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How to remove and delete a Microsoft account from Windows 11

You can still use Windows the old-fashioned way.
By
January 9, 2024

Microsoft really, really wants you to sign into Windows 11 with one of its cloud accounts, for the obvious reason that it encourages you to use other services like Microsoft 365, OneDrive, and Xbox Game Pass. If you’re looking to sever from the cloud, though, it’s entirely possible to switch a local account and remove all traces of the cloud-based one. Here’s how to do it.

QUICK ANSWER

To remove and delete a Microsoft account from Windows 11:

  1. Switch to local login using Settings > Accounts > Your info > Sign in with a local account instead.
  2. Once that's done, go to Settings > Accounts > Email and accounts, select your Microsoft account, then click Remove. That last button won't show up until you're using a local login.

How to remove and delete a Microsoft account from Windows 11

The most important part of the process involves switching from a Microsoft account to a local (offline) login. Be warned, of course, that doing this means you won’t get features like automatic file or settings sync. On the plus side, there’s no worry about internet connectivity for sign-ins, and it makes it easier to have radically different experiences across multiple PCs. Follow this process:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Select Accounts on the left side pane.
  • Scroll down and choose Your info.
  • Under Account settings section, click Sign in with a local account instead.
  • Follow prompts to confirm, you may have to verify your identity, including entering your current PIN or password.
  • Fill in the password fields. You can leave these blank to skip sign-in, but we recommend against that unless you’re not worried at all about theft or hacking.
  • Click Next.
  • Select Sign out and Finish.

You’re not quite done yet. To completely remove a Microsoft account from Windows 11, you need to scrub it from the Accounts section of the Settings app.

  • In Settings, go to Accounts.
  • Choose Email and accounts.
  • Select your Microsoft account (identifiable via a Microsoft logo) or click the downward arrow next to the account.
  • Click Remove.
  • Then, click Yes to confirm.

Note that you can go to Accounts > Family and other users, Accounts > Other users, or Accounts > Access work or school to remove secondary Microsoft accounts, but you’ll need to use the steps above to disable your own account. You won’t see the Remove option on a PC’s primary Microsoft account until login is switched to local.