Adding a User Account

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 3, 2015)


If you have multiple people who use a single computer, you can use Windows to create different accounts for each of those users. User accounts allow you to define various personalization settings (such as screen appearance) and different programs to be used by that user. Here's how you set up a new user account if you are using Windows 7:

  1. Display the Control Panel.
  2. At the right side of the screen, under the main heading of User Accounts and Family Safety, click Add or Remove User Accounts. Windows displays a screen showing the accounts currently set up on your system.
  3. Click Create a New Account. Windows displays the Create New Account screen. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Create New Account screen.

  5. Enter a name for the account you want to create.
  6. Specify what type of user you are creating, Standard or Administrator.
  7. Click on Create Account. Windows creates the account and returns you to the screen first displayed in step 2.

The name you enter in step 4 is typically the name of the user you'll associate with this account. For instance, if you are setting up an account for Bob Smith (perhaps a co-worker or family member), you would enter "Bob Smith" as the account name. However, you may want to use a position or purpose name instead of a person's name. For instance, if your computer is in your office and several people work with Accounts Payable, you may want to use that name ("Accounts Payable") as the name for the user account. Then you can allow several different people to log in and use your computer under that single user account.

If you are using Windows 8, then user accounts are handled somewhat differently. This is because, for most users of Windows, the accounts do not reside on your local system—they are controlled over the Internet as "Microsoft Accounts." You get a hint of this when you first install Windows 8 or when you log into a Windows 8 system.

Because of this, you can't follow the same steps presented earlier; there is no "Add or Remove User Accounts" option that you can use. Instead, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Charms at the right side of your screen (press Win+C).
  2. Click the Settings charm. The Settings options appear at the right side of the screen.
  3. Click the Change PC Settings option, at the very bottom of the Settings area. Windows displays the PC Settings screen.
  4. Click the Accounts option at the left of the screen. Windows displays the Accounts screen.
  5. Click Other Accounts.
  6. Click Add an Account.
  7. At this point you are prompted to enter the e-mail address that the person uses to sign into Microsoft services. That's great if you know it and if that person has such an account. If they don't, you'll need to choose to "Sign Up for a New Email Address" to set up an account, or you can click the Sing In Without a Microsoft Account option to try setting up one the old-fashioned way.

    You should know that in order to add user accounts you must be logged into your computer using an account that has administrator privileges.

 This tip (10710) applies to Windows 7 and 8.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is one more than 2?

2015-08-04 11:20:20

Miguel Suárez

Hi there. I just upgraded my Windows 7 Home Premium Edition to Windows 10 Home and the process created a directory named "Windows.Old". This directory occupy Gigabytes of hard disk space. I indeed want to delete those Windows.Old files, but many requires "TrustedInstaller" permissions to do it; so, how can I delete those files? I'm the administrator and the only user of my Windows 10 Home based PC. Thanks for your help.

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