Technology Training

Microsoft, Google & iCloud Accounts

Many people are confused by the concept of a “Microsoft account”. Microsoft introduced it around the time of Windows 8; with the arrival of Windows 10, they’re pushing the concept even harder.

Do I have one already?

If you have an email address that can be used to log in to Outlook.com, that’s a Microsoft account.

What that means is that almost any email address ever provided to you by Microsoft is, already, a Microsoft account. Those include email addresses ending in:

  • hotmail.com
  • outlook.com
  • msn.com
  • live.com
  • webtv.com
  • xbox.com
  • bigpond.com

… and probably a few others I’ve missed.

Over more than twenty years, Microsoft has offered a number of services that involved using an email address they provided. All of those are now Microsoft accounts.

So what’s a Microsoft account?

The short version is this: it’s a single account you use to access any and all Microsoft services, including Skype, One Drive & Xbox Live. Since Windows 8, you can also use it as your Windows login. You can have more than one if you like – perhaps to keep some services separate from others – or to keep your Windows login separate from your online identity. Just go to a Microsoft online service like Outlook.com, sign out, and then begin the new-account creation process as if you didn’t already have one.

 

Creating a new Outlook.com account is, in fact, creating a new Microsoft account, which happens to use email addresses ending in “outlook.com” as your login ID.

 

What is a Google Account?

A Google account lets you log in on computers, smartphones and tablets using a single password. Google synchronises all your data from across all your devices, so things like email, photos and documents can be accessible wherever you are. There are a host of other benefits too, and best of all, it’s simple to set up.

Why do I need a Google Account?

Because it makes an Android phone a lot more powerful. Without one, you can’t download apps from Google Play, for example, or use some of Google’s own apps like Play Music or Play Games. Having a Google Account also comes in handy when you buy a new Android phone, as it will let you sign in on a new device and have all your apps, photos and documents to hand just as they were on your old device.

Is a Google Account the same as a Gmail Account?

No, A Gmail account is an email account ending with “@gmail.com”.

A user can have a Google account without actually having a Gmail address.

For example, a user can sign up for a Google Apps account that is associated with her @yahoo email address. Using this account she can create, edit and collaborate on Google Docs without using the Google Email system.

What is a Gmail Account?

A Gmail account is a free Google Account with an email address that ends in @gmail.com. Gmail accounts arrived on the scene back in 2004, and they were such a hot commodity that users needed to receive invitations in order to acquire account. At the time, the 1GB of storage space and the clever threading of conversations seemed so modern in contrast to the tired old Yahoo and Hotmail accounts. As the amount of free storage space grew, so did the applications that were associated with a Gmail account. From the Gmail mailbox, user can also access Google Docs, Google Calendar and Google Sites. The account also allows users to instantly login to the dozens of other Google applications like Picasa, Blogger and Maps.

What is a Google Apps Account?

A Google Apps account (stressing the words “apps”) is an account associated with a domain that uses Google Apps (mail, calendar, docs and sites) for messaging and collaboration. When this product was first introduced it was called “Google Apps for Your Domain, then it was called “Google Apps Standard Edition” and now it’s just “Google Apps”. These accounts currently come with 7GB of email storage space, access to Gmail, Calendar, Docs and Sites. This type of account is useful for organizations, clubs, and informal groups that do not need the enhanced security, support and administration options of Google Apps for Business. The only type of support that comes with this account is a link to the Google Help Center and Google Help User Forum. These accounts are free; however the domain is limited to ten users at one time.

What is Google Apps For Business?

Google Apps accounts are nice to have, but when it comes to Enterprise the only real player in the game is the Google Apps for Business account. Google Apps for Business was previously called “Google Apps Premier Edition”. These accounts allow each user access to 25GB in Gmail storage space, Calendar, Mail, Docs, Google Video and Google Groups for Business. Businesses are guaranteed 99.9% uptime as well as email and phone support. The accounts also come with access to the migration tools which are necessary when migrating old messages, calendar items, and contacts from legacy systems. Google Apps for Business also includes access to Postini Message and Security services at no additional cost. A Google Apps for Business account is the only type of Google account that isn’t free. The price is $50 for each user for each year or roughly $5/month. These accounts and services are managed by an Admin in the Google Apps Dashboard.

