Microsoft billing, security and payment options can be managed using one account. Security, Privacy, Family, Payments & billing, Subscriptions, Devices, Xbox, Skype, OneDrive, Office, Mixer, Cortana, MSN etc. are the other settings.
To manage Office 365 services like Outlook, Word, Excel, Publisher, Note etc, you still need Microsoft account.
Why you need a Microsoft Account
Microsoft has already managed to provide 5GB free data of cloud storage. To use this, you need an account.
The best part is that it all comes for free for personal use. If you want to pump up your cloud storage then you need to pay etc.
Azure kind of services come up with business plan and require a corporate structure. But if you are like me, an individual PC user, then you can settle for small things.
In this Microsoft Account settings review, we are going to see the different services available under the umbrella of one account using the web interface.
How to make a Microsoft Account
1. Go To https://account.microsoft.com/account
2. Click “Create a Microsoft account“.
3. Use your email, phone number to create an account.
4. You can also get a new email address (if you don’t have one).
There are two types of email
1. @outlook.com 2. @hotmail.com
The following different settings are available under Microsoft account.
2. Your Info
5. Payment & billing
6. Services & subscriptions
You can see your account email and name of your account. When you click “More actions” the following settings can be changed.
1. Edit profile
2. View inbox
3. Change password
A summary of services available in your account is also mentioned here.
If you have any Office 365 subscriptions, it is also mentioned. If not, you can start a free trial.
You can also get details on what is a microsoft account, reset your password, accessibility features for this site, set up microsoft accounts on all your devices etc.
In this setting, you can see the following two options.
1. Profile 2. Contact info
You can see your display picture (DP), manage how you sign into microsoft, edit date of birth, edit country/region, change display language etc, using this option.
Xbox profile and Skype profile details also can be reached from here.
You can add your mobile number or remove it if required. The address book details can also be reached from here.
Microsoft Authenticator is an app which can be used to go passwordless. You can learn more details about it from here.
The following tabs are available here.
2. My activity
3. Download your data
4. Cortana’s Notebook
5. Ad settings
Under overview, you can clear view and clear few caches. These include –
1. View and Clear Browsing History
2. View and Clear Search History
3. View and Clear Location History
4. View and Clear Voice Activity
5. View and Clear Media Activity
6. View and Clear Apps and Services Activity
7. Clear Product and Service Performance Data
8. Edit Cortana Data
9. View LinkedIn Connection Settings
10. Manage your HealthVault Account
Under My activity you can explore your data. These include –
1. Apps and services
Microsoft Account Security
You can change password, turn on two-step verification, windows device status etc. from here.
View your sign-in activity, update your contact info, explore other security options from here.
These are two-step verification, identity verification apps, windows hello and security keys, recovery code, trusted devices etc.
Microsoft Account Payment & billing
You can see order history, payment options, address book, billing help here. The order history will show the stuff you bought and subscriptions you paid for.
If you have multiple Microsoft accounts, check-in into each account to check your order history.
You can refine your order history on the basis of all, in-progress, returned/refunded, digital, physical, ordered within past 3 months, 6 months, past year etc.
For each setting, your PIN or password may be asked.
You can add payment options like credit and debit cards, PayPal, bank account etc.
The preferred billing info and shipping address also can be set here.
Services and Subscriptions
Under this tab, you can see all the list of services and subscriptions related to your account. These are related to, but not limited, like OneDrive, Xbox Live, Skype, Outlook.com etc. If you have previously subscribed to any services like Office 365, these are listed under Canceled subscriptions.
This will show the list of devices to which your Microsoft Account is associated to. The attached devices are listed here. For example, if you have an Android phone attached to this account, you can see further details.
You can unlink the phone using the settings. If you have Your Phone app on your PC and Android, you can switch seemlessly between them. You can also use other Microsoft apps on your Android.
If your desktop or laptop is connected to your Microsoft account, then you can manage it from here.
If you are using the default Windows Defender on your Windows 10 PC, then it’s security settings can be seen from here.
You can also enable the “Find my device” option from here. In case you lose the phone or mobile, then you can locate it using this preference.
BitLocker data protection details of your drives can also be seen here. If you have enabled them, it can be seen as ON. Otherwise, it will display as OFF.
Microsoft Account Family Settings
You can see the list of family members you have added to this account. You can add a family member from here. For your kids, you can manage use the “manage my child’s profile info” if you have added them. You can add a member as family or child.
The Manage permissions option for an adult will give your further options. For example, you can allow other adults in your family to check the health and safey of your devices. They can make sure that they’re up-to-date and check device security and status.
You can also add child as your family members. Then you can see their activity, screen time, app and game limits, content restrictions, spending and add money to his account. This will help your set screen time limits, require kids to ask a parent before buying etc.