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Accounts Settings is where you set up and manage your Microsoft account. Here is where you set your profile picture, manage passwords and pin numbers, add email accounts and sync your settings.  Account settings are organised under the following headings

Your Info

You can upload a picture or take a photo to use as a profile picture.  You can access your Microsoft account by clicking on ‘Manage my Microsoft Account’ which will take you to your online account. This gives you access to view and edit details on your account including personal details and payment and billing details. You can view subscriptions you have with Microsoft and manage the devices attached to your account. Microsoft let you know if any of them have security issues that need your attention.

Email and Accounts

This option allows you to add or view Microsoft email accounts you can access through Windows 10 Mail app. Click on ‘Add and account’ and you are taken to a window where you choose your email provider.

Some accounts need additional steps before setup is complete. Access ‘advanced setup’ at the bottom of the list to view further steps that are required for ‘Exchange ActiveSync’ and Internet email.  You will need to know POP3 or IMAP4 incoming and outgoing email servers to use the latter.

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Signin options

Your are offered a list of six options in ‘signin options’.  Some of these options may show the message ‘this option is currently unavailable’ and lets you click to learn more.  This may include Windows Hello Face and Windows Hello Fingerprint – fingerprint or facial recognition.

The more common ways to access your computer through secure signin is either through Windows Hello Pin or password, both of which you can change in this feature. The sign-in options feature also allow you use a picture with gestures as a password for touchscreen devices. 

The security key is a hardware device that can be used instead of username and password in addition to a pin number. These security keys are available for purchase from tech and computer retailers.  Learn more on security keys

However, for the majority of devices a strong password or pin number is sufficient security.

Further down the ‘sign-in options’ window, you are given the option on whether sign-in is required when the computer is left idle for a period of time.

If you want Windows to automatically lock your computer when Bluetooth and other selected devices are out of range, you can check the box ‘allow windows to automatically lock your device when you’re away’.  This is a little used extra layer of security.

The last item on the sign-in options screen offer you two privacy options for which the default settings work fine for most people.

Access Work or School

This feature allows you to stay connected to your work or school account on your personal PC or device using your Microsoft account.

Here you can use files and other resources from your organisation without the need to switch user accounts. The feature allows people to connect to the infrastructure of their employer or school from their home device in order to share files and other resources.

This is a useful feature to work remotely. Please access the link Quickstart: Try Microsoft Intune for free to find out more about this feature.  This tool is part of a wider Microsoft package called Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite focuses on helping organisations and companies enable their employees to be productive on their own personal devices, while protecting company resources and having the ability to restrict access.  This is an advanced area I will cover at a later stage.

Family and Other Users

This feature allows you to give permission to family members, who may not have a Microsoft account, be a user on your PC.  You are asked to say whether the person you are giving access to is a child or and adult. This is to enable kids settings when the computer is accessed by a child’s account.

Sync Your Settings

This option allows the owner of multiple computers and devices to keep their system preference synchronised and in harmony. Windows allow you to use this for up to ten devices using the same Microsoft account. If it is turned on, you can sync desktop themes, browser settings, passwords and pin numbers and your other Windows settings.

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