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Troubleshooting tips for linking GitHub or Google account with Microsoft Account

If you cannot link your GitHub or Google account with Microsoft account (MSA), then this post tells you how to do it & offers troubleshooting tips if you face issues. When you sign in with GitHub, Microsoft checks whether any email addresses associated with your GitHub account match an existing personal or enterprise Microsoft account. If the address matches your enterprise account, you’ll be prompted to sign in to that account instead. If the address matches a personal account, Microsoft adds your GitHub account as a sign-in method to that personal account.

When you sign up for a new personal Microsoft service with a @gmail.com email address, Microsoft offers you the ability to use your Google account credentials to create your Microsoft account. You will get all the account and security features of Microsoft, with the ease of using a username and password you already use.

If you already have an existing Microsoft account, when you type in your account username (email, phone number, or Skype alias), your credential options will be shown (from the Authenticator app to your Microsoft account password). At this time, you cannot add Google as a credential to your existing account.

Here are some common sign-in issues that could appear after you link your GitHub or Google account and Microsoft accounts – and the troubleshooting, as recommended by Microsoft, you can try to help redress the issues.

1] You forgot your GitHub account or Google account password.

You can recover your GitHub account via this GitHub page and you can recover your Google account via this Google page. Or, you can recover your Google or GitHub-linked Microsoft account by entering your Google or GitHub account’s email address at this Microsoft page.

2] You can’t sign into Google or you see an error page with a 500.

If Google or Gmail is unavailable, it means you might see an error page on accounts.google.com when you try to sign in. If this happens, you can use the account recovery option to add a password to your Microsoft account so that you aren’t asked to sign in at Google automatically. Outages rarely last very long, so you can also try again in 15-30 minutes to see if the issue has been fixed.

3] You deleted your GitHub or Google account. How do you access your Microsoft account now?

If you don’t have any other credentials on your Microsoft account (like a password, Authenticator app, or security key), you can recover your Microsoft account by going here and using the email address attached to it.

4] There’s no “Sign in with GitHub” or “Sign in with Google” button on the sign-in page. How do you sign in?

Type the GitHub or Google account email address you chose when you created your Google or GitHub-linked Microsoft account. Or, if there’s a Sign-in options link on the sign-in page, use the Sign in with GitHub or Google button that’s shown after you click that link.

5] You can’t sign in with your GitHub or Google account in a particular product or app.

Not all Microsoft products can access GitHub.com and Google.com from their sign-in page—for example, Windows PCs during set up or Xbox 360 consoles. Instead, when you type the email address from your linked GitHub or Google account, you’ll receive a code to that address to verify it’s really you. You’re still signing in to the same account, just by a different sign-in method.

6] You added a password to your Google or GitHub-linked Microsoft account. Will this cause a problem?

Not at all. This doesn’t change your Google or GitHub password; you’ll just have another way to sign in to your Microsoft account. Whenever you sign in using your email address, you’ll be offered the choice of signing in with your Microsoft account password or going to Google or GitHub as the case may be to sign in. Microsoft recommends that, if you need to add a password, you make sure it’s different from the password for your Google or GitHub account.

Some additional troubleshooting scenarios is as follows:

1] You want to add the Authenticator app to the account you created using Google.

Just download the Authenticator app and sign in using your email address. When you sign in with your email address, you’ll be prompted to choose either the app or Google as your credential.

2] You enabled two-step verification on both your Google and Microsoft accounts.

Because of security restrictions, Microsoft counts signing in with Google as a single-factor verification, even if you have two-step verification enabled there. Therefore, you’ll have to authenticate again for your Microsoft account.

3] You can’t remember if your account is linked to Google.

Whenever you sign using your account alias (email address, phone number, Skype name), we’ll show you all the sign-in methods for your account. If you don’t see Google there, you haven’t set it up yet.

4] You want to unlink your Google account from your Microsoft account.

Go to the Security tab of your Microsoft account and click More security options > Manage how you sign in to Microsoft to unlink your Google account. Unlinking your Google account removes it as a sign-in method.