When you upgrade Windows 10 your old account comes with you, when you do a clean install you make a new account during the process, but what about if you want to add additional local accounts? Read on as we show you how.
Why Do I Want To Do This?
Millions of Windows users never create secondary accounts on their machines and use their primary administrative account for everything. This is a not-so-secure practice and one most people should get out of the habit of.
Creating a secondary account for yourself (so you’re not always logged into as the administrator) or a secondary account for your kids (so those dubious Minecraft downloads they find on shady websites don’t infect your computer) is a great idea and one that significantly increases the security of your machine.
While you might be inclined to use the onlined/synced features of a networked Microsoft account we’ve had plenty of requests for instructions on how to create a local account without all the online frills (and potential privacy concerns). A standard local account is great for people who don’t want to link their login to Microsoft and it’s a perfect fit for kids who don’t need all the extras (and might not even have an email address to link to the account in the first place).
Let’s take a look at the process for creating secondary accounts in Windows 10.
How To Create A New Local User Account In Windows 10
The first step is to access the Accounts menu (note that this is a separate beast from the “User Accounts” control panel entry). To do so click on the Start Menu search box and enter “add user”.
Select “Add, edit, or remove other users” from the top of the resulting search list. Clicking on it will open up the Accounts menu as seen in the screenshot below. Alternatively, you could navigate to the Start Menu -> Settings -> Accounts, then select “Family & other users” to get to the same menu.
Select “Add someone else to this PC”. This is where Microsoft starts the process of heavily steering you toward creating an online user account instead of a local user account.
Ignore the prompt to provide an email or phone number. Instead click on the link at the bottom that reads “The person I want to add doesn’t have an email address”.
What’s that, Windows says? You don’t have an email address? Well let’s get you one! Like we said, Microsoft is pretty persistent about getting you an online account. Ignore the information here prompting you to setup a new email address through @outlook.com and click on the link at the bottom “Add a user without a Microsoft account”.
Those of us that remember Windows of decades past will find the local account creation screen that pops up familiar: just a plain old user name and a password. We’ll create an account, for the purpose of this tutorial, named How-To Geek. Enter your preferred username and password now and click “Next”.
When you click Next you’ll be kicked back to the Accounts screen from earlier in the tutorial but now you’ll see the new account. By default your local user account is set as a limited account (it cannot install applications or make administrative changes to the machine).
If you have a compelling reason to change the account type to an administrator account you can click on the account entry, select “Change account type” and switch it from a limited to administrative account. Again, unless you have a compelling reason to do so you should leave the account in the much safer limited mode.
From the same click-to-access menu you can also select “Remove” to remove an account you no longer need. If you need to make bigger changes to your account (like switching an online Microsoft account to a local account or enabling or disabling kid-safe features) definitely check out How to Set Up and Configure User Accounts on Windows 10 for a more detailed look at the Windows 10 user system.
Have a pressing Windows 10 question? Shoot us an email at email@example.com and we’ll do our best to answer it.