Using a Standard/Limited User Account

Using a Standard User Account makes it more difficult for your computer to be infected. You should use a Standard User Account for every day activities even if you are the sole user of the computer.  It becomes even more important to have separate Standard User Accounts when children are old enough to use the computer.

Creating a Standard User Account (Limited User in Windows XP) must be done from the Administrator account. After the account is created, log off the Administrator account and log on to the Standard User Account.

Windows 8

Windows 8 has two options for user accounts, a local account or a Microsoft Account.
  1. With a mouse, the easiest way is to go to the Windows 8 Start Screen and type Add User. From the search results, click Settings. (With a touch screen, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings.)
  2. Tap or click Change PC Settings.
  3. Tap or click Users.
  4. Tap or click Add a user.
  5. To create a Local Account:
    1. Tap or click Sign in without a Microsoft account.
    2. Enter a user name for the new account.To include a password, enter and verify the password, add a password hint.
  6. To create a Microsoft Account:
    1. Enter the Microsoft account (email) address.
    2. If a Microsoft account does not exist, to create a new one, enter the e-mail address to be associated with the account, generally the address used most frequently.
  7. Tap or click Next.
  8. Tap or click Finish.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista

  1. Click the Start button
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Under User Accounts and Family Safety, click Add or remove user accounts
  4. Click Create a new account
  5. Create a name for the new account
  6. Select Standard user
  7. Click Create Account button

Windows XP

  1. Click Start > Control Panel > User Accounts
  2. Click Create a new account
  3. Create a name for the new account
  4. Under "Pick an account type", select Limited
  5. Click Create Account

Changing to the Administrator Account


When you need to install Microsoft Security Updates, a new software program, or perform administrative functions such as creating a new account, you will need to be using the Administrator Account.

To switch to the Administrator account, do the following:

Windows 8

Using the Ctrl+Alt+Delete keyboard combination and then clicking on Switch User is the fastest method.


Windows and Windows Vista

To use Fast User Switching (FUS), click the Start button, point to the arrow next to the Shut down button, and then click Switch user.

Using a Standard/Limited User Account-switch_user.jpg

(Note: Fast User Switching is not available on Windows 7 Starter.)


Windows XP

Click on the Start Button to open the Start Menu. Click the Log Off button and then click on the Switch User button.

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3 comments:

Linda Jean Limes Ellis said...

This standard user account is not working well for me at all and I am afraid to be in it quite frankly. Nothing was mentioned here how limited things would be while in (I use Windows XP). There is just so much I cannot access and I can't tell where I am at with so much that it just isn't worth it to me. I feel like I am sitting at a totally strange computer! I'm sorry, but I am not comfortable with doing this on my own. I was logged out of my email and don't see my security seal if I try to go back in it. I am not able to see my documents or pictures on my computer. This isn't helping me at all.

Corrine said...

Hi, Linda Jean.

Since your computer is over five years old and you have recently created the limited user account, the programs and files were installed on your Administrator account. Considering the age of your computer, perhaps the easiest thing for you is to use the limited user account when you are surfing the web. For other activities, switch to the Administrator account with the Fast User Switching Feature in Windows XP.

Linda Jean Limes Ellis said...

Hi Corrine. My computer won't actually be five years old until next month. Yes, I created the limited user account today, but after leaving my comment, I deleted it. I see I also have a guest account, and I've never used it. Why was it that I did not even see Internet Explorer up on the desktop? I normally use Firefox though, but have kept IE8 as my default browser. I had a lot of trouble IE8, especially when typing up emails, I would type a few letters and have to wait for them to appear, so I stopped using it, but kept it as a default browser because of the Microsoft updates. I cannot send out emails with document of picture attachments when in that limited user account either. I'll take a look at your fast user switching feature. Thank you, and thank you for trying to help me!