View Full Version : Looking to escape the nuisance of having a Microsoft Account.

12-03-2017, 01:48 AM
Iím running my iMac under High Sierra.

This sounds like I should be in a Microsoft forum, not an Apple forum; however, since I am definitely a Mac citizen, I want replies that wonít be Microsoft-biased.

Bear with me, please, because I donít really know whether Iím talking about my Mail account setup or my server setup at outlook.com or both.

It has to do with something called a Microsoft Account (MA). When I was first exposed to it, it looked as though I had no choice but to join up. It wasnít until later that I found that ó at least down in my Mail account/IMAP setup, I could skip the MA thing, set up a "local" account, and keep things simpler for me. I say that because my requirements are simple and basic, and I donít need all the wonderful stuff that a MA offers. Now that Iíve been at it for a while, as far as Iím concerned, the MA is nothing but a pain where a pill canít reach, requiring a sign-in and a password for a lot of things I do.

What I would like to do is change my Mail account to be local (if itís not already), and to change my account at the outlook.com server to be MA-free. I want to keep my IMAP structure and, of course, I donít want to damage my data at either level.

Unfortunately, I donít know what my next steps should be, so Iím looking for guidance.

12-04-2017, 04:26 AM
Apologies for the questions but I'm a little confused.

What triggered you signing up for a Microsoft Account? Were you just wanting to setup a new email address?

In simple terms what is it that you're trying to do? (setup an email address, something else?) and what is it that's actually causing you problems? What are you doing that's prompting for username and password?

I don't understand the 'local' account you make reference to.
I know that, were you on Windows, you are 'encouraged' to sign in with a Microsoft account but there's a small print option to use a local account. However this isn't true with a Microsoft/outlook.com.hotmail.com email address. There is no concept of a local account for email.

12-04-2017, 10:51 AM
Hey Bud...please let us know what this Microsoft account does (if possible). Myself & a lot of other Mac-Users run Microsoft Office...as well as Outlook...and don't need any sort of Microsoft Account. But it is possible you may have something else installed that may need it. Let us know.

- Nick

12-04-2017, 05:50 PM
A Microsoft Account is required for the use of "OneDrive" and if you wish to download the stand alone version of Office 2016 or subscribe to Office 365 from Microsoft. Since the dmg or exe files are only available from MS, there really is no choice as far as I know.

When you purchase a copy of Office 2016 stand alone version, the only thing you get in the box is a small card with the serial number PID, no disk. You are required to log on to the MS site and enter your serial number and then download. And as far as I'm aware, you need a MS account to do that. The MS account consists of your email address and password. That's all you need to provide.

12-04-2017, 06:26 PM
Well, guys, now I have company in the confusion department. My situation is a little complicated because I have my own iMac (High Sierra), but I'm also the guru for the Macbook Pro (High Sierra) of Barb, my ex, and the Dell laptop (Windows 10) of Holly, my oldest daughter— in addition, age is taking its toll on memory ...

I remember the "small print option to use a local account". I'm pretty sure I was in a Windows environment at the time, mail client was Outlook 2007, and my email address domain was (and still is) msn.com. (That means I’m talking about several years ago!) I was setting up an account for Outlook and it said that I could skip ... and I would get a simple local account. That sounded okay to me, because I didn't need an Exchange account, whatever that was. Damn! I have the strong feeling that this was my second setup, and the first time I did not go for the local account.

Of course, I had to set up an account at the server, and I swear it insisted that I set up a Microsoft Account. This was before the server was called Outlook.com. It accepted my domain of msn.com. I say that because when I set up my daughters six accounts, her live.com domain did not qualify for … and I had to get a Microsoft agent to get them signed up — also all as Microsoft accounts. I used IMAP. Holly tried IMAP, but thought it was too slow and switched back to POP.

When I got my first Mac, I continued using Outlook (for Mac) so the changeover was easy. After a few years, it got not-easy, and I switched to Apple Mail.

Now for your questions:
"What are you doing that's prompting for username and password?" One reason I like IMAP is because I can go out to the server to look at mail without being on my Mac. When I get there, of course, it demands a sign-in. I feel that there are other occasions where I’m asked for the sign-in, but I can’t think of them right now. Maybe there are none, but this one is one too many as far as I’m concerned.

"I don't understand the 'local' account you make reference to." I didn’t answer that directly, but I hope I covered it above. It sounds as though it’s a Windows thing, not a Mac thing.

" … Microsoft/outlook.com.hotmail.com email address. There is no concept of a local account for email. " The "outlook.com.hotmail.com" confuses me. How did "hotmail" get into the picture? And that sounds like the server level. The second part sounds like the client level. I don’t know what to say about that. "No concept of a local account…" I think that was an Outlook client thing that disappeared when I switched to Apple mail.

*** I just received chscag’s reply. I’m not using OneDrive, Office 2016, or Office 365. (Holly has the standalone Outlook 2016). It sounds as though I don’t need a Microsoft Account. If that’s true, HOORAY! Now what’s my procedure for getting out of it without damaging anything?

"Hey Bud...please let us know what this Microsoft account does (if possible)." I think its only purpose is to tick me off. Its only function that I can see is that it’s a locked door between a user and the Outlook.com server, and the sign-in is the key. As I recall my 1955 degree in Accounting, this so-called account is empty.

12-05-2017, 04:33 AM
Apologies, I mean no offence here, but you seem to be over-thinking the issue.

This all seems to come down to email (am I correct?)
If so, Microsoft have had several domains over the years msn.com, hotmail.com, outlook.com (and others, but that's why I mentioned hotmail it's just one of many MS domains).
For all of these Microsoft email accounts you need a microsoft account. Now, depending on when you signed up your domain will vary but they are all Microsoft Accounts. They all offer web based email and POP and/or IMAP access.

You'll need your Microsoft account to sign in and setup email in an email client (Outlook, Apple Mail etc). You'll also need to sign into your Microsoft account when you access your email online in a browser (whether you use POP or IMAP doesn't impact on whether you can see email online btw).

So if you don't use any other Microsoft services, on the Mac the only time you'll need to use your Microsoft account is when you setup your email in a client or when you sign in online to view your email in a browser. You can't get rid of your Microsoft Account if you want to carry on using Microsoft email.

Have I missed anything (from your Mac usage perspective)? When else do you get prompted for you account details?

From a Windows perspective on Holly's machine then Windows 10 is designed to use a Microsoft Account as the user login. It hooks into many aspects of the system. You can, as you've found, opt into using a local account. However, that's just for user access to the system. If you want to add and use any kind of Microsoft email on the PC you'll need to be using a Microsoft account in the same way I've described above.

I hope that helps?