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Q. Why does my Windows Live password only work part of the time? Microsoft press

Q. Why does my Windows Live password only work part of the time?

Q. I successfully upgraded both my laptop and tablet to Win10 and after sorting out some flaky behavior, I thought it was time to finally upgrade my main computer to the new OS.
“All went smoothly — until it got to the initial sign-in. Now, Win10 will not accept my Windows Live password.

“That’s the same password I use to sign in to Outlook and Windows Live; the same one I used to upgrade my other two systems. But on my main system, Win10 insists the password isn’t the correct one!

“I have no idea of what password it might be asking for. I have no idea how to get past this dilemma.

A. First, I suggest you try resetting your Live password. Next, try signing in to all your systems with that new password.

If that doesn’t work, try these sign-in troubleshooting tips. They were originally for Windows 8, but they're applicable to Windows 10 as well:

Simply put, the easiest way to unravel sign-in problems is to simplify, simplify, simplify. Roll back, remove, or undo whatever non-default options and modifications you’ve implemented. Go back to using a properly working Microsoft-account sign-in.

If you have trouble signing in to your Microsoft account, or if you wish to start completely fresh with your Win8 password setup, you can wipe out your existing Microsoft account password and create a new one. Simply use the online password-reset page and select “I forgot my password” (even though you didn’t actually forget it). Follow the on-screen instructions to reset your password.

When you’re done with those steps, restart your PC; you should then be asked for just one sign-in — your Microsoft account name (usually your email address) and the password. Again, your MS account credentials should give you access to your PC, its files, and Web-dependent services such as Windows Update,, and OneDrive.


(Originally published on Windows Secrets on Thursday, October 22, 2015.)


Editor's note: We feature an abridged Q&A from Fred Langa's LANGALIST, a column available exclusively to paid subscribers of the Windows Secrets newsletter, on Wednesdays. What you see here is just a small sampling of what Langa's writing for the newsletter — go here for more information on how to subscribe.

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