Shore up security on your local machine by blocking users from signing in using their Microsoft accounts.
Your Microsoft account is your conduit to the Microsoft Store, and it also gives you access to a bunch of other things such as apps, games, and other Microsoft work, productivity, and cloud services across Windows 10 devices.
But did you know that you can block users from signing in with their Microsoft accounts on your local machine if you so choose? This is helpful if a single machine is shared between multiple people. Whatever your reason for it, here are two ways you can do that.
How to Allow or Block Microsoft Accounts From Signing In via Local Security Policy
To go this route, you’ll have to use one of the many ways to open the Local Security Policy window. This method can only be used if you have the Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise, or Education edition. If you have any other Windows 10 edition, you’ll have to leverage the power of the registry to achieve this.
- Open the Run dialog by pressing Win + R.
- Type “secpol.msc” into the text field and hit OK. This will open the Local Security Policy window.
- In the left pane, click on Security Options under Local Policies.
- In the right pane, look for and double-click on the Accounts: Block Microsoft accounts policy.
- Under the Local Security Setting tab, click on the drop-down and select the Users can’t add or log on with Microsoft accounts option. This will block users from signing in with a Microsoft account. (Select the This policy is disabled option to undo the change and allow Microsoft accounts to sign in on the computer.)
- Hit OK.
How to Use the Registry Editor to Allow or Block Microsoft Accounts From Signing In
If you have any other edition of Windows 10, you won’t be able to enable or disable this functionality via the Local Security Policy settings. You will have to edit the registry to allow or block Microsoft accounts from signing in on your Windows 10 machine. Be careful while editing the registry, as changes could affect how your system functions.
- First open the registry editor. Do this by pressing Win + R and then typing “regedit” in the text field.
- Navigate to the following registry key:
You can copy and paste this into the address bar field in the registry editor.
- Look for the 32-bit DWORD named NoConnectedUser. Create it if you don’t see it here.
- Double-click it and change its value data to “3” to block Microsoft accounts from signing in to the Windows 10 machine. (Change it to “1” to block users from adding Microsoft accounts.)
- If you want to allow signing in using a Microsoft account, delete the NoConnectedUser DWORD from the System folder (at the location above) in the registry.
What Do These Settings Mean?
A Microsoft account is used to sign in to several services from the software company, including accounts for Outlook, Office, Skype, and OneDrive. There are three settings under the option to block Microsoft accounts in Windows’ Local Security Policy. Here’s what they are and what it all means.
- This policy is disabled: This setting will allow users to sign in using their Microsoft accounts. It is equivalent to deleting the NoConnectedUser DWORD in the registry.
- Users can’t add Microsoft accounts: With this setting enabled, users won’t be able to create a new Microsoft account to be used on the local machine or switch from a local account to a Microsoft account. However, the ability to sign in to any Microsoft accounts previously used on the local machine will still be possible.
- Users can’t add or log in with Microsoft accounts: With this option enabled, users will not be able to add a Microsoft account, nor will they be able to sign in to a Microsoft account on the local machine.
Manage Your Computer’s Security With the Local Security Policy Editor
Microsoft’s Local Security Policy can be used for all sorts of security controls for your local machine. It is often overlooked when compared with the Local Group Policy Editor, but it is a handy way to define security configurations on a local machine, specifically for those with Professional, Enterprise, or Education editions of Windows 10.
The easy-to-understand and simple interface makes it easy for just about anyone to manage security and tweak settings on a Windows 10 machine. As usual with any important OS settings, it pays to note the changes you make, in case you need to roll back the alterations to your system.