Accounts + billing

What is a Microsoft account?

A Microsoft account is the email address and password you use to sign in to any of these things:

  • Xbox and Xbox Music
  • Outlook.com
  • Windows 8 or Windows 8.1
  • Skype
  • Find My Phone
  • OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive)
  • Office 365

Why should I use one on my phone?

Once you've signed in to your Windows Phone with a Microsoft account, you can use it to buy apps, games or music in the Windows Phone Store, play Xbox games with friends on your phone, get your gamerscore and avatar, play music with Xbox Music, back up things from your phone and restore them if you get a new phone, and add Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to your People Hub.

There are other benefits, too. When you use the same account to sign in to the various Microsoft services, you get to take advantage of all the ways those services are connected. For example, you can see pictures you've automatically uploaded to OneDrive on your TV when you use your Xbox. You can save a WiFi password on your phone and get it automatically on your computer if you connect to the same network. You can continue a Skype conversation you're having on the phone once you get back to your computer. You can make your shopping list from your computer, then automatically have it handy when you're at the shops with your phone. And, naturally, you can get your email, contacts and calendar online and on your phone. Your Microsoft account keeps you connected, no matter where you are.

Tip

To learn about ways you can help keep your information secure, see Protecting your Microsoft account.

What if I don't have one?

If you use any of the services listed above, you already have a Microsoft account and can use that email address and password to sign in to your phone. If you don't have one yet, we'll walk you through creating one on your phone. Or you can create one at the Microsoft account sign-in website.

I have more than one. Which one should I use on my phone?

If you have more than one Microsoft account, have a look at Which Microsoft account should I use? and Microsoft account wizard (US English only) to make sure you're picking the right one before you sign in to your phone.

What else is there to know about Microsoft accounts?

Here are some more topics that can help get you pointed in the right direction.

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