Deformation mechanisms of cold drawn and electropolished nickel microwires are studied by performing in-situ monotonous and cyclic tensile tests under synchrotron radiation. X-ray diffraction tests allow probing elastic strains in the different grain families and establishing a link with the deformation mechanisms taking place within the microwires. The measurements were carried out on several microwires with diameters ranging from as-drawn 100 µm down to 40 µm thinned down by electropolishing. The as-drawn wires exhibit a core-shell microstructure with <111> fiber texture dominant in core and heterogeneous dual fiber texture <111> and <100> in the shell. Reduction of specimen size by electropolishing results in a higher yield stress and tensile strength along with reduced ductility. In-situ XRD analysis revealed that these differences are linked to the global variation in microstructure induced by shell removal with electropolishing, which in turn affects the load sharing abilities of grain families. This study thus proposes a new way to increase ductility and retain strength in nickel microwires across different diameters by tuning the microstructure architecture.