A user account is what defines you when you log on to your computer and is associated with your specific user profile. You have three options for your user account. You can use a local user account, a domain account, or a global Microsoft account.A local user account is an account that’s available only from your own, personal computer. The settings you configure for your applications, apps, desktop and taskbar, backgrounds, Internet Explorer Favorites, app configuration on your Start screen, and other customizations are applied to and available from only your local computer. Your user profile is stored on your local computer and available only from there. If you use only one computer, this should be fine. However, if you use multiple Windows 8–based computers (one at work, one at home, and perhaps a laptop when you’re on the back porch) or use a Windows 8 tablet or a Windows phone, you will want to consider using a Microsoft account instead.
A Microsoft account is a roaming user account (as opposed to a local one). Your profile is stored on the Internet in the cloud, and your user profile is accessible from the other computers, tablets, and devices running Windows 8. This means that all your settings, preferences, and configurations are available from any computer to which you can log on by using this account, provided that that computer is connected to the Internet and can access that profile. The purpose of storing your user profile on the Internet is so you can move from computer to computer or device to device and have the same experience on one as you do on the other. In this scenario, any changes you make while logged on are saved to your profile, too, so if you make a change to your laptop’s Start screen, that change will be applied when you log on to your desktop computer next time, provided you’ve logged on to those devices with your Microsoft account. (You might notice a slight delay in loading your profile after logging on to a computer with your Microsoft account.)
Troubleshooting : A Microsoft account syncs only your personal settings and preferences. It’s a roaming user profile. You can’t access programs you’ve installed on another computer running Windows 8, print to a remote computer’s local printer, or use your home computer’s webcam from another computer, for instance. You’re not accessing your computer remotely with this feature; you’re accessing only your user profile, which is stored on a server on the Internet.
You switch from a local account to a Microsoft account (or vice versa) on the PC Settings screen from the Users category. (You saw this screen earlier.) A Microsoft account is an email address such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, but it does not have to be from either of these domains. You might already have a Microsoft account. A Windows Live ID, a Live email address, or a Hotmail email address are Microsoft accounts. A Microsoft account is preferred over a local user account in most instances. You can sign up for an account at www.live.com if you don’t have one.
Depending on how your computer is currently set up, click the appropriate switch option and follow the prompts. What you see will depend on the account to which you are switching and whether you have the required accounts in place. If you are already using a Microsoft account, you don’t need to do anything here unless you’d rather not use it.
Tip : In PC settings, click Sync Your Settings in the left pane and turn on or off the sync settings desired. You can sync colors, background, Lock screen, and account pictures, for instance, but not themes, taskbar, and high-contrast settings. By default, your profile won’t sync over metered connections, which charge you based on your data usage, but you can enable the feature if you’d like.