I am the IT administrator for a few branch offices, and am seeing more and more of our staff "accidentally" linking their account to a MS account. I did some searching on here and found out how to remove the ability to link to an MS account (What features of Windows 8/8.1 Pro will not work without a Microsoft Account?), but I am still not able to remove the link from their account if they leave the organization as part of the equipment return process.

How can I remove their account from being linked to an MS account if I cannot change their account password and login as them? I don't see the option in the Control Panel or PC Settings, even when logged in as an Administrator.

  • Remove just the link or remove the whole account? In other words do you want to convert the existing account to a local account so the data can still be access or are you happy for it to just be gone? – Drifter104 Aug 28 '15 at 9:45
  • I've already imaged the machine, so I guess removing the account as a whole is a possibility I will likely end up doing. However, if I wanted to reset the password and provide their manager access to the machine without providing admin access (to retrieve files, etc), I don't really have any way of doing that. – Nicholas Yost Aug 28 '15 at 16:53
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    The account can be removed while leaving the file intact if that is what you want. What you can't do like you said is logon as that user – Drifter104 Aug 28 '15 at 23:00

The only way to get rid of a Microsoft account without logging into it, is to delete it. Currently, it seems you can't unlink an account without being logged as that user.

So, once you are logged as an Administrator on the machine, backup all the files of that account, delete the user account. Some leftover files will still be in C:\Users\<MicrofotUserAccount>

Additionally, you can forbid the possibility to link an account to a Microsoft account via GPO


This policy setting prevents users from adding new Microsoft accounts on a computer. If you click the Users can’t add Microsoft accounts setting option, users will not be able to create new Microsoft accounts on a computer, switch a local account to a Microsoft account, or connect a domain account to a Microsoft account. This is the preferred option if you need to limit the use of Microsoft accounts in your enterprise. If you click the Users can’t add or log on with Microsoft accounts setting option, existing Microsoft account users will not be able to log on to Windows. Selecting this option might make it impossible for an existing administrator to log on to a computer and manage the system. If you disable or do not configure this policy (recommended), users will be able to use Microsoft accounts with Windows.


If you're good with the deletion of the whole account, you can try to do it using control userpasswords2 command (i'm not sure if linked accounts are listed in this tool, but i don't see any reason why they wouldn't be). It will not only delete user's working directory in c:\users\, it will also remove registry entries associated with this account, so it will look like user had never logged in on this PC at all.


On the "Your account settings", click "disconnect". You will be prompted for the current account password. See here: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/windows-and-office/quick-tip-change-microsoft-live-to-a-local-account-in-windows-81/

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