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Rename the Guest Account in Windows 7 for Enhanced Security

To help secure your new Windows 7 machine, you might want to take a look at changing the Guest account name. Today we take a look at how to rename the Guest account which will  help prevent unauthorized access of your machine.

The Guest account is for users who need to log on infrequently to check email, search the net, quick document processing…etc. It is disabled by default, but if you want to enable it, changing the name increases machine security.

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Change Guest Account Name

First go into Control Panel and click on Administrative Tools.

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In the Administrative Tools window click on Local Security Policy.

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Under Local Security Policy go to Security Settings \ Local Policies \ Security Options and under Policy on the left side select Accounts: Rename guest account.

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Now change the name to whatever you want. Just make sure it is something different than other user accounts so you remember it’s the Guest account. When you’re done click Apply and Ok and close out of the remaining windows.

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Now when you go look at your User Accounts, notice the name of the Guest account has been changed.

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This simple tip helps guard your computer against a person trying to guess a username and password combination if they’re trying to access your machine. For more on user accounts including on how to enable the Guest account, check out our previous article.

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 12/7/09

Comments (15)

  1. Tito

    Would there be a reason to not rename the Administrator account? Seems even more dangerous to leave the default name for that one…

  2. Jose

    Nice tip but totally useless if you’re running Win7 Home Premium. Local Security Policy, just like Group Policy Editor, is not available to the unwashed masses.

  3. wandersick

    There’s no use renaming the Guest account to prevent access. Local users can still try clicking all the user icons at welcome screen and see which one is the Guest account that can be used to log on without password.

    On network security, a Guest account without password can be dangerous when it is turned on (e.g. through “Password-protected sharing” setting). Even if it is renamed, network shares can still be seen without password because the underlying SID hasn’t changed.

    IMO, it is best to password protect the Guest account, and disable “password-protected sharing”, i.e. the Guest account.

  4. Alan

    This is awesome stuff!
    I’ve been wandering how to do this for a while now.

  5. hey.r

    Often it is left behind that many users have got home premium versions which have no local policy access…so I guess we need to hack the registry someway to achieve the same goal..

  6. Scott

    Im sorry but security through obscurity doesn’t work, disable accounts that arnt used.

  7. James

    An easier way to do this would be to go to start > run > type “compmgmt.msc”
    click system tools > local users and groups
    click users folder
    right click guest and select “rename”

  8. tom

    Using Windows 7 –

    When I expand Admistative Tools, Local Security Policy is missing and I can go no further!

    Also, unable to find “local users and groups” under sytems tools as suggested by James.

    Any idea why?

  9. calebstein

    @tom: security policy editor (secpol.msc) is not available in Windows 7 Home Premium. Are you using home premium?

  10. msjunk

    To achieve the same result right click from the Menu right click Computer, select Manage to open Computer Management select Local Users and Groups select Users, right click the Guest and choose Rename or simply double click the Guest account and rename it. I found this logically simpler for me than the above method. Exactly the same result.

  11. Roi

    It keeps saying “An attempt was made to reference a token that does not exist” whenever I click on Local Security Policy! Running Win7 Ultimate x64

    Help!

  12. Dugout

    I was able to create a password for the guest account on win7 home premium AND change the name. Here is what happened in order of steps:

    0. Make sure you enable guest account before proceeding further.

    1. Log in as administrator. Disable UAC (User Account Controls) in the control panel >user accounts and family safety >user accounts > Change user account control settings > set bar to lowest setting.
    2. Restart computer and log in as administrator
    3. Run command prompt (cmd.exe). Once you are in, in my case it showed the following: C:\user\(your account name here)
    4. I used the “cd..” command + ENTER to first leave the account name folder. It then showed C:\user
    5. I used the ”cd..” command + ENTER again to leave the ”user” folder. It then showed C:\ (and the cursor blinking)
    6. Type ”cd\windows\system” and press ENTER
    7. Type ”net user guest _________” and press ENTER (the underline is where you type the password you want to use for the guest account)
    8. type ”exit” and press ENTER to leave command prompt.
    9. Now, go back to to the UAC and set the bar back to the default setting.
    10. Restart the computer
    11. Log in as guest (it should now prompt for the password you typed in Command prompt!)
    12. Once you are in, go to control panel > user accounts and family safety > user accounts > change your account name

    You should now be able to give the guest account whatever name you want.

    (I hope it works with the rest of you, I’m no hacker or registry expert but this worked for me)

  13. Per Hana

    Nice try, but M$ has again been more clever than you.
    First of all: a new version of M$W appears and there you go: all and everything you have ever learned of Win, is history.
    Next: take a different language version of Win and again everything is different. You just cant find anything anywhere. In Finish version of W7 there just is no such as ‘Local Security Policy’

    So many have told that GUI is the only possible way to handle computers. As an administrator of about 3000 (three thousand) computers, I’d rather make these administrative things on command line. Better still, if the command line stays written in english. I’d be rather happy even with Swahili or Urdu, if only I know that it is used globally and from version to version.

  14. Doc Holiday

    @Dugout
    Your steps worked perfecting in Windows 7 Home Premium. Thanks!
    Unfortunately after doing those steps I was not able to change the password for the guest account nor delete it. What worked for that was to run “control userpasswords2″ from an admin account. Then click guest and then Reset Password.

  15. Helpme

    My girlfriend was given a computer by her sugar daddy then thay had a falling out. It is a gateway e series with windows 7, the problem is without knowing his password we cant log onto the cpu. can anybody help?

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