Microsoft Will Allow Users to Switch Between Personal & Work Accounts

The tech giant behind some of the world's favorite workplace apps has launched another time-saving feature.
Aaron Drapkin

Microsoft has announced that it is rolling out a new feature that allows users to switch between work and personal accounts on the same browser.

The feature will mean account holders can avoid the arduous task of signing out of an app and then back in again with another account, or work in a different browser.

Microsoft says the changes will be rolled out between April and June, so by summer, account holders will have a seamless account-switching experience at their fingertips.

Microsoft Switches it Up

As Microsoft users will know, Microsoft lets you have multiple accounts, including work, school, and personal accounts. Naturally, they all have different use cases and are often used for entirely different tasks.

At present, to use a different account, you have to either sign out of the one you’re signed into, use a private browsing window, switch browsers, or switch devices. Although not the most arduous task in the world, they’re still all unnecessary and time-consuming.

“Users will now be able to sign into multiple accounts in the same browser, and seamlessly switch between the accounts without needing to sign out and sign back in.” said Amara Gordon of Microsoft.

“Today, we have some exciting news to share!” Gordon says in a blog post. “Soon, Microsoft 365 web users will no longer need workarounds to use multiple work (Azure Active Directory) and personal (Microsoft Account) accounts while using any of the Microsoft 365 web apps.”

She continues, “Users will now be able to sign into multiple accounts in the same browser, and seamlessly switch between the accounts without needing to sign out and sign back in.”

Why has Microsoft made the change?

Microsoft chalks the change up to the pandemic and the way it changed our attitude towards work and where we complete it — with so many people now working from home, there aren't clear dividing lines.

“As the boundaries between work and personal are overlapping, Microsoft users typically wear multiple hats and switch contexts throughout their workday to get their work done and stay productive.”

Microsoft says the modification to its service has been made based on “past customer conversations” and is a “highly requested” change.

Is it available for everyone?

Pretty much – although there are some exceptions. It’s not available, for example, for Microsoft 365 operated by 21 Vianet, Microsoft 365 Government, and “Germany cloud environments.”

Microsoft also says that the feature won’t work if third-party cookies are disabled in a browser – so they have to be enabled.

What’s next on the Microsoft Roadmap?

Microsoft constantly has new features being rolled out on its roadmap, for all sorts of products, from legacy apps like Microsoft Excel to newer programs like Microsoft Teams – currently, there are 515 updates “in development,” for all Microsoft products.

In fact, the Microsoft Teams “rolling out” section shows that just this month, “Text prediction for Teams Mobile,” “sharing the system audio from meetings on the web,” “improved meeting support in the Firefox browser,” “LinkedIn integration for Teams,” and “suggested replies in chats” are all scheduled to be launched.

If you use Microsoft products like Microsoft Teams, the roadmap is one of the best places to find out exactly what new features you'll have the opportunity to use, and when they'll be rolled out on your programs.

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Aaron Drapkin is a Senior Writer at Tech.co. He has been researching and writing about technology, politics, and society in print and online publications since graduating with a Philosophy degree from the University of Bristol three years ago. As a writer, Aaron takes a special interest in VPNs and project management software. He has been quoted in the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, The Daily Mail, Computer Weekly, and the Silicon Republic speaking on various privacy and cybersecurity issues, and has articles published in Wired, Vice, Metro, The Week, and Politics.co.uk covering a wide range of topics.

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