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What is a Microsoft account?

A Microsoft account (formerly Windows Live ID) is the email address and password you use to sign in to any of these things:

  • Xbox
  • Xbox Music
  • Outlook.com or Hotmail
  • Windows 8
  • Messenger
  • Find My Phone
  • SkyDrive
  • Zune
  • MSN

What can I do with a Microsoft account?

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 SkyDrive on your TV when you use your Xbox (or, of course, on your computer). You can continue a Messenger conversation you're having on the phone once you get back to your computer. You can make your grocery list from your computer, and then automatically have it handy when you're at the store 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.

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, chat with Messenger and Facebook Chat, add Twitter and LinkedIn accounts to your People Hub, and more.

How do I create 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 when you first set up your phone. Or you can create one at the Microsoft account sign-in website.

Note

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

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