How to share a Windows 10 PC

In some offices, computers are shared between two or more employees or impermanent workers. That sounds like a recipe for disaster, but Windows 10 has big tools for allowing multiple people to share a one personal computer without letting them read, edit, or delete each other ’ s files and folders ; practice or edit each early ’ s applications ; or make system-wide customizations. These tools can besides be a big serve for people who work from home and want to share their personal computer with a syndicate extremity some of the time. They allow you to set up and log in with different user profiles so each user has access to entirely their own files and folders, apps, and preferences. In this piece, I ’ ll show you what to do. This article has been updated for the Windows 10 October 2020 Update ( version 20H2 ). If you have an earlier free of Windows 10, some things may be slightly different .[ Further reading: Windows 10 cheat sheet ]

Setting up accounts for sharing a Windows 10 PC

Windows 10 makes it easy for multiple people to share the same personal computer. To do it, you create disjoined accounts for each person who will use the calculator. Each person gets their own storehouse, applications, desktops, settings, and so on.

One person, the personal computer ’ south administrator, sets up and manages all the accounts, including a diverseness of system settings that entirely the administrator can access. The administrator explanation is established when Windows is beginning installed or used on the machine. ( You can besides upgrade other drug user accounts to administrator status, as I ’ ll traverse late in the fib. ) If you ’ re an administrator, setting up a drug user explanation is easy. First you ’ ll need the electronic mail address of the person for whom you want to set up an account. ideally, this should be the sign-in information for their Microsoft history ( such as an @ or @ savoir-faire or a bodied electronic mail savoir-faire at an organization that uses Outlook ) so they ’ ll be able to use all of their existing Windows settings, get entree to their OneDrive repositing, and download and install apps from the Microsoft Store. Anybody can sign up for a Microsoft account for release. For now, we ’ ll assume that the person you want to add has a Microsoft account. late on I ’ ll show you how to set up an account if they don ’ t have one and don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate want to register for one, but note that you can ’ thyroxine set up restrictions for kin members unless they sign in with a Microsoft score. Accounts for children can lone use an @ or @ knowledge domain. To add a drug user, click the Start clitoris, choose Settings and then choose Accounts. On the Accounts screen, choose Family & other users from the menu on the leave. To set up an account for a colleague, go to the “ other users ” section and cluck Add person else to this personal computer. To set up accounts for class members that let you set old age limits, game and app restrictions, etc., alternatively choose Add a syndicate member under the “ Your syndicate ” section. share win10 pc 01 create new account IDG

After you create an account for person else, the name appears on the Accounts page. ( Click any effigy in this narrative to enlarge it. )
On the screen that appears, enter the electronic mail address of the person for whom you want to create a user score, click OK and then Finish. The user ’ s mention immediately appears on the “ Family & other users ” accounts foliate. It besides appears when you click the icon representing the current exploiter of the personal computer, halfway down on the left side of the Start menu when you click the Start release .share win10 pc 02 new account shown IDG

When an report name is clicked in the Start menu, it will show all of the accounts on the machine .
If you ’ re the owner of the modern account, there are two ways to start using it. You can click the icon representing the history of the current exploiter of the personal computer, halfway gloomy on the left side of the Start menu. That displays all the accounts on the personal computer. Click your report name and log into your account with your Microsoft account password. Or you can restart the personal computer : The Windows login shield will nowadays have two accounts on it — yours and the administrator ’ second. You can click your report name and logarithm in with your Microsoft explanation password. The report will have its own separate OneDrive storehouse. Each user ’ s local files and folders won ’ thymine be accessible to the early. You will see the Windows apps you ’ ve installed, but not anyone else ’ second, and vice versa. Given that it ’ s a Microsoft account, files and settings will sync with all other devices connected to your report.

Creating a new user account without using a Microsoft account

Creating a divided personal computer if the other person doesn ’ thyroxine have or want a Microsoft account takes a little act more oeuvre. To do it, go to Settings > Accounts > Family & other users > Add person else to this personal computer. ( This is same excerpt you ’ ll make if you ’ re adding a syndicate member without a Microsoft report, but remember that you won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be able to use parental controls. ) On the blind that appears, chatter I don ’ metric ton have this person ’ second sign-in information. then at the bottom of the adjacent blind, chink Add a user without a Microsoft score .share win10 pc 03 create local account IDG

You can add a user who doesn ’ metric ton have a Microsoft report as a local account .
now you can add a drug user name and a password. The person ’ south account name will now show up the same way as if you had created one using a Microsoft account. When you create an account for person in this direction, it ’ second called a local report. Unlike a Microsoft account, it won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate synchronize settings between devices, and it doesn ’ metric ton yield access to OneDrive. In addition, when person has a local report, they won ’ metric ton be able to download or install any apps from the Microsoft Store. They won ’ thymine be able to install background applications on their own, either — when they try to install them, they ’ re prompted for the password of the administrator ’ second account. So an administrator will have to be nearby to type in the password in order for them to install background applications .

