Your Microsoft account (formerly your Windows Live ID) is the combination of an email address and a password that you use to sign in to services such as Xbox LIVE and Outlook.com, as well as devices such as Windows Phone and computers running Windows 8.
A Microsoft account is free and you can use it to:
- Purchase apps from the Windows Store
- Back up all your data using free cloud storage
- Keep all your devices, photos, friends, games, settings, music, up to date and in sync.
5 ways to help protect your Microsoft account
- Create a strong password. Strong passwords use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals, punctuation marks, and symbols. The longer the better, and don’t use personal information (such as a pet’s name, nickname, or driver’s license number) that can be easily guessed.
- Protect your password. Don’t use the same password you use on other sites, and remember to change your Microsoft account password (as well as other passwords) regularly. Watch out for email social engineering scams designed to trick you into turning over your password to a cybercriminal.
- Enable two-step verification. Two-step verification uses two ways to verify your identity whenever you sign in to your Microsoft account. Two-step verification is optional, but we recommend that you use it. Learn how to turn it on.
- Make sure the security information associated with your account is current. If the alternate email address or phone number you’ve given us changes, update the settings of your account so that we can contact you if there’s a problem.
- Watch out for phishing scams. If you receive an email message about the security of your Microsoft account, it could be a phishing scam. Don’t click links in any messages unless you trust or check with the sender.
Don’t have a Microsoft account yet? See How do I sign up for a Microsoft account?