by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 25, 2015)
Windows comes with the ability to establish a Guest user account. This account is designed to be used by temporary users who may have a need to use the computer. Normally, the Guest account is used on computers that are placed in publically accessible areas, such as computer labs or conference rooms.
In general, if your computer is not in a public area, you should make sure that the Guest account is disabled so that it cannot be used for log-in. The reason is simple—the Guest account can present a "doorway" that hackers can use to access your system. If you disable the Guest account, then you close that particular door and increase the security of your computer.
You can find out if the Guest account is enabled on your system by following these steps if you are using Windows 7:
Figure 1. The Manage Accounts screen.
If you are using Windows 8, follow these steps instead:
Note that the Guest account, as shown in the Manage Accounts screen, indicates whether the account is turned on or off. You cannot delete the Guest account; all you can do is make sure it is turned off. When you click the Guest account, you are given the option to turn it on or off; you should simply make sure it is off unless you have a compelling reason to have it turned on.
This tip (10715) applies to Windows 7 and 8.
You can easily customize your computing experience by using your own picture as your account picture. This tip explains how.Discover More
When you get rid of your Windows login password, you accomplish two things. First, you make it easier to log onto your ...Discover More
You may want to customize your account so that it uses a picture of your own choosing. This tip tells you how to change ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."