How to Delete User Accounts in Windows 7

Get rid of an unwanted profile on your PC


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In a multi-user home or office with a single PC, everybody loves to have their own personal desktop space. Every so often, however, you need to get rid of a user. Here's how to delete user accounts you no longer need.

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.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 7.

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Back-up before you delete

Backing up computer data

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

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 login 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.

Once that's done. It's time to start deleting that account.

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Open the Control Panel

Screenshot of Control Panel in Windows 7 Start Menu

Now that we've backed up all the important files from this user account, it's time to learn how to delete it. 

  1. Select Start.
  2. Select Control Panel on the right-hand side of the Start Menu.
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Open User Accounts

Screenshot of User Accounts option in User Accounts window

Once the Control Panel opens, select User Accounts. This will cause a second window to open. Within the User Accounts window, select Add or Remove User Accounts.

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Select the Account to Delete

Screenshot of Change an Account window

A list of user accounts will appear with their respective profile icons.

  1. Select the account you wish to delete. The Make Changes to Account window will open.
  2. Select Delete the account from the various options on the left-hand side of the User Accounts window.
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Confirm Keeping or Deleting User's Files

Screenshot of Delete Account window

Windows will ask if you want to keep or delete the user files associated with this account. If you backed up those files previously, you may choose to delete them now. If you're not worried about hard drive space, you may want to keep the files as a secondary backup. That may seem redundant since you backed up all the files previously, but backing up personal files is all about redundancy

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Think Ahead

Screenshot of Turn on Guest Account window in Windows 7

Deleting user accounts is easy enough, but you can also save yourself the trouble of doing this by thinking ahead a little bit. 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. The great thing about the guest account in Windows 7 is that has only the most basic permissions and restricts its users from accidentally messing up your PC. ​

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

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