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Stop Windows 8 Automatically Signing Into Hotmail

John from New Castle, Pa. writes:

I have Windows 8 and when I click on Hotmail and then inbox, it goes right to my inbox. No username and no password. Anyone can access my Hotmail on my computer. How do I get it to ask for my username and password always?


I’ve got some good news and some bad news. Let’s start with the bad news, so there is something good to look forward to. The default Windows 8 method of signing into your computer is through your Microsoft ID. It is the same as your Hotmail/live.com ID. This means that if you sign in to your computer, you’ll be automatically signed into Mail, Messenger, Skydrive and other Microsoft Live services.

The good news is that you have two options to stop this annoying behavior. The first is a bit of an inconvenience, but still gives you access to your Skydrive and other Windows Live integrated features. When you start the computer, you can open a web browser and go to www.hotmail.com [1], then click (under your name in the upper right-hand corner) “sign out.” This will sign you out of the Microsoft website until you sign back in or reboot your computer and log back on.

The second option is to sign in to your computer using the local account. You will not be automatically signed  into Windows Live services, or sync your settings from computer to computer. You can change your account to a local account by opening the charms bar (hover your mouse over the lower right corner of the screen, or if you have a touch screen swipe from the left of screen in) and click “settings.” In “settings” click “change PC settings,” then click on “Users.”  Under “Your Account,” click the button that says “Switch to a local account.” Once done, reboot your computer and log. You’ll be signed in to your computer, but not to any Microsoft services until you manually log in.


P.S. An even better alternative is to create separate accounts on your computer for each user. This way all of your accounts stay separate, and each user can customize the look and feel of Windows to their liking. You can add accounts in the PC Settings screen by clicking on “Users” then “Add a user”.