How-To Geek

Beginner Geek: Delete User Accounts in Windows 7

If you have a user account on your Windows 7 machine that you don’t need anymore, you may want to get rid of it. Today we take a look at how to delete a user account and save their files.

We showed you how to create and manage user accounts in Windows 7 in a previous post. But what if you don’t need it anymore? The process of deleting an account is relatively easy, but you might want to save their files and / or settings in case you need it again.

Delete a User

To delete a user, type user accounts into the Start search bar and hit Enter.


Then click on Manage another account.


Select the user account you want to get rid of.


Now click on Delete the account.


You are then given the option to keep the user files. You may want to do this if they need them for another machine or you want to store them if needed later.


If you choose to keep the files they will be saved in a folder on the desktop.


Then go ahead and delete the account.


This should help you get rid of users you no longer need on your machine, and save their files if needed.

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 11/24/09

Comments (24)

  1. Tahir


    These tips are for Windows 7 Home Premium and other waterdown versions that don’t have “local Users and Groups” option in Computer Management Console. If you like to create user accounts with Guests group access only for yourself and family members, then do the following,

    First you’ll need to open a command prompt in administrator mode by right-clicking and choosing “Run as administrator”, enter admin password when prompted. Then in the new window type the following to delete “users” group, “net localgroup users user1 /delete”
    Then type the following to add “guests” group, “net localgroup guests user1 /add”

    Also to activate the hidden adminstrator account use the following:
    Again you’ll need to open a command prompt in administrator mode by right-clicking and choosing “Run as administrator”. Then type “net user administrator /active:yes” and be sure to disable after you are done by typing “net user administrator /active:no”, because this administrator account comes without any password.

  2. Parisa

    Hi, we just got this Windows 7 PC and we just exhanged our pc’s with each other. So now I have the Window 7 one, and he’s got the older XP one I had.
    I’ve been trying to change the name of the users that are located at the C:\ drive, but I don’t know how to. I already changed the Owner’s name (the PC name) but still, when I want to do something or save something, it saves it at a C:\my name\previous user namer. And what I want is to completely change the previous username that shows after mine.
    There are also other users in the C:\ location, but I cannot delete them, it shows me a message that the user cannot be deleted because the files in it are running in another program… and I don’t know how to delete that user’s files, I went into the folder and it’s completely empty, so I’m confused of what files is it talking about?
    I am not talking about user accounts, that’s completely dif. from the one I have on C:\ I only have one user account, and that’s mine, the only things that still remain there are those users that are not on use anymore, I changed the sharing things, the security, so everything’s unlocked, but still I cannot delete them. And in addition to this I am the administrator in my account, where I’m supposed to modify, delete or change anything I want from other users, but seems that is impossible.
    What can I do???? Please Urgent help!

  3. Simon Thorpe

    I too could do with an answer to this question – after deleting a user in the manner described in the article, the user folder is still present on C drive and I can’t delete it. It caused an error when I installed WinRAR as it tried to do something inside the folder but couldn’t.

    How do I delete??


  4. Steven Torrey

    Parisa’s question is a good one. I just bought this computer a month ago. The folder My Documents is in c:\users\DGH. I want to change that to c:\users\myname. Following your instructions, does not give directions to make that change. Please address this! Someone! Anyone! After all I want that folder to assert that I wrote the document and not someone else.

  5. Kable

    Same here as above three comments…I am only one user on this machine, but when I go to Users in C: Drive it shows my old user folder complete with all the user files that programs I still have installed are using (AppData etc…)…what’s a brotha to do??? lol…seriously though anyone shed some light on this?

  6. Michele31

    Hi I am having the same problem as all above users…I bought my laptop from Staples as a floor model clearance machine…it seems as though the Staples staff set up the laptop to have a STAPLES as their USER account which has a LOCK icon next to it (i am unable to rename this or do anything with it). Also since getting the laptop I have upgraded to Win 7 Professional and EVERYTHING I have on the machine has installed to C://users/STAPLES/etc… I took my question to WIN 7 Community forums and got a lame answer that I need to create a new admin account and delete the STAPLES question (which was never answered mind you) is HOW to do this WITHOUT losing ALL the info/programs/etc that have been installed under STAPLES account??? I backed my entire system up on an external HD, but hence it’s all backed up with the STAPLES name atttached…SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!!!!!! I AM SICK OF SEEING STAPLES ON MY MACHINE!!!!

  7. Tami

    I have Windows 7 – 64 bit. When I follow these instructions, there’s no “delete the account” option. I can change the account name, establish parental controls, change the picture … but there’s absolutely no option to “delete” anywhere.

  8. Lio

    Same as Tami here :(
    I cannot delete the account I’ve creater only for one time action.
    Please help!

  9. G

    Well my computer has just come back from repair & when it was repaired they created a second administrator account.. however there is no option to delete the account, or any of the others.. I am a little confused.

  10. kelvin

    hi, please i need assistance with this problem..i just got my windows 7 pc. i mistakenly made the guest account the administrator the other a standard account…i cannot download or install anything on my pc because of this..i have tried to fix this proble in so many ways but i cannot…. please i need someone to help can i delete the guest account? infact how can i delete the two user accounts without losing my files..

  11. t

    and what if i select the user account i want to delete and “Delete the account” is not among the options i’m shown?

  12. Idiot

    thanks dude !

  13. nath

    So I bought an Acer laptop which had to go back to Acer for warranty repair. Before it went it had no user setups. When it came back it had one user named “Acer”.
    I thought I would just rename the Acer account to “Nath”. This worked fine but looking further into this; if I open the pictures library then click on the “Include 2 locations” tab at the top, the path for nath is still set to be Acer.
    Eg. C:\Users\Acer\Pictures

    If I have changed the user account name should this not read
    C:\Users\Nath\Pictures ???

    Please help or someone at Acer will die.

  14. feaa111

    You need an adminstrator account to delete another account, can’t do it with a standart account, just go to USERS in CONTROL PANEL, choose MANAGE ANOTHER ACCCOUNT and DELETE. If you can’t remove the account from there, you should: RIGHT-CLICK MY COMPUTER, MANAGE or “compmgmt.msc” in RUN. YOu will find USERS under LOCAL USERS AND FROUPS, RIGHT CLICK AND DELETE.
    NOTE: You probably need adminstrator rights.

    .To Nath, it changes only the name, not the folder structure, i would advise you to make another account, but i don't know if it's possible for you to transfer your settings from the Acer account, you should google that up. I

  15. manuth

    Can anyone help me, I just installed Win7 Professional 32-bit and when it ask for user account I can’t log on! (even typing administrator)

  16. anthony

    hi thanks i been looking to remove the user account for the past week looking here and there finally came on this site thanks one more time great job how you explain it very simple for people like me that don’t know a lot on computer

  17. gurpreet chahal

    in my pc i install new window 7 old window 7 also exist now i want to delete old window how can i do this

  18. ashley

    for those people who didn’t have the delete option its because its set on administrator u have to change it by doint the following

    1.) go to control panel
    2.) go to user acounts
    3.)go to manage acounts
    4.)go to change acount type
    5.)change to standard * NOTE [ this works only for windows 7]

  19. Xakiz

    If it was as simple as shown I wouldn’t be here lol :D
    When I click on one of the accounts and then click ‘delete account’, then I either ‘keep files’ or ‘delete them’. Then, when I click ‘delete account’, nothing happens, I am sent back to user accounts screen. I tried it from my ordinary administrator account, as well as from activated, secret, true administrator. Still nothing happens.

  20. Daniel


    I deleted a user account and “kept the files” but now I want to delete those files, but it says I don’t have permission to do so ( I have tried logging in as admin, but this doesn’t work either)

    Do you know how to delete these files?


  21. Dida

    If you cannot delete an account through control panel then do this >>>

    Start > Run > Cmd and type in >>>> Net user “Accounts Name” /delete

    And thats all the account you selected is deleted :)

  22. Haydn

    The delete button isint there???????????

  23. baldylocks

    Hi I am having the same problem as all above users…
    I bought my pc from ebay, as their USER account Anthony which has a LOCK icon next to it (i am unable to rename this or do anything with it). C://users/Anthony/… I have removed all the users from the accounts so now just has mine as administrator, and the guest one, however I still see Anthonys name on file paths, it does my head in. looking through all the questions it seems no one can answer this. we know how to change and delete user accounts, we dont know how to change the previous owners name.

  24. TPacker

    What if theres no delete button?

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