Windows 8.1: Mail App requires suddently a Microsoft Account

[German]It looks like the mail app included in Windows 8.1 suddenly rquires to log in to a Microsoft account to. Here are a few hints. Addendum: The user has solved the issue – explanation inside.


I only knew until now, that the Windows 8.1 mail app also works with a local user account to access external mail accounts. Now something seems to have changed. I received the information by mail from German blog-reader Martin Feuerstein (thanks for that), who made the following observation on the family system.

Mail-App requires a Microsoft account

He got a call from a family memer claiming that a login request (see photo above from the German Windows 8.1 system) for a Microsoft account pop ups, if he attempts to access his e-mails via Windows Mail app. Martin wrote:

The affected laptop runs under Windows 8.1, previously an Exchange e-mail account was configured. Apparently, the app now inevitably requires a Microsoft account and no longer likes self-hosted mail servers on a local account.

"Of course" a local user account has been set up. I have now created a link to the OWA on the desktop, so that helps the user to access his mail account.

That's not nice from Microsoft. Maybe the blog post will be helpful to others. I never used that mail apps in Windows – Thunderbird is a choosen mail client.

PS: Currently I'm noticing on my German blog that many apps for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 are suddenly removed from Store, because the links are flagged as broken (I've a plug-in, that cyclically checks all outgoing links of the blog).

Addendum: Problem identified and solved

Shortly after the article has been published, Microsoft's product manager for the mail app contacted me and wrote that the local login must still work. He asked some specific questions, which I forwarded to blog reader Martin Feuerstein. Recently I received an answer from Martin:


I just had time to look at the laptop again. And well, the mystery is solved. I completely forgot, that I've set up an MS account a while ago on that machine, so that the app could be used at all – so this was the reason, why the app wanted to have the registration for the MS account. After I logged in to the Microsoft account, I had to enter the password for the Exchange server again and it worked again.

Side note: The MS account cannot be removed from the mail app without any tricks either, as otherwise all accounts will be deleted and the mail app will no longer be usable. With the right search terms in the search engine of choice, I would have found it faster. During my search I found 6 year old entries on the topic in the MS forums ;-)

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