 

What is an iCloud Account?

iCloud securely stores your photos, videos, documents, music, apps, and more—and keeps them updated across all your devices. It lets you easily share photos, calendars, locations, and more with friends and family. You can even use iCloud to help you find your device if you lose it.

How does it work?

After you set up iCloud on your iOS device or Mac, you sign in to iCloud on your other devices and computers using the same Apple ID (you only need to do this once). After that, changes you make on one device appear on all your other devices. For example, if you create a new album in Photos on your Mac, the album automatically appears in the Photos app on iCloud.com on Mac and Windows browsers, your iOS devices, your Apple Watch, and your Apple TV.

 

How do I get an iCloud Account?

To sign up for iCloud, you need an Apple ID. If you don’t have one, you can create one when you sign up.

 

What’s an Apple ID & why do I need one?

Your Apple ID is an account that gives you access to Apple services like the App Store, iCloud, iMessage, FaceTime, and Apple Music. The email address you associate with this account is also called your Apple ID.

 

You need an Apple ID to download apps, ebooks, movies, music, and other digital content onto your Mac and iPhone. That’s not all. You also need it for tasks like:

 

Where is my Apple ID Page?

Your Apple ID page lives at appleid.apple.com. Of course, you’ll need to log in at that address to access it.

 

How Do I find my Apple ID?

If you’re already logged into your Apple account on your Mac or iPhone, you can find your Apple ID from the device’s settings.

On macOS: Visit System Preferences > iCloud to see your Apple ID listed below your profile picture and name on the left.

On iOS: Tap your name at the top in the Settings app. You should see your Apple ID right below your name on the next screen—the Apple ID screen. Tap on iTunes & App Store on this screen and you’ll see your Apple ID displayed at the top on the next screen as well.

 

How Do I Find My Apple ID?

If you’re already logged into your Apple account on your Mac or iPhone, you can find your Apple ID from the device’s settings.

On macOS: Visit System Preferences > iCloud to see your Apple ID listed below your profile picture and name on the left.

On iOS: Tap your name at the top in the Settings app. You should see your Apple ID right below your name on the next screen—the Apple ID screen. Tap on iTunes & App Store on this screen and you’ll see your Apple ID displayed at the top on the next screen as well.

How Do I Reset My Apple ID Password?

Start by clicking on the Forgot Apple ID or password link at the bottom of your Apple ID account page when you’re logged out. On the next page, type in your Apple ID and hit the Continue button. Next, you’ll have to enter the phone number associated with your Apple ID.

Once you do, Apple will allow you to use one of your approved Apple devices to finish the password reset process. It will also give you clear onscreen instructions to do the same. Click on the Don’t have access to any of your devices link if you would like to try an alternative method to reset your password.

How Do I Create a New Apple ID?

Visit appleid.apple.com and click on the Create Your Apple ID option in the top navigation bar to set up a new Apple ID. Skip this method if you don’t want to add a payment method to your new account. You can also set up a new Apple ID from your Mac or iPhone. Of course, if you’re already logged into another Apple account, you’ll need to log out from it first to access the create option.

On macOS: You’ll find the Create Apple ID option under System Preferences > iCloud. On iOS: Open Settings and tap Sign in to your iPhone at the top of the screen. You’ll then see a login prompt, below which you’ll find the Don’t have an Apple ID or forgot it link. Tap on this link to reveal the Create Apple ID option.

How Do I Change My Apple ID?

You can change your Apple ID from your Apple account page. Log in and click the Edit button in the account section.

You’ll then find a Change Apple ID option. With this option you can update the email address associated with your Apple ID to a current one.

How Do I Change My Apple ID Password?

Click on the Change Password link under the Security section of your Apple account. You’ll need to know your current password to do this.

 

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