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Managing User Accounts and Parental Controls

Sharing one device in a family or office naturally creates the need of having separate user accounts. This allows every user to have their own customized desktop, save personal data into files which may be shared with other users. A user can even customize the Start menu according to the programs and apps the user uses the most. This article will show you how to manage user accounts in an easy and simple way so that no family or office member will ever have to complain about missing or excessive files, applications or changes in Windows settings which are not to their liking.

Every user deserves a personal account

Before you create accounts for everyone, ask yourself a question if the needs of users differ from one to another and if they are frequent users using all the possibilities of a separate account. If they are frequent users of the computer, create a standard user account for them. This account type allows its user