I recently upgraded from a Microsoft 365 Family account to a Business Standard account. However, now when I try to log into Windows 11 Pro, it automatically defaults to my family account and doesn’t give me the option to change my login. When I use the “switch account” option and enter my work account email address, I get a message saying, “This Microsoft account does not exist. Enter another account or get a new one. What am I doing wrong?
The line between consumer and enterprise Microsoft 365 accounts is more like a DMZ, as you’ve discovered. A customer account is, by definition, unmanaged. You can share your account with other family members, but they can manage their own accounts and you don’t have access to their files or emails.
Professional accounts, on the other hand, are intended for use by employees or students. You have some control over your own account, but the organization administrator controls what you cannot and cannot do with your account. The Microsoft 365 Business Dashboard is designed for experienced administrators. For average consumers, trying to administer a one-person organization can be daunting and the options can be overwhelming.
Also: Yes, you can still get a free Windows 10 update. Here’s how
Non-technical customers will get better results working with a partner who can handle these administrative tasks. But if you have enough experience with Microsoft’s enterprise infrastructure and aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves, you can do it all yourself.
To log in to Windows, first of all: you need Windows 10 or 11 Pro. The Windows Home edition will not work with an Azure AD login. Next, you need to create what Microsoft calls a work or school account (with your custom Microsoft 365 domain) rather than using a free Microsoft account. This account connects to the Azure Active Directory infrastructure for your organization’s custom domain, rather than using unmanaged Microsoft accounts.
You can link your Azure AD account to Windows when you first log in, which is probably the easiest option. If you’re already signed in with a Microsoft account, go to Settings > Accounts > Other users > Add a work or school account. Enter your work email address and make sure to set up the account as an administrator. Sign out, then sign back in using the “Other account” option instead of your Microsoft account.
If you need more help with Microsoft 365, see “What is Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365)?” Everything you need to know “.