Copy account settings from one user account to another Windows 8.1

Thanks Microsoft!

OK - I had a Windows 8 machine which I have just upgraded to Windows 8.1.

On the original machine I had a LOCAL user account - lets call it LocalUser as the one and only account. It had all the email, internet, desktop and application settings just the way I wanted them.

When I upgraded to Windows 8.1 it insisted on me creating a new Microsoft account - there was no option to upgrade using the existing local account. So I created a new Microsoft account - lets call it user@outlook.com

When the upgrade was complete then all the settings from my original local account were copied to the new Microsoft account and the old local account is no longer there.

Problem is I don't want to have to log in with this new Microsoft account - I want to use a local account for privacy reasons and also to allow me to use the auto-logon utility (which I believe cant be done with a Microsoft account.

I can create a new local user account now that the system is set-up - but how can I copy all the settings, preferences and files currently associated with the Microsoft account to a new local account?
LVL 70
Brian PiercePhotographerAsked:
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scrabyCommented:
maybe the easy transfer tool.  try hitting windows key + R (for run) and type migwiz to start teh utility.  copy the user settings and reload back to whatever user you want following the wizard.

should work for what you need to do
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Steven HarrisPresidentCommented:
Go to the right pop-up Nav MenuSettingsChange PC SettingsUsers
(or, use WinKey+W > type User > click the first User button with the Gear Icon)


Select "Switch to a local account" and follow the prompts.  This will convert your Microsoft Account to a Local Account saving all settings.
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Brian PiercePhotographerAuthor Commented:
I tried WinKey+W but my account has no option to convert to a local account - am I missing something ?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Somewhere I think I recall Windows 8 had to be Win 8 Pro to retain the local account. Is this Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8 Home?

I was able to retain the local account for the 8.1 Preview but I have not done a production upgrade yet.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Brian PiercePhotographerAuthor Commented:
I found this comment on another post - which really doesn't help!

There is no way to "convert" a Microsoft account to a Local account on Windows 8.1. You can do this on  Windows 8, which has the "Switch to a Local Account" option, but Windows 8.1 does not have it, and that is by design. Microsoft wants you to sign in to its account every time you log into Windows.
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Brian PiercePhotographerAuthor Commented:
Its Windows 8.1 Home Premium
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I think you need to have Windows 8.1 Pro for the local account to work. I know it does work for Preview.

I read the Windows 8.1 upgrade fine print and Microsoft insists you need to back up your machine first. Do you have the email and files you need?  And then can you move these to the new local account?

... Thinkpads_User
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Steven HarrisPresidentCommented:
Missed the 8.1

Thinkpads_User is probably right, as I read this a while back as well but haven't tried yet.

You can always try though:

Go back to PC Settings > Accounts > Your Account > Disconnect and you should get the same prompts as you would in Win8 with the "Switch to a local account" menu.
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GrobpaCommented:
Hey KCTS

When you go to C\Users, do you see your old user?

If this is true
There is an other way to do this (let me know and I can guide you.)
If false then you'll need to setup all your details again.
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Brian PiercePhotographerAuthor Commented:
Yes the original account has a folder under c:\users
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Brian PiercePhotographerAuthor Commented:
Disabling the network adapter does not change the options - still no option to convert to local account
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
So then you need to create a new account (you said you could), set it up and move the data in.

I am getting a new, larger hard drive for my Windows 8 (Pro) laptop. I have to set it up again, so I will wait to do the 8.1 upgrade until then. It looks like 8.1 is really a new operating system instead of just an upgrade.

... Thinkpads_User
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GrobpaCommented:
Okay that's great to hear.

Copy the old user file to the new user folder.
remember to set the security settings that everyone has access.
this will copy all your saved data to the new user.
Desktop file, document, download ect.
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Brian PiercePhotographerAuthor Commented:
Its a right pain in the a*** I'd just jot used to Win8 and its all changed again - lots of little annoying things - where have libraries gone?

The upgrade insists that you create a Microsoft account if you haven't got one already and insists this is used to do the upgrade. The is simply no option to use a local account - Windows connects to the MS Store and downloads the 3.5Gb upgrade and then installs it.

BTW - the 8.1 upgrade is going to upset a lot of small businesses - unless you have a VL licence you can't download the upgrade once and then install on multiple machines - each machine has to individually download the 3.5Gb update - a real pain!

Anyway back to the matter in hand...

It did copy all the settings from my old local account to the new Microsoft account.

I can create a new local account (its hidden well but I found it)!

Can you tell me how I can copy the settings to the new local account I've now created ?
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scrabyCommented:
sorry i didn't know migwiz has lost a lot of its functionality with 8.1, i just installed 8.1 in a vm and am test driving it

here's a link on migwiz removal and another on skydrive but not sure if any of them will help you in your situtation

http://pureinfotech.com/2013/07/22/microsoft-removing-windows-easy-transfer-in-windows-8-1/

http://pureinfotech.com/2013/07/22/microsoft-removing-windows-easy-transfer-in-windows-8-1/
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Brian PiercePhotographerAuthor Commented:
No - Microsoft have made it impossible - thanks a lot!

I did copy the files in the c:\users folder as suggested and modified the permissions - it all seemed to copy ok - but it was only partially successful in achieving what I wanted  - the shortcuts on the desktop were ok but the desktop background, metro layout, taskbar and email settings were not transferred.

Why is life so difficult!
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Because Microsoft knows better than you do about how you are supposed to work, so they are going to shove their daft ideas down your throat.

Me?  I beat Vista into submission on my terms; I beat Windows 8 into submission on my terms; and when I start a new install for Windows 8.1, I will beat it into submission as well.

... Thinkpads_User
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Brian PiercePhotographerAuthor Commented:
No solution
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Brian PiercePhotographerAuthor Commented:
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for KCTS's comment #a39584490

for the following reason:

No solution
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The answer is that Windows 8.1 will not preserve the local account from Windows 8 and that is what you found.

Since you did not provide a solution, the question, the question should be deleted.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Brian PiercePhotographerAuthor Commented:
It might be useful for others to know that its not possible
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You have to:

1. Provide a solution that works to accept your own answer, or
2. Delete the question because you say "no solution", or
3. Accept posts here that say a solution is not possible in order to keep it.

People looking for help and seeing this question "Solved" will want a solution or to know it is not possible, not just emptiness.

... Thinkpads_User
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Brian PiercePhotographerAuthor Commented:
I'll go with whatever you guys think is most appropriate!
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