I setup another Windows 8 machine and used my Microsoft account as the logon account.
I have been meaning to change the logon on my Surface Pro from Microsoft account to a local account for some time as I use it when travelling and everyone can see my email address on the logon screen and possibly workout my password when I type it in – that would give someone access to quite a bit of stuff!
Upon logging in on the new machine, to my surprise, the start screen and desktop settings were all the same as on my Surface Pro – I had inadvertently allowed windows to sync to Microsoft’s skydrive cloud service which allows synching between all windows 8 devices.
I don’t need that so I found out how to stop the synching and how to delete the information already held in the cloud.
I didn’t want to keep my Microsoft account as the logon account so decided I needed to switch to a local account but I did not want to lose all my settings, particularly my customised start screen. As it turns out this is easy to do:
Swipe from the right and choose settings at the bottom, then choose Change PC Settings from the bottom.
On Windows 8 you will need to choose Users and then choose Switch to Local account.
On Windows 8.1 you will need to choose Accounts and then choose Disconnect.
You will be prompted for your Microsoft Account password and then will be asked to provide your local account username and password.
The system will restart and that’s it.
To delete your settings in the cloud make sure you have no devices synching with your Microsoft Account and then go to this link:
Logon with your Microsoft Account and choose to Delete Your Settings from SkyDrive.