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How To Add Users to Windows Home Server 2011

Here's how to add users to Windows Home Server 2011.

On Windows Home Server (WHS) 2011, you have to create user accounts to let users share files and folders, stream media, back up their PCs, and access other network functions.

Assuming you've already installed WHS 2011, here's how to add those users accounts.

First, start the Dashboard (previously the WHS Console) on any PC on your WHS 2011 network. In the Dashboard, click the tab, Users.

Now right click in the user list to add the user account. Or, click the Add User Account function in the User Tasks area.

Enter the first and last name for the user--and also the user account name.

The default password policy doesn't allow blank passwords. You can change that policy, but I recommend the opposite. You want the password to be at least five characters with letters, numbers, and symbols. Click Change Policy.

Enter the password and click next.

The next step is to select the level of shared folder access this user account gets. I recommend using restrictive permissions for each user, depending on his or her needs. Permissions include Read/Write, Read Only, and No Access.

All shared server files and folders will show up in this step whether they are default files or new ones you added. Make your selections. Click Next.

The last step for adding a user account is to decide whether to grant the user remote web access privileges. Remote web access lets the user access the system via a web browser when away from the local network. Selections you make here won't affect local access.

There are several choices here.

Shared Folders

This allows the account to remotely access shared folders and files within the user's permissions you set.


This remote desktop-like setting lets the user access computers on the WHS 2011 network from another remote system.


This allows the account to play music and videos located on the server with a web-based media player.

Homepage Links

This setting will display the community resource links that are on the dashboard home tab.

Server Dashboard

This setting lets users access the Dashboard. Reserve this for the WHS 2011 administrator, which is probably you.

Remote web access is off by default. In order to take advantage of these settings, do so via the settings button in the dashboard. You also should set up a domain name for the server, in order to more easily access it from remote locations. Once you have made your selections, click the Create Account button.

The system will create the account and apply the settings you selected.

You'll see a success screen once the process is complete. To exit the wizard, click close.

Go back to the Dashboard and click the Users tab to see the new account you added.

Click on the new user and additional options will show in the task pane at right.

Click view Account Properties to manually make changes to any user settings. You can change everything but the username in the Account Properties box.

That's it. Repeat the process for each user you want to add to WHS 2011. When managing WHS 2011 for a small office or your home, it's key to keep a close eye on how you administer rights and permissions.

Based in Helenville, WI, David McCabe is a senior contributor at BYTE. Follow him @homeservershow, or email him at

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