Synching PC settings and using live services (metro-style ones included) with auto logon without having to switch to a Microsoft account in a PC not joined to a domain


  • In my discussion at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w8itprosecurity/thread/e3e8a2e7-8801-4951-9a8d-fdcb4f851d9a/#800a9de2-30e0-474e-b583-c63efd30e3b0 I explained the risks I see in using a Microsoft account to sign in to a windows 8 machine that is not joined to a domain.
    At http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w8itprogeneral/thread/c9518475-5086-4de1-8544-d2255a38db71 it is stated that, if a windows 8 pc is joined to a domain, it is possible to “Connect your domain account to your Microsoft account to sync PC settings”.
    With this functionality I think (I cannot test it because I cannot add my windows 8 pc to a domain) the two accounts, the Microsoft one and the domain account, remain separate and only the next settings are synchronized between different PCs with the same Microsoft account connected:

    1. Personalize
    2. App Settings
    3. Desktop personalization
    4. Ease of Access
    5. Other Windows settings
    6. Language preferences
    7. Sign-in info (At http://blogs.technet.com/b/privacyimperative/archive/2011/09/28/signing-in-to-windows-8-with-a-windows-live-id-privacy-and-security.aspx it is stated that “The credentials that are entered and stored on a domain-joined machine do not get uploaded to the cloud, and never get synced to your other PCs”)

    I think (Again I cannot test it) this is exactly the functionality that could avoid all the risks I explained in the above discussion link for a windows 8 machine that is not joined to a domain.
    Not being able to use the above feature (The only option is to switch to a Microsoft account) I tried also to add a generic credential in the windows 8 credential manager with the next settings:

    Internet or network address: “WindowsLive:user=(Live id)”
    Username: Live id
    Password: Live id Password

    Unfortunately this had no effect both for connecting to all live services (metro-style apps included) without having to input the live id password and for enabling the synching of settings and data between different PCs.
    Is it possible to enable the “Connect your domain account to your Microsoft account to sync PC settings” functionality for a windows 8 pc that is not joined to a domain or to obtain the same result in terms of security with some other method or registry value editing?
    Thanks for any help
    Best regards

    Thursday, March 22, 2012 5:14 PM


  • Hi,

    I’m afraid it cannot be achieved. If the PC is not join to a domain, there is no domain account to sync with your Microsoft account.

    Niki Han

    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, April 03, 2012 9:14 AM