)?

  3. Sabun December 5, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    Lol. I was watching a classmate trying furiously to log into his W8 laptop today in class. WiFi was down, but he couldn’t understand why he couldn’t log in. It’ unnatural to have to log into a desktop/laptop computer with an online account.

  4. DKB4PC February 3, 2013 at 2:24 am #

    All: I don’t doubt that you are having issues with logging in without a network connection because your descriptions and examples seem real enough.
    BUT, I have an old Dell laptop that I upgraded to Win8 a couple of days ago. For some reason it does not always connect to the internet at boot time (‘had this issue at times on Win7, also). However, Win8 still allows log into the PC using my outlook.com account (my one and only login to this PC) and then I can connect to the internet for access later.
    I’d really like to understand what the difference is between your setups and mine. It’s curious to say the least but I have no issue logging in when my laptop is not on-line.

  5. Lana von Flittner February 18, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    Hi Guys,
    Microsucks sucks! no doubt about that when it comes to login. Something happened to my login password on my windows 8 computer, as a result my account was blocked!! I tried to reset my account password online but so far with no luck.

    Called up Microsucks. They have me go through the reset process again and again but that didn’t help much when Microsucks can’t even keep their own service up running!!… this is what’s been going on for 2 days now!! The error from Microsucks:

    “There’s a temporary problem
    There’s a temporary problem with the service. Please try again. If you continue to get this message, try again later.”

    The solution is: You need to have a local user from day one! If you don’t and are not able to retrieve your password, well too bad for you as to the only solution Microsucks can come up with is to re-install your system and consequently lose everything on your computer. So let me just say this: I am pissed!! :-(

    - Lana von Flittner

  6. Robert Riach April 16, 2013 at 1:52 am #

    Thanks for this I had the same problem in a hotel yesterday

  7. Ben June 17, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    You do know that Windows will save the password so you can log in without an internet connection even if it’s a Microsoft account user account

  8. Seanette September 7, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    Is it possible to log in with a local user, connect to Internet in that account, then switch to the account that uses a Microsoft login? I may need to know this to deal with a class situation next week.

  9. Ron December 14, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    This is a horses behind of a system. Last week I went to my chalet that is quite a distance from civilization where there is no electricity, no internet. no cell phone service. I had planned to do some updating on a file that I was working on. To my surprise, I couldn’t sign in. After pulling out all of my hair, I decided that I may as well profit from this nuisance and so I went snowmobiling and because I was still frustrated, I tended to be aggressive. I was driving too fast and could not stop when a big moose walked across the trail directly in front of me. There were large trees on each side of the trail so either I hit a tree or try to pass under the moose. I chose the latter, but I lost my tuque and drove the rest of the way back to the chalet without a head covering, caught a bad cold and couldn’t go to work the following Monday. I lost a day’s wages and now I think that I will sue Microsoft!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. PMSHOP January 31, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    No longer a valid fix for 8.1. You must login with a Microsoft account to link in with the Microsoft services integrated within 8.1 such as Microsoft Store. Oh yes, you can log in with a local account, but once you type in your credentials, you just reactivated the Windows 8.1 Microsoft login

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