How to Add and Manage User Accounts in Windows 8

Managing users accounts in Windows 8 differs from Windows 7

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Although the Windows 8 interface differs from previous versions of Windows, it's still possible to set up multiple local users and Microsoft accounts. That way, everyone who uses the computer can protect their personal files and preferences with a password.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

How to Add Windows 8 Users for Existing Accounts

To add a user to your computer who already has a Microsoft account:

  1. Press Windows key + C to bring up the Charms bar, then select Settings.

    

    Press Windows key + C to bring up the Charms bar, then select Settings.
  2. Select Change PC settings.

    Select Change PC settings.
  3. Select Users under PC Settings.

    If using Windows 8.1, select Accounts under PC Settings.

    Select Users from the left pane under PC Settings.
  4. Scroll down through the right pane and select Add a user under Other Users.

    Scroll down through the right pane and select Add a user under Other Users.
  5. Enter the email address associated with the Microsoft account and select Next.

    If your email address ends in @live.com, @hotmail.com, or @outlook, then you already have a Microsoft account.

    Enter the email address associated with the Microsoft account in the field provided and select Next.
  6. Check the box beside Is this a child's account? if you wish to enable the Windows Family Safety feature, which allows you to review the accounts activities and block certain content. Select Finish to proceed.

    Check the box beside Is this a child's account? if you wish to enable the Windows Family Safety feature, then select Finish.

The new account will 'be available at the sign in screen when you start Windows. To switch between profiles, select the profile icon in the top-right corner of the Windows 8 Start screen.

To switch between profiles, select the profile icon in the top-right corner of the Windows 8 Start screen.

Your computer must be connected to the internet the first time a new user logs in to their account. Once they do, their background, account settings, and apps (for Windows 8.1 users) will be synced.

How to Add a Windows 8 User Without a Microsoft Account 

If the new user doesn't have a Microsoft account, they can create an Outlook.com email address, or you can set up a local user profile:

  1. Press Windows key + C to bring up the Charms bar, then select Settings.

    Press Windows key + C to bring up the Charms bar, then select Settings.
  2. Select Change PC settings.

    Select Change PC settings.
  3. Select Users under PC Settings.

    If using Windows 8.1, select Accounts under PC Settings.

    Select Users from the left pane under PC Settings.
  4. Scroll down through the right pane and select Add a user under Other Users.

    Scroll down through the right pane and select Add a user under Other Users.
  5. Select Sign in without a Microsoft account.

    If you want to create a new Microsoft account for the user, select Sign up for a new email address and provide the requested information.

    Select Sign in without a Microsoft account.
  6. Select Local account at the bottom of the screen.

    Select Local account at the bottom of the screen.
  7. Enter the username, password, and a hint for your new user account, then select Next.

    Enter the username, password, and a hint for your new user account, then select Next.
  8. Check the box beside Is this a child's account? if you wish to enable the Windows Family Safety feature, then select Finish.

    Check the box beside Is this a child's account? if you wish to enable the Windows Family Safety feature, then select Finish.

How to Grant Administrative Privileges to Windows 8 Users 

To grant the new user administrative privileges in Windows 8 and 8.1:

Giving users administrative access allows them to install programs and make changes to system settings.

  1. Open the Windows 8 Control panel and set View by to Small icons, then select User accounts.

    Open the Windows 8 Control panel and set View by to Small icons, then select User accounts.
  2. Select Change your account type under Make changes to your user account.

    Select Change account type under Make changes to your user account.
  3. Select the account you wish to make an administrator.

    Select the account you wish to make an administrator.
  4. Select Change the account type.

    Select Change the account type.
  5. Select Administrator, then select Change Account Type.

    Select Administrator, then select Change Account Type.

How to Remove User Accounts in Windows 8

To delete a user account in Windows 8 or 8.1:

  1. Open the Windows 8 Control panel and set View by to Small icons, then select User accounts.

    Open the Windows 8 Control panel and set View by to Small icons, then select User accounts.
  2. Select Change your account type under Make changes to your user account.

    Select Change account type under Make changes to your user account.
  3. Select the account you want to delete.

    Select the account you want to delete.
  4. Select Delete the account.

    Select Delete the account.

If using Windows 8, you'll have the option to delete the account's personal files or leave them on your hard drive. Windows 8.1 doesn’t provide this option, so back up anything you want to keep.