Switching between accounts

once your report has been set up, it ’ randomness easy to switch from the report presently running on the car to your own. If person else is presently using Windows 10 on the machine, and you want to use it, you can click the Start button, click the picture representing the stream exploiter ’ sulfur report halfway down on the leave english of the Start menu, then click the account to which you want to switch and type in the password. You can, of naturally, besides log in from the lock shield, which displays all of the user accounts on the car.

One thing to keep in judgment when respective people use a personal computer with separate accounts : even when person is not using the personal computer, they still remain sign into the account unless they sign out or the personal computer is restarted. then respective people might be signed into accounts, flush though merely one person is actively using the personal computer. ( This does not mean that users have any access to the others ’ accounts. There can be only one active account at a time ; an individual user will silent need to re-enter the password to see their account. ) To see which users are presently signed in, click the Start release, then click the icon representing the stream user ’ sulfur account midway down on the leave side of the Start menu to see all of the machine ’ south accounts. Look underneath each explanation. The words “ Signed in ” will appear under the allow accounts. What does it mean that person is signed into their report, even if they ’ rhenium not presently using it ? When person is signed in, Windows 10 saves the state of that person ’ s user account — which applications the person was running, the files they were working on, and indeed on. That way, when they switches back to using their score, everything will be in position, and they won ’ t have to waste time launching apps, opening files, and therefore on. This is utilitarian, but it can be baffling as well, because it can lead to lost work. When a personal computer is restarted or shut down, all users on it are mechanically logged off. Say person is logged into their report and hasn ’ metric ton yet saved work — if the computer is switched to another report, and the person using that second account restarts or shuts down the system, the beginning person will lose their cursed solve. The consequence ? It ’ s constantly a beneficial mind to log out of your report before letting person else use the same calculator. It merely takes a moment : Click your account name at the top of the Start menu and then click Sign out .

Managing accounts

If you want to let another user have administrator entree, it ’ s childlike to do. Select Settings > Accounts > Family & other users, click the score to which you want to give administrator rights, cluck Change history type, then snap Account type. Choose Administrator and click OK. That ’ ll do it. You can always change it second to a standard drug user account late using this lapp method .share win10 pc 04 change account type IDG

You can change a standard user account to an Administrator account .
It ’ s besides easy to remove accounts — ampere farseeing as you ’ re the administrator. blue-ribbon Settings > Accounts > Family & other users, click the report you want to remove and then click Remove. A screen appears warning you that when you delete the history, you besides delete all data associated with it, which include files, desktop frame-up, apps, music and so on. besides, note that you can lone delete an account if the person has signed out of Windows 10 .share win10 pc 05 delete account IDG

When you delete an bill, you besides delete all data associated with it .
once you ’ ve got it in hand, you ’ ll find that this is a elementary and utilitarian manner for sharing a Windows 10 personal computer among multiple people .

Bonus tip: Turn on the hidden Windows 10 administrator account

I ’ ve got one more tip off for you : how to turn on something that is sort of a super-administrator report hide in Windows 10. As I explained previously, the report you create when you install Windows is the personal computer ’ south administrator report — it gives you control over how window 10 works on the personal computer, what early accounts can be created and therefore on. But Windows 10 besides sets up a hidden administrator account during initiation. This concealed report has one advantage over a normal administrator account — when you use it, you won ’ metric ton get any User Account Control ( UAC ) prompts. That makes it much easier to troubleshoot and customize Windows, because you won ’ t be constantly bothered by those annoying UAC notices. Some people refer to this obscure administrator report as an raise account, and a normal one as an un-elevated account. It ’ randomness easy to turn on and use the shroud administrator score :

  1. Make sure that you’re using your normal Administrator account.
  2. Click the Start button, scroll down through your apps and click Windows System.
  3. Right-click Command Prompt from the drop-down menu that appears, then click More and select Run as administrator. The command prompt launches. Look in the prompt’s title bar — it will read “Administrator: Command Prompt.”
  4. At the command prompt, type net user administrator /active:yes and press the Enter

That turns on the concealed administrator history. It will appear on the Windows 10 login screen and on the Start menu screen — just click it to use it as you would any other account .share win10 pc 06 show admin IDG

When you turn on your personal computer ’ s hidden administrator account, it shows up good like any other account in Windows 10.

If you want to disable the hide account, follow steps 1 through 3, and at the command motivate, type net user administrator /active:no and press Enter. This article was primitively published in March 2016 and most recently updated in January 2021 .

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