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Manage User Accounts in Windows Home Server

Once you have your Windows Home Server set up, you’ll want to add users and control the content they have access to. Here we take a look at how to add a new user, determine their access to shared folders, and how to disable or remove a user.

Add a New User

To add a new user to Windows Home Server (WHS), open the Home Server Console and select User Accounts. A screen will pop up advising you about user accounts, allow you to enable the Guest Account, and set a password policy. To stop it from popping up every time click the box next to Do not show this message again then click Ok.

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Now click on Add and an Add User Account screen comes up. Type in the user name, logon name, and determine if you want to enable Remote Access. Remote Access allows the user to connect to the server through the Internet. If you choose Remote Access, you can select if they have access to shared folders and home computers, shared folders only, or home computers only then click Next.

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Type in a password for the user twice and make sure it meets the password requirements.

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Next select the type of rights they have to each of the shared folders from Full, Read, or None.

  • Full – allows the user to create, change, and delete files in the shared folders.
  • Read – allows the user to read the files only. They cannot create, change or delete any files in the shared folders.
  • None – doesn’t allow the user any access to files in the shared folders.

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The settings you chose are configured and the new account is added.

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Now when you look at the list of users you’ll see the new account listed.

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When a user logs on to their machine and tries to access the shared folders, they’ll be prompted to log on with the username and password you created for them.

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If you didn’t allow the user access to a certain folder, if they try to access it, they’ll get the following Network Error message.

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If the user only has Read rights, they can access the files but not make any changes to them. Like in this example, a user with only Read rights to the Music share, tried to delete a file and received a File Access Denied error message.

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Passwords

If you want to keep things simple for the user you might want to make sure the password on the machine and the server account are the same. This makes it easier for them so they don’t have to type in the server password every time they want to access the shared folders. If the passwords aren’t the same, when they log on their machine they’ll see the following notification.

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They can click the balloon message or right-click the Home Server Console icon and select Update Password.

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Then select the radio button next to Update password and click Ok.

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Now the user just needs to select Keep my password on the home server or Keep my password on this computer (whichever one they want) and type in their computer password and the password for the server and click Ok.

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Then they’ll get a message showing it was changed successfully.

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Disable a User Account

Sometimes you might want to disable a user account so they can’t access files on the server. Instead of completely removing the account, an easier method is to disable it. This will temporarily prevent a user from accessing shared folders on the server. Under User Accounts right-click the user and select Disable Account.

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Then click on Yes when the dialog box comes up asking if you’re sure.

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Now when the user tries to access the shared folders on the server, they’ll get a message telling them the account is currently disabled.

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Remove a User Account

Sometimes you might need to remove a user account completely. Under User Accounts right-click on the user you want gone and select Remove.

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You’ll be prompted to keep their shared folder or remove it. If you think you might add them at a future date, you’ll probably want to keep the shared folder. In this example we’re going to remove it.

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Next a message comes up telling you that you’re about to remove them and in this case delete the shared folder.

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That’s it. Everything will be removed and when you close out of the wizard, they’ll no longer be listed under User Accounts.

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Manage User Account Properties

Sometimes you might need to change a user’s password or change the folders they have access to. Right-click on the user account and select Change Password if that’s all you need to do, or Properties to change folder access or other properties.

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In the Properties window under the General tab you can change their logon name, Remote Access and Account Status.

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Under the Shared Folder Access tab you can go through and change the type of access they have to each of the shared folders.

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Note that any changes you make won’t go into effect until after the user logs off then back on again.

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Conclusion

This should get you started with managing users on your home or small office network. Keep in mind that the maximum number of accounts allowed on WHS is 10…not including the Guest Account. Managing your users is a great way to administer the type of content they have access to, and preventing them from deleting important data.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 02/4/10

Comments (3)

  1. Matt B

    Is there a way to monitor if a user is logged in?

  2. Papa

    Do you know if there is a way to set up the network so that internet access is only available a certain time of day each day for a certain user or device? I would like to disable the internet at 11 pm and reenable around 9 am each morning.

  3. Peter

    In response to Matt B:

    search in google and download Remote Alert for Windows Home Server (WHS) install the plugin.

    In response to Papa:

    The above will allow you to control access to the WHS but in your home router you can often setup day of time access restrictions… See you home router setup guide…

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