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Can I install & use apps from the Windows Store without using a linked MS email account on Windows 8?

 

Windows 8 seems to insist that I switch my Windows local account to be a Microsoft email ID account to install anything from the store. I don't understand why I need to do this...

 

Or am I missing something?

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It's all tied to your MS account just like you can't get any apps from Apple or Google without linking your respective accounts with them.

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No you can't.

 

You will need a MS account in order for you to have the apps which linked to your account...  That way, if you get a new PC or device, you sign in with same account and you have apps on your account. 

 

Since you have credit card that is linked to your account for purchases.

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Couple of reasons:

 

1. Purchases from the store are tied to your account so you can use them on other devices.

 

2. Skydrive OneDrive will also sync files and settings between your devices through your Live ID.

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Can I install & use apps from the Windows Store without using a linked MS email account on Windows 8?

 

Windows 8 seems to insist that I switch my Windows local account to be a Microsoft email ID account to install anything from the store. I don't understand why I need to do this...

 

Or am I missing something?

 

Actually you can, sort of... The people above are correct in their belief that you need a linked Microsoft account in order to use certain "metro/modern" apps such as the app store, however you do not actually have to switch away from having a local Windows user account in order to achieve this.

 

Essentially there are two similar but somewhat subtly different Microsoft account related prompts that you might encounter in Windows 8.x when using a local account. There's the prompt that talks about switching/converting to a microsoft account, and there's one that more simply allows you to "link" a Microsoft account to your local account. The latter is what you're after. What happens is your Microsoft account credential is stored in the credential manager, you'll see it listed under Control Panel > User Accounts and Family Safety > Credential Manager > Windows Credentials > Generic Credentials, (the entry labelled 'MicrosoftAccount:user=[your email]'). Additionally stored somewhere is a piece of info to associate the app with that credential, so the app knows which Microsoft account to assume as an identity when you next use the app. You may find that you have to enter the Microsoft account login details for each individual app that needs them.

 

The detail of how to get this second alternate prompt is the bit I forget (it's been a while since I did it and I rarely ever use metro/modern apps). What I do remember is that wasn't at all hard. I don't remember whether apps present you with the linking prompt as opposed to other interface areas that give the convert prompt and it's just a case of recognising the difference, or whether the apps present you with the convert prompt and if you click on something you get the other one... I did just now try deleting the credential here on my 8.1 installation on which I use a local type user account, but when the app store app then gave me a prompt, it was simply to re-enter the password, since the app remembered the credential itself. I would install a copy of Windows 8 in a VM and check the precise details, but I don't really have the time to spare for that.

 

If you're struggling to get the right prompt, one thing you could try is to add the credential directly through the control panel interface I mentioned above (click 'Add a generic credential'), then try and see if the app picks it up and just prompts for the password.

 

Btw, apps may ask you to re-enter the password from time to time. I've no idea whether this is related to how rarely I ever use them. Bit of a pain, but I'd still never switch from a local account.

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Actually you can, sort of...

 

 

ah, thanks!

 

The option is actually right there when you click to install an app from the Store with a local account.

 

If you click "Next" it will walk you through switching the accounts but clicking the link, "Sign into each app separately", will let you give a store login without switching your account. And sure enough this adds a "Generic Credential".

 

 

Link_Account.jpg

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(Y)

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You can force the second dialog to appear by restricting "sign in to Microsoft Accounts" in security policy. 

 

Set this as follows (you'll find it in security options)

 

post-105752-0-51708000-1392765276.png

 

You'll find that every app forces you to link, rather than convert your existing account:

 

post-105752-0-60060800-1392765361.png

 

With this configuration, you can never use an MS account, or switch to one on your pc. It even hides the buttons to do so (incase you do by error) in PC Settings

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The information presented thus far is a little imcomplete.  There are actually three ways to log into Windows 8 -- each with pros and cons:

 

Method 1: Local or domain account with individual login to all apps

Pros:  MS Account only needed if you choose to run Store apps. Otherwise you can log into each store app with a different MS account allowing you to share accounts between users.  This configuration allows you to use one MS account to download and purchase apps (which you can share between different users or computers), but still be able to use another account for game achievements, Skype, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, e-mail, or other Apps that use an MS account.

Cons:  Skydrive cannot be used by any app nor Windows itself without manually mapping via Network Places. Settings synchronization (Start screen, apps, account info, etc.) does not work.

 

Method 2: Local or domain account with linked Microsoft Account

Pros:  Single sign-on for all apps. Settings synchronization functions providing roaming profile support among Windows 8 devices (unless using domain roaming profiles).

Cons:  Cannot share store apps between different users. Services like Xbox Music and Video will not prompt for a separate account. Requires MS account.  Some settings synchronization items are disabled on domain accounts.

 

Method 3: Direct login to Microsoft Account

Pros:  Same pros as Method 2. No need to manage credentials for local account.

Cons:  Same cons as Method 2 except for domain settings limitations which does not apply. Requires a saved credential to access network resources.

 

Note that using Roaming Profiles on a domain account will prevent Start Screen synchronization.

 

 

To answer the original question, you can absolutely fully utilize Windows 8 without a linked account. Microsoft will continue to prompt you when apps update, however. There may be a way to disable this, but I don't know.

 

The reason they are doing this is to "encourage" you to use a Microsoft Account. Doing so enables a lot of services and makes things a lot more streamlined.  For me, I struggled with this for awhile because we used Zune (and now Xbox Music) on several PCs. With Windows 8 and linked accounts, we would have to have separate Music Passes for each user -- something I did not want to pay for. Since we can still use the Zune client to actually do our music downloads and purchases, we're working around it. But we chose to give up on running Xbox Video on more than the Xbox or my primary account. It's sad. I services like XBM and XBV should allow separate sign on. Much like the new Beats Music allows multiple devices. But, alas, that's another issue.

 

-Forjo

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Not sure if someone mentioned this or not but you can run the apps from a different MS account than what it was purchased. Meaning buy app with MS account A, sign into MS account B. Install App using MS account A. Run Apps with MS Account B. Its kind of like side loading but not exactly. Yes this is legal.

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You can force the second dialog to appear by restricting "sign in to Microsoft Accounts" in security policy. 

 

Set this as follows (you'll find it in security options)

 

attachicon.gifbadms.png

 

 

That option in the Group Policy Editor? I don't have Pro, so I don't get that.

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no its in local security policy, enter "secpol.msc" into run

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no its in local security policy, enter "secpol.msc" into run

 

ah, well it seems I don't get that one either.

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