How to Delete User Accounts in Windows 7

Get rid of an unwanted profile on your PC

What to Know

  • Open the Control Panel and go to User Accounts and Family Safety Add or Remove User Accounts.
  • If you want to keep the user's documents and settings, do a manual backup of the user files first, in case something goes wrong. 
  • To enable guest accounts, go to User Accounts and Family Safety > User Accounts > Manage Accounts > Turn on Guest Account.

This article explains how to remove users from a Windows 7 computer, how to back up user files, and how to set up guest accounts.

How to Delete a User Account

After you've backed up all the important files from the user account, it's time to delete it. Here's how to delete a user account in Windows 7.

As of January 2020, Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 7. We recommend upgrading to Windows 10 to continue receiving security updates and technical support.

  1. Select the Start icon and choose Control Panel from the Start Menu.

    Windows 7 Start menu with Control Panel highlighted
  2. Select User Accounts and Family Safety. In the User Accounts section, choose Add or Remove User Accounts.

    User Accounts and Family Safety section of Control Panel with Add or remove user accounts selected
  3. A list of user accounts appears with their respective profile icons. Choose the account you want to delete.

  4. Under Make changes to [account name's] account, select Delete the account.

    Account management screen with Delete the account highlighted
  5. You may want to keep the account's files as a secondary backup by selecting Keep Files. The Keep Files option backs up the account's documents, favorites, music, pictures and videos—but not email and settings—to a new folder on the desktop. That may seem redundant since you backed up all the files previously, but backing up personal files is all about redundancy

    Confirm that you want to delete the user account by choosing Delete Files.

    Windows 7 Delete Account window

Back Up Before You Delete

Before deleting a user account, you have the option to save many of that user's files. However, it's best to do a manual back-up of user files first, in case something goes wrong. 

The last thing you want to do is delete a user account and take that person's music or photos with it. If they haven't backed anything up, ask for their log-in details—or create a password reset disk ahead of time—and then copy all their important user account folders to an external hard drive or high-capacity SD card.

Set Up a Guest Account

Deleting user accounts is easy enough, but you can save yourself the trouble of doing this by thinking ahead. If, for example, you're creating a new user account for a house guest, a better option might be to use Windows 7's built-in guest account feature. 

The guest account is hidden by default but is easy to activate via the Control Panel. It's available in the User Accounts and Family Safety section. Once you are there, choose User Accounts > Manage Accounts > Turn on Guest Account to select Turn On.

Windows 7 Guest Account window with Turn On selected

The great thing about the guest account in Windows 7 is that it has only the most basic permissions and restricts its users from accidentally messing up your PC. ​

To find out more, check out the tutorial on How to Use Guest Accounts in Windows 7.

Whichever type of account you use in Windows 7, getting rid of it—or disabling it, in the case of the guest account—is a simple and straightforward process. 

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