How to Delete a Microsoft Account
If you’re not a Microsoft fan or a fan of heavy privacy violations, closing your Microsoft account might be a good start. Sure, it might not be a great idea if your life depends on your Outlook account. But in the grand scheme of things, having and using Microsoft account is more of a nuisance.
In this article, you’ll learn how to delete your account and all others from within Windows, as well as how to make it go away forever.
Delete Your Microsoft Account from Windows
You can delete an account from Windows Settings. This will remove the account from your device, but not from the Microsoft servers. There are additional steps you need to take to make that happen.
Delete your account locally:
- Click on the Windows button.
- Click on the Settings icon.
- Go to the Accounts section.
- Access the Your Account tab.
- Find the Remove Account option at the bottom.
Keep in mind that you can’t actually delete an account if you’re signed in with it. So, before you do that, log into another account, or just create a local account and then follow the above-mentioned steps.
Are You Looking for a Local Removal Only?
Another way to delete a Microsoft account, or all of them for that matter, from your local machine, is to reinstall your Windows. Every once in a while, this is a good idea anyway. It will clean your entire system, give you a fresh start, and boost the performance.
It will also ensure that your machine is free of viruses, malware, spyware, and corrupted files. Not to mention the boost in boot speed for the first few weeks. Furthermore, by doing this you can then choose just the Microsoft account you’re sure you want to use.
Delete Your Account from the Microsoft Servers
This is where things get real. By the time you reach this point, you should be firmly convinced that it’s an action you want to take.
- Log into your Microsoft account on the Microsoft website.
- Enter your credentials and click on Next.
- Click on ‘Sign in’ in the lower left-hand corner
- Verify your identity with your email address or phone number.
- Enter the verification code.
- Start checking all the boxes on the reminders that pop up.
- Finally, select a reason for leaving.
- Click on the option to ‘Mark account for closure’.
- Click the Done button.
Note that Microsoft gives you the option to go back on your decision as long as you prove your identity and sign in within a two-month period.
Alternatively, you can follow this direct link to the cancellation form. Sign in with your credentials and then follow the above-mentioned steps.
Do You Need a Microsoft Account to Use Windows?
Here’s an interesting thought. What benefits do you really get from using a Microsoft account? Not a lot if all you really need is to use Windows 10.
You can use Windows 10 legally without even activating it. You can activate a Windows 10 license and still not have to sign in to your Microsoft account in order to use Windows.
So why are more and more users creating local accounts and not using their real accounts? Well, if you can provide your own tech support in certain matters, using a local account can save you from having to deal with plenty of privacy concerns.
Microsoft doesn’t do the same amount of tracking and monitoring for licenses that use local accounts. There are also many services that are disabled unless you’re using a live Microsoft account when logging into your Windows account.
On top of that, you still get to benefit from the same updates and optimizations that Microsoft may do, whether you have an account or not, and whether you pay for your Windows 10 or not.
Other Things to Keep in Mind When Closing a Microsoft Account
When you delete your account, a lot of things go with it. If you take the time to read the reminders, you’ll notice that Xbox and OneDrive subscriptions go away. You can even lose access to your email, stored photos, even access to the money in your Windows Store wallet.
Therefore, it’s important that you go to your account overview page and take a look at all the subscriptions you have and what funds you have left. Withdraw your money, cancel out subscriptions tied to your Microsoft account, before you delete it.
If you use an Xbox for gaming, you will lose your Gamertag and all of your games and progress upon deletion. Completely removing your account could have severe consequences if this is the case. Deleting your Microsoft account will also affect your Skype messaging history and account as well.
It can be very unfortunate to have to cancel a subscription on an account if you can no longer access the account itself, or the email associated with the account. Of course, you may also want to save any personal data.
That’s if you still want to access it after you close your account and after the 60 days return period.
If you’d like to keep your Microsoft account active, but you’re tired of paying for subscriptions (such as Microsoft Office or gaming services) you can cancel the services. To cancel subscription services using your Microsoft account follow these steps:
- Log into your Microsoft Account Page
- Locate the subscriptions you’d like to cancel and click ‘Manage’ to the right
- Click ‘Cancel Subscription’ to the right
- Confirm that you’d like to remove the service
You can check the next payment date on this screen by scrolling down to your previous payments. Your subscription may not cancel until this date so you’ll still get to enjoy the benefits for a bit. Check for an email confirmation to ensure that you’ve canceled the service correctly.
Try to Keep Your Microsoft Account and Windows Account as Separate Entities
If losing your Microsoft account is just not an option for you, there are ways to make your Windows 10 experience better. Simply make sure that when you install your new Windows copy, you don’t sign-in using your Microsoft account but create a local account.
This will disable many of the tracking features and you’ll still be able to use Outlook, post on the Microsoft forum to get help with your OS issues, and so on.