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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Creating and Managing User Accounts

Windows Vista has a number of methods for working with user accounts. The most direct route is to use Control Panel's Manage Accounts window (select Start, Control Panel, Add or Remove User Accounts, and then enter your credentials). You create a new user account by following these steps:

  1. Click Create a New Account. The Create New Account window appears.
  2. Type the name for the account. The name can be up to 20 characters and must be unique on the system.
  3. Activate either Administrator (to add the user to the Administrators group) or Standard User (to add the user to the Users group).
  4. Click Create Account.

To modify an existing account, you have two choices:

  • To modify your own account, click Go to the Main User Accounts Page to open the User Accounts window. Note that the links you see are slightly different from the ones listed next. For example, instead of Change Name, you see Change Your Name.
  • To modify another user's account, click the account in the Manager Accounts window.

The latter technique opens the Change an Account window, shown in Figure 6.4, which includes some of or all the following tasks:

  • Change the Account Name—Click this link to change the account's username. In the Rename Account window, type the new name and click Change Name.
  • Create a Password—You see this task only if the user doesn't yet have an account password. Click the link to open the Create Password window, type the password twice, type a password hint, and then click Change Password.
  • Change the Password—If the user already has a password, click this link to change it. In the Change Password window, type the password twice, type a password hint, and then click Change Password.
  • Remove the Password—If the user already has a password, click this link to delete it. In the Remove Password window, click Remove Password.
  • Change the Picture—Click this link to change the random picture that Vista assigns to each account. In the Choose Picture window, either click one of the displayed images and then click Change Picture, or click Browse for More Pictures to use the Open dialog box to pick out an image from the Pictures folder (or wherever you like).
  • Set Up Parental Controls—Click this link to apply Parental Controls to the user. See "Using Parental Controls to Restrict Computer Usage," later in this chapter.
  • Change the Account Type—Click this link to open the Change Account Type window. Click either Standard User or Administrator and then click Change Account Type.
  • Delete the Account—Click this link to delete the user account. In the Delete Account window, click either Delete Files or Keep Files (to delete or keep the user's documents), and then click Delete Account.
Figure 6.4

Figure 6.4 In the Manage Accounts window, click an account to see this list of tasks for changing the user's account.

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