June 29, 2011
Creating separate user accounts is a great way to let several people conveniently share one PC, at home or in a small company. As the administrator, you can control security and the programs your users can access, and your users can set up Windows just the way they want -- without screwing up your settings.
Note: You'll need to have administrator privileges to set up new user accounts. To access User Accounts in Windows 7, click on Start. In the search box, type: user accounts Hit Enter.
In Vista, you’ll find it under Programs. Double-click on the selection.
When the User Accounts screen comes up, click Manage Another Account.
Now, at the bottom left of the screen, choose Create a new account.
Add the name of the user as you want it to appear on the Welcome screen during startup and on the Start menu. Click Create Account.
Now you’re able to manage user accounts and will see the new one you added. Click on it to make further changes.
Now you can manage the user’s account name and other options, including the user’s password, picture, parental controls, account type or delete the account.
Once you've added a user, change the user's picture to something less random than the one Windows assigns. Select from the thumbnails available or click browse for more pictures -- if you want to customize. You probably do.
After changing the picture, it's time to set up each new user with a password.
Enter a strong password for the account twice. Do users a favor and create hints for them in case they forget the password. CAUTION: Everyone who uses the computer will be able to see the hint. Don’t make it too obvious.
Now when you reboot your system, you’ll see the new account on the Welcome Screen. Just have the user click on their new account.
Then the system will prompt the user to enter his or her password to log in.
Notice the Password Hint doesn’t show up at first. But if the system doesn’t recognize the password, an error screen will pop up.
Now when the user tries to log on again, the system will display the Password Hint.
After logging in, each new user can set up the system view and options the way he or she prefers. Everyone is happy!
Brian Burgess is the executive editor at BYTE. Follow him @mysticgeek. Got a comment or idea? Send it to him at [email protected].
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