Lesson 2: Creating a Microsoft Account

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Introduction

Screenshot of Microsoft account

Before you can use Microsoft's online tools and services, you'll need a free Microsoft account.

In this lesson, you'll learn how to create your own Microsoft account and how to navigate Microsoft's various online services. You'll also learn how to customize your profile page.

Creating a Microsoft account

If you have a Hotmail account or any account that lets you use any other Microsoft service, like OneDrive or XBox Live, you already have a Microsoft account—just sign in with your existing account information.

To create a Microsoft account:

  1. Go to login.live.com. Locate and select Sign up now.


    Screenshot of Microsoft Account Sign Up PageClicking Sign up now
  2. The sign up form will appear. Follow the directions and enter the required information, such as your name, birth date, and gender.


    Screenshot of Microsoft accountEntering your information
  3. Review the Microsoft Services Agreement and privacy statement, then click Create account.
    Screenshot of Microsoft OneDriveClicking Create account
  4. Your Microsoft account is now created, and the account settings page will appear.
    Screenshot of Microsoft Account The Microsoft account settings page

Just like with any online service, it's important to choose a strong password—in other words, one that is difficult for someone else to guess. For more information, check out our Password Tips lesson.

Getting started

After you create a Microsoft account, you'll be taken to the Microsoft account settings page. To use the features and services of your Microsoft account, such as OneDrive or Messenger, you will first need to access your profile page.

To access the profile page:

  1. Locate and select the profile icon in the top-right corner of the screen, then select Edit profile from the drop-down menu.


    Screenshot of Microsoft accountAccessing the profile page
  2. The profile page will appear. From here, you can access the toolbar, which will help you navigate Microsoft's online services.


    Screenshot of Microsoft accountThe profile page

To use the toolbar:

  • Click the drop-down arrow in the top-left corner to open a menu of Microsoft services: Mail (either Outlook or Hotmail), People (contacts), Calendar, and OneDrive (previously called SkyDrive). Simply click the service you want to use to get started.


    Screenshot of Microsoft SkyDriveUsing the drop-down arrow to access Microsoft services
  • Click the icons in the top-right corner to access Messenger, your profile settings, and the Gear icon, which controls individual settings for each Microsoft service.


    Screenshot of Microsoft accountTop-right toolbar icons

Setting up your profile

Once you've set up your Microsoft account and become familiar with the toolbar, you might want to customize and add information to your personal profile.

As you learned in Lesson 1, your profile is a personal information page linked to your Microsoft account. Your profile can contain:

  • Basic information, like your birth date and gender
  • Additional contact information
  • Personal information about your work, social life, and education
  • Connections to social networking sites like Facebook

Filling in your profile is completely optional, and it's advisable not to add too much detailed personal information. However, filling in a little information can be useful in some situations. It's all about deciding how much you want to share.

Screenshot of Microsoft ProfileA profile with minimal information

To learn more about what personal information it's safe to include in your profile, check out our lesson on Smart Social Networking and Communication Tips.

  • To access and edit your profile, click the profile icon in the upper-right corner, then select Edit profile from the drop-down menu.
    Screenshot of Microsoft AccountAccessing the profile page

To add a profile picture:

  1. Navigate to your profile page, then locate and select Change picture.
    Screenshot of Microsoft accountChanging a profile picture
  2. The profile picture page will appear. Click the Choose File button.
    Screenshot of Microsoft accountClicking Choose File
  3. A dialog box will appear. Locate and select the desired picture, then click Open.
    Screenshot of Microsoft accountSelecting a profile picture
  4. Your picture will appear. If you want, you can drag and resize the box to crop your image. As you crop your picture, a preview of the cropped image will appear to the left.
    Screenshot of Microsoft accountCropping the picture
  5. When you are satisfied with the cropped picture, click Save. Your profile picture will be saved.
    Screenshot of Microsoft accountSaving the profile picture

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