How to Find a User's Security Identifier (SID) in Windows

Find a user's SID with WMIC or in the registry

What to Know

  • In Command Prompt, type wmic useraccount get name,sid and press Enter.
  • You can also determine a user's SID by looking through the ProfileImagePath values in each S-1-5-21 prefixed SID listed under:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

A common reason why you might want to find the security identifier (SID) for a user's account in Windows is to determine which key under HKEY_USERS in the Windows Registry to look for user-specific registry data. Matching SIDs to usernames is easy with the wmic command—available from the Command Prompt in most versions of Windows.

How to Find a User's SID With WMIC

Follow these easy steps to display a table of usernames and their corresponding SIDs. It'll probably only take a minute, maybe less, to find a user's SID in Windows via WMIC:

See How to Find a User's SID in the Registry further down the page for instructions on matching a username to an SID via information in the Windows Registry, an alternative method to using WMIC. The wmic command didn't exist before Windows XP, so you'll have to use the registry method in those older versions of Windows.

  1. Open Terminal (Windows 11), or open Command Prompt in older Windows versions.

    If you're using a keyboard and mouse in Windows 11/10/8, the fastest way is through the Power User Menu, accessible with the WIN+X shortcut.

    If you don't see Command Prompt there, type cmd into the search bar in the Start menu, and select Command Prompt when you see it.

    You don't have to open an elevated Command Prompt for this to work. Some Windows commands require it, but in the WMIC command example below, you can open a regular, non-administrative Command Prompt.

  2. Type the following command into Command Prompt exactly as it's shown here, including spaces or lack thereof:

    wmic useraccount get name,sid

    ...and then press Enter.

    wmic useraccount command in Windows 10

    If you know the username and would like to grab only that one user's SID, enter this command but replace USER with the username (keep the quotes):

    wmic useraccount where name="USER" get sid
    wmic useraccount where name command in Windows 10

    If you get an error that the wmic command isn't recognized, change the working directory to be C:\Windows\System32\wbem\ and try again. You can do that with the cd (change directory) command.

  3. You should see a table displayed in Command Prompt. This is a list of each user account in Windows, listed by username, followed by the account's corresponding SID.

Now that you're confident a particular user name corresponds to a particular SID, you can make whatever changes you need to in the registry or do whatever else you needed this information for.

User security identifiers from Windows

Lifewire / Emily Mendoza

Finding the Username Using the SID

If you happen to have a case where you need to find the user name but all you have is the security identifier, you can "reverse" the command like this (just replace this SID with the one in question):

wmic useraccount where sid="S-1-5-21-992878714-4041223874-2616370337-1001" get name get a result like this:

wmic useraccount where sid command in Windows 10

How to Find a User's SID in the Registry

You can also determine a user's SID by looking through the ProfileImagePath values in each S-1-5-21 prefixed SID listed under this key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
ProfileImagePath value in Registry Editor for a SID in the ProfileList key

The ProfileImagePath value within each SID-named registry key lists the profile directory, which includes the username.

For example, the value under the S-1-5-21-992878714-4041223874-2616370337-1001 key on the computer you see above is C:\Users\jonfi, so we know that's the SID for that user.

This method of matching users to SIDs will only show those users who are logged in or have logged in and switched users. To continue to use the registry method for determining other user's SIDs, you'll need to log in as each user on the system and repeat these steps. This is a big drawback; assuming you're able, you're much better off using the wmic command method above.

  • How do I find my own SID quickly?

    Open the Command Prompt by pressing Windows key+R. Then, enter the following command and press Enter: whoami /user.

  • How do I add a user to my computer?

    To create a new user account in Windows, go to Start > Settings > Accounts > Family & others users. Under Other users > Add other user, select Add account. Enter the user's information and follow the prompts.

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