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How To Create a Desktop User in Windows

written by: Lucinda Watrous•edited by: Christian Cawley•updated: 9/15/2008

Do you share you computer with several other members of your family? Are you tired of finding someone else's documents when you are trying to get to your own? Create separate desktop users to solve this problem! Read on to find out how!

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    Desktop users allow all the people sharing a computer to keep their information separated. Each user will have their own desktop that they can customize, their own 'My Documents' folder, and the ability to password protect their information. This can be bothersome at times because users forget to log off once they have logged on, and having more than one user logged on at the same time can severely impact system speed; but, it helps to keep everything organized for all the computer users.

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    Things You'll Need

    • Windows XP
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    Step One

    To create a new user account, you'll need to go to Start > Control Panel > User Accounts. Then, choose the Create a New Account option. This is also where you will go if you need to make changes to any user accounts after you create them.

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    Step Two

    Type a name for the account. Generally, the person's first name works fine, because this is just what displays on the Welcome screen, and will serve as the name for the documents folder (when viewed from other user accounts).

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    Step Three

    Choose an account type for the account. You have two options: Computer Administrator, or Limited Account. The Computer Administrator account will allow this user to install and uninstall programs, as well as making other system wide changes. The Limited Account will allow the user access to programs he or she needs, without the ability to make changes to the computer system.

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    Tips, Warnings, and Other Information

    • Multiple user accounts can be logged on at the same time. This will slow your computer down.
    • Multiple user accounts means that information can be password protected.
    • Multiple user accounts can take up space on your hard drive, so you should only use them if you need to.
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    Related Reading:

    >>> Windows Vista Security Center - Almost Everything You Need

    >>> The Windows Registry: An Introduction

    >>> Vista's Public folders - An easy way to share data

    >>> Top Online Backup Systems