How to Enable, Disable and Use Guest Accounts In Windows 7

If you have a computer at home that multiple people use and you want to keep your digital locker safe, you definitely want to create user accounts for all those who have access to the PC.

What do you do about those users that don't merit their own user accounts such as guests, a family member who hangs out on the weekend, or a friend you lend your computer to for a while?

You are unlikely to create a user account for every person who lays a finger on your keyboard, so what are your options? Use the Guest Account.

If you already have the Guest Account enabled in Windows 7 but don't want random people to access your PC, you can also disable the Guest Account so that only individuals with user accounts can access your computer.

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.

Learn About the Guest Account

How do you know if the Guest account is enabled? When you turn on your computer and the Welcome Screen appears, a list of available accounts appears. If you see Guest listed as one of the accounts, then the Guest account is enabled.

How to Enable the Guest Account in Windows 7

If the Guest account doesn't appear, follow these steps to enable the Guest account on your computer.

  1. Go to Start Menu > Control Panel.

    The Control Panel location in Windows 7
  2. Select User Accounts and Family Safety.

    User Accounts and Family Safety in Windows 7

    You can also access the Guest account option by clicking the Add or remove user accounts link directly below User Accounts and Family Safety.

  3. Select User Accounts.

    User Accounts in Windows 7
  4. Select Manage another account.

    If you are prompted by​ User Account Control, click Yes to proceed.

    Selection to manage another account in Windows 7
  5. Select Guest from the list of accounts.

    Screen showing the user accounts and guest account

    When the account is off, it states the following: Guest account is off.

  6. Select Turn On to enable the Guest account in Windows 7.

    Button to turn on Guest account in Windows 7

If you turn on the guest account, people who do not have an account can use the guest account to log on to the computer. Password-protected files, folders, or settings are not accessible to guest users.

Disable the Guest Account in Windows 7

If you find that the Guest account makes you a bit uneasy because anyone can access your computer, you have the choice of turning it off.

To turn off the Guest Account in Windows 7, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Start Menu > Control Panel.

    The Control Panel location in Windows 7
  2. Select User Accounts and Family Safety.

    User Accounts and Family Safety in Windows 7
  3. Select User Accounts.

    User Accounts in Windows 7
  4. Select Manage another account.

    Selection to manage another account in Windows 7
  5. Select Guest from the list of accounts.

    Screen showing enabled Guest Account in Windows 7
  6. Select Turn off the guest account.

    Turn off the Guest Account selection

How to Use the Guest Account in Windows 7

You have two options to use the Guest Account in Windows 7. The first is logging out of your existing account in Windows 7 and logging back on using the Guest account.

The second option is using the Switch User option and selecting the Guest account as the account you wish to log onto.

Windows 7 Switch User screen
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