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How To Use the Guest Account in Windows

written by: Lucinda Watrous•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 9/15/2008

If you've got people who want to use your computer, but you want to keep their access limited, you can use the Guest Account in Windows XP. Need to know how? Keep reading!

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    Guest accounts are an optional feature on Windows XP. Guest accounts are useful for people who do not have a user account on your computer, and/or people that you do not need or want to create a user account for. If you have a friend over that wants to use your computer, but you want to be able to protect your files and folders from those potentially prying eyes, you can have this person use the Guest Account, without worry! This option is great for when you have friends and family or other out of town guests who do not have a laptop to bring with them.

    Setting up a guest account is perhaps one of the easier things you will ever do in Windows.

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    Things You'll Need

    • Windows XP
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    Step One

    To get set up the Guest Account feature, all you need to do is go to: Start > Control Panel > User Accounts. This will take you to the screen where you can adjust and control the guest account, along with any other user account you have set up on your computer system. For more information on this, read Creating a User Desktop.

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    Step Two

    Look for the Guest Account option in the lower right hand corner of the window that opens. It should have a briefcase icon, or something similar next to it.

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    Step Three

    Click it. That's all you have to do in order to enable the function. Now when you log on to Windows, you'll have the option to log on as a guest! It's as easy as that. Should you ever decide that you want to disable the function again, repeat these steps to turn it off.

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    Tips, Warnings, and Other Information

    • Guest accounts will not have access to password protected files and folders, and will not be able to install or delete programs.
    • Guest accounts will not have the ability to customize their desktop or other other options like a regular user account will.
    • Guest accounts may be turned on or off at your leisure.