How to Add a Work or School Account to Windows 10 or 11

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I juggle a few different accounts in Windows. I use a Microsoft account to sign in to Windows 10 and 11, through which I also receive emails and maintain a calendar. And I’m using a domain-based work account that accesses its own email as well as my appointments and calendar contacts. This scenario may be similar for those of you who have worked from home during the pandemic and may have used your own personal devices for work.

In this case, you may already have a personal Windows PC configured with a Microsoft account or a local account. But imagine that you want to use this same computer to manage your account and your work or school access.

Assuming this type of setup is successful with your IT people, you have several options depending on what you want to access and who will be managing your computer.

Also: How to Use Microsoft Authenticator as a Password Manager

If you want to view your work emails, contacts, and calendar, and the computer you’re using is a personal PC that you own and manage, you can simply add the email account to your computer. But if you want your PC to join your corporate network where it will be managed to some extent by your organization for security updates and other policies, you can add the PC to your Active Directory domain. Obviously, this is a decision that you will discuss and coordinate with your IT staff.

As another route, you may be a student or taking classes, and you have a dedicated school account through which you receive emails and schedule appointments. You want to add your school account to your personal PC at home. It is also doable.

Also: Students, take note: these are the best laptops for college

To demonstrate this process, I’m using a Windows 10 computer, but it works the same whether you’re using Windows 10 or 11.

How to Add a Work or School Account to Windows 10 or 11

First of all, I assume you are already using a Microsoft account or a local account on your Windows computer at home. Go to Settings > Accounts > Work or school access. Click the Connect button.

Login button to access work or school.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Also: How to “downgrade” a Windows 11 PC to Windows 10

The next screen asks for your email address. To add your work or school account and not have your PC managed by your organization, enter the address of the account you want to add and click Next.

Set up a work account or school account pop-up.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

You are then prompted to enter your account password. Type it in and click Connect.

Microsoft account sign-in page.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

The account is saved to your computer with all company or school policies applied. Click Done.

You are ready to create a popup to add an account.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Next, you need to add your work or school account to the specific apps you use for mail, calendar, and contacts. Suppose you want to access this content from the built-in Windows applications. Open Windows Mail, for example. Click the gear icon for settings, select Manage Accounts, then select Add Account. Assuming you are using Office 365 or Exchange on the backend, choose this option.

Add an account for Office 365 or Outlook option.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Type your work or school email address, confirm the account, then enter your password or approve the connection. The account is added, you can now access your work or school email, as well as your calendar and contacts. The process would be similar for other email clients, such as Microsoft Outlook or Gmail.

Also: The Six Best Email Hosting Services: You Need a Business Address

Now let’s try the other scenario. You want to register your PC on your company’s domain so that you can access all necessary resources and have your PC managed, at least in part, by internal policies.

How to register your PC on your company’s domain

1. Choose an option “Join this device”

In the Connect window, either click on the link to Join this device to Azure Active Directory Where Join this device to an on-premises Active Directory domain.

Choosing Azure Active Directory registers your computer with your organization where IT administrators can apply policies to control your PC. In many cases, the policies for using a personal computer via Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) would be less restrictive than those for a company-owned computer. But you will need to check with your IT group or help desk to confirm this.

If you’re going the Azure Active Directory route, you’re prompted for your email address and then your password. Confirm your organization’s domain name, username, and user type (administrator or user). Click Join. You are told that your device is connected.

Popup making sure this is your organization.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

2. Enter domain name and account credentials if required

Choosing the local Active Directory domain option instead requires that you are already signed in to your organization’s AD domain. In this case, you will enter the domain name, followed by your account credentials. Your PC would then be managed according to the applicable domain policies.

The next time you sign out of Windows and then sign back in, you can choose to sign in with your local or Microsoft account or your work account. To use your work account, choose Other User on the login screen and enter your work email address and password.

Another user's login page.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

3. Add your work email account to your email client and other apps

Your account then receives the necessary settings and policies. You would just need to add your work email account to your email client and any other work related app. From then on, you can sign in to Windows with your local or Microsoft account or work account.

Also: Microsoft deploys these security settings to protect millions of accounts. Here’s what’s changing

4. To disconnect your work account, go to Settings

Finally, you can easily delete or disconnect your work account if you no longer need it. Come back to Settings > Accounts > Work or school access. Select your account, then click Disconnect. Confirm that you want to delete the account. Enter your local administrator account credentials if prompted. Restart your computer and your work or school account will disappear.

Log out button to access work or school.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

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