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Create a New User Account

We share a computer in my house and I’m tired of the settings getting messed with. There’s a way to set up different users, right?

If your family shares one computer and one user account then you know how annoying it is to turn it on and see that all the icons are moved around and your wallpaper is changed. You go to get online and your homepage is changed or you have favorites in your browser that you didn’t put there.

Well, to solve this problem you can create separate user accounts. Make one for Dad, Mom, the kids, Grandma, the cat—whatever you need to give everyone their own place on the computer.

With Windows XP go to Start/Control Panel and double click “User Accounts”. Select “Create a new account” and the wizard will walk you through the process.


You’ll be given the choice of administrative or limited account—administrative accounts have access to all files, can make changes to the system, and can add software while limited accounts are, um, limited.

If you have Windows 98/ME go to Start/Settings/Control Panel/Users. Click the “New user” button then follow the wizard. When you get to the “Personalized Items Settings” screen you have a few options. You can create copies of files and settings from another account by checking them off and selecting “Create copies of the current items and their contents”. The other option is to give the new account a fresh start by selecting “Create new items to save disk space.” Click “Next” to continue on your way.


Once you make the new accounts you can switch users by going to Start/Log Off which will take you to the Log In screen where another user can log in. XP users have the additional feature of Fast User Switching which lets you switch from one user to another without logging off and on. Leave your programs open, switch to another user, and then switch back again.

Hurray for household harmony!

~ David

David Samuel Thomas