Choose a Microsoft account
Getting down to one
A Microsoft account (formerly Windows Live ID) is the email address and password you use to sign in to all sorts of Microsoft devices and services, including Windows 8, Surface, Windows Phone, Xbox, Messenger, SkyDrive, Hotmail, and more.
When you use the same Microsoft account to sign in everywhere, your contacts, calendar, music, photos, and files all travel with you, and you can use any of your services (Xbox, Xbox Music, SkyDrive, OneNote, and so on) from any of your Microsoft devices.
We can help you figure out which of your accounts to use, depending on what’s easiest to change, or what you’re most attached to. We may even be able to help you switch the email address you use with certain services.
How will it work?
- Tell us the devices and services you use. Enter the email address for each one. (We won’t ask for your passwords, and we won’t save your addresses or use them for anything else.)
- Compare your options. We’ll tell you what the trade-offs will be to keep each kind of account.
- Make it happen. We’ll also explain exactly how to get down to a single account, based on your preferences.
What do you use?
Choose all of the services and devices you use, then enter the email address you use to sign in to each one. When you're finished, click the Next button below.
Click each tab to see your options.
You’re all set
It looks like you only have one account, so you can go ahead and use that one. If you have more than one and forgot to enter it, click Back and try again.
Want to use ?
You use to sign in to your . If you also want to use it with your other accounts, you’ll need to update:
The to-do lists below explain what you’ll need to do to use as your one Microsoft account.
Changing your Xbox account
At the moment, Xbox is the only Microsoft account that allows you, in some cases, to easily change the email address you use without losing, giving up, or recreating any of the things associated with that account. If you’re able to change your address, you can skip all the other steps below, plus skip any other to-do list for .
- See if you can change the email you use with Xbox LIVE. If that works, you’re done! (Plus, skip the to-do lists for any other account.) If it doesn’t, go on to step 2.
- Spend any Microsoft Points you have—they won’t come with you when you change accounts.
- Sign in on your Xbox console with your new Microsoft account.
- Create a new Xbox gamertag (if you don’t already have one for that account).
- Re-buy anything you’ve bought before that requires an account, including accessories for your avatar, games, items in games, music, movies, and so on.
- Reset your family and online safety settings.
- Let your Xbox friends know you’ve changed your account.
To get help with these steps, see Xbox support.
Changing your Windows Phone account
Here’s what you’ll need to do if you want to use to sign in to your phone:
- Reset your phone to sign in with the email and password you’ve chosen.
- Add any other email accounts you use on your phone, personalize your settings, and rearrange your Start screen.
- Re-buy or re-install any apps or games you had before.
- Create a new backup (if you use a Windows Phone 8).
- Set up your phone to automatically upload the photos and videos you take.
- If you saved any photos, videos, or docs on SkyDrive from your Windows Phone, you’ll need to move them to the new SkyDrive location. See SkyDrive help for more information.
- Add your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts to get your contacts and feeds in your People Hub.
- Skype will soon be the best way to chat with your Messenger friends on your phone. So you’ll want to sign in to Skype using the Microsoft account you’ve chosen. If you signed in with a different email than the one you’ve used before with Messenger, add those contacts manually, and then let them know they’ll want to use the account you’ve chosen from now on.
Changing your Windows 8 account
Here’s what you’ll need to do if you want to use to sign in to Windows 8 or Surface:
- Sign in to your Windows 8 PC or Surface with the new Microsoft account.
- Each time you open an app you bought or downloaded with the old account, you’ll need to confirm the installation or buy it again.
- Reconnect to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- If you haven’t already done so, merge your Skype account with the new Microsoft account.
To get help with these steps, see Windows 8 support.
Changing your SkyDrive account
Here’s what you’ll need to do if you want to use to sign in to SkyDrive:
- Visit www.SkyDrive.com and sign in using your existing Microsoft account.
- Download everything you’ve saved on SkyDrive to your computer.
- Sign in to SkyDrive from that computer using a different Microsoft account.
- Save all the files you’d like to sync to your new SkyDrive location.
- Sign in to SkyDrive from any PC, phone, or device to see your files.
To learn more about using your SkyDrive account, see SkyDrive Help.
Changing your Messenger and Skype account
If you still use Messenger, you can import your contacts from your old account to your new one. If you use Skype, you’ll need to recreate your contact list manually.
So here’s what you’ll need to do if you want to use with Messenger and Skype:
Changing your Xbox Music or Zune Music Pass account
Here’s what you’ll need to do if you want to use with Xbox Music. If you’ve been using a Zune account, you’ll need to create an Xbox Music account to replace it.
- Create a new Xbox Music account with the address you want to use.
- Re-buy anything you bought before that requires a specific Microsoft account to play (such as videos or movies).
For more information about your Xbox Music account, see Xbox Music and Video Help.
Changing your email account
If you’d like to use as your primary Microsoft account, you don’t necessarily need to use it for email as well (unless you want to). You can add more email accounts to your Windows Phone or PC after you sign in with your other Microsoft account.
If you do want to start using for email as well, you’ll need to set up your calendar again, but you can keep all your contacts. Here’s what to do:
- Sign in to your existing email account.
- Export your contacts.
- Sign in to your new email account.
- Import your contacts into your new account.
- Recreate any calendar appointments from your old calendar.
- Let your friends know you’re using a new email address.
For more help with Microsoft account email, see Outlook.com help.