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Manage Windows user accounts and privileges?

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Easily Create and Manage Windows User accounts and user Privileges

Windows PCs are generally single user machines. However, there are instances where a computer may need to be shared by different users. All windows distribution posses the capacity to create a user profile for different users that will allow each user to customize their user environment. So each user profile may display different themes, background sounds, file location and software access.

Managing user accounts involves a few key elements:

Creating a New User account

Creating, changing and removing passwords

Setting user privileges

How To create a new user account:

1. First click on the start button then click on "Control Panel" to open it.

2. If you "View: by Category" click on "Add or remove accounts"

followed by

Windows also provides a guest account that is equipped with the bare minimum of privileges and capabilities. This account is disabled by default. To enable it, simply click on "Guest Account" then at the next window click on the "Turn on" Button.

3. If however you do not wish to enable the guest account simply click on "Create a new account" to direct you to the other window. At this window you assign a name to the new account and select the type of account it will be.

4. Click "Create Account"

HOWEVER, if after you open the Control Panel it looks like this

then you are in "view by: Small icons" So:

1. Click on "User accounts"

2. Click on "Manage another Account"

3. Click on "Create a new account"

NB. Administrator accounts have full rights and privileges. These account holders can apply any change to the computer system including creating and managing user accounts, installing/uninstalling software, changing the password and privileges of other users. If your PC will have multiple accounts it best to have at most two administrator accounts with a secure or securely stored password.

Creating or changing the password of any account

1. First click on the start button then click on "Control Panel" to open it.

2. If you "View: by Category" as seen above, click on "user Accounts and Family Safety" and then "Change your windows password"

3. At the upcoming popup window
you can click on

a. Change your password; If you wish to change password of the account you are currently using

b. Remove Password; if you want to remove your existing password

c. Change picture; if you wish to change the picture used with your user account.

d. Change account name; if you wish to change your account's name

e. Change account type; if you want change whether the account is administrator or standard.

NB. If you have only one user account assigned to you PC it can only be set as Administrator

4. However If you wish to change the account details of another user you will need to click on "Manage another account".

5. At this popup screen simply click on the Account you wish you need to make alterations to and proceed from there.

However, again, if the view you have is by small icons then:

6. After the window
click on user accounts

7. At the upcoming popup window
you can click on "Change your password" or "Manage another account"

Setting user privileges

Parental Control

This tool can be used to restrict web browsing and gaming. This tool will come in handy for concerned parents.

How To turn on parental control:

1. First click on the start button then click on "Control Panel" to open it.

2. If you "View: by Category" as seen above, click on "user Accounts and Family Safety" and then "Parental Controls"

3. Choose the user account that you wish to apply parental control to.

If only one administrator account exist click on "create new account" as the parental controls will not be applied easily to the administrator account

4. Click "on, enforce current settings".

At this section you are provided with three options.
a. Time limits

b. Game Ratings

c. Allow and block specific programs

5. Click on each option to make the necessary change to the privileges

Managing 'Local Users and Groups'

The 'Local Users and Groups' tool is another system utility that can be used manage your user account privileges and boundaries. This tool enables you to also create user accounts and assign then to specific groups. These groups are a standard feature of modern windows distributions. Each group has a different set capabilities and access rights.

The Local users and Groups tool is composed of two sub levels.

A. Users - Used to alter privileges of accounts and assign a user account to a group.

B. Groups - Used to assign a group to a user account

How To use the user sub level:

1. Click on the start button then right click on computer

2. At the popup menu click on "Manage"

3. When the computer management window emerges click Local Users and Groups

4. Right click users if you have not yet created another user account to make alterations to, and select "New User...". Insert the new name and password in the popup window.

5. If however the user account that you wish alter already exists, (as shown in the right hand pane of the window below) click on it.

6. After you have selected the account there are several tabs that can be checked.

a. User must change password at next logon
b. User cannot change password
c. Password never expires
d. Account is disabled
e. Account is locked out (check this if you wish to unlock an account that Windows has locked as a result of a user entering an incorrect password too many times, as specified by the local security policy. This check box should be cleared)

7. Click apply

8. At the "Member Of" tab

9. Click Add

10. Click Advanced

11. Click "Find Now"

12. Select the group would wish to assign to the user account.

13. Click Ok.

How To use the Groups sub level:

1. Access computer management and Local Users and Groups as illustrated in the above process.

2. Click the Groups sub level. If you wish to create a new user you may right click Groups, then "New Group".

3. Select the required group in the right hand pane of the window.

4. Click Add

5. Click Advanced

6. Click Find Now

7. Select the user account you wish to assign to the group.

8. Click Ok.

Linking your online IDs with your Windows user account

If you have an online email account, this can be quite useful. This is so people can share files with you on a homegroup using your online ID instead of having to create a Windows user account for you on their PC. Additionally, you can use your online ID to access your information located on other computers on a network. So can even access files on a home computer from your work computer.

This is a two part activity. You will need to:
* Add an online ID provider (if you don't already have one)
* Link your online ID with your Windows user account

A. To add an online ID provider:
1. Click to open User Accounts.

2. Click Link online IDs.

3. Click Add an online ID provider.

4. Click your online ID provider from the list and follow the instructions.

B. To link your online ID with your Windows user account:
1. Click to open User Accounts.

2. Click Link online IDs.

3. Next to the online ID provider that you want to link your user account with, click Link Online ID.

4. Type your user name and password for the online ID, click Sign in, and then click OK.

NB. To use this feature, the PC that you want to use to share files must be part of a homegroup. This is a set of computers that is able to share music, pictures, videos, documents and printers on a (often password protected) home network.

Managing your administrator password

At some point you may find that you are in a serious bind after you have forgotten your administrator password or another administrator account was used to change yours. You've been locked. Don't worry. Depending on your system's setup, some administrator task can be performed by a standard user. However, the system will prompt you to enter the admin password in order to execute the requested task. In addition you will need access to the administrator account. To prevent this situation you may need to:

A. Create a password-reset disk (before you forget your password).

B. Perform the actual password reset.

How To Create a password-reset disk:

1. Insert a Flash drive or floppy disk.

2. Open Control Panel.

3. Select User Accounts and Family Safety.

4. Click User Accounts.

5. Click on "Create a password reset disk" in the left pane. This will initialize a wizard that will guide you through the procedure.

NB. You will need some sort of removable media such as flash drive or even floppy disk to complete this operation. It requires a small amount of storage space.

6. You will be asked to select the drive on which to place the password key as well as what your current password is.

Performing an actual password reset

Whenever you enter a windows password incorrectly you are presented with a "Reset password" option.

To perform a password reset:
1. Click on the Reset password link under the password box after you have inserted the password incorrectly.

2. Select the drive that contains the password key after you are prompted to do so.

3. After this type a new password and password hint.

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This is very useful information
by Gia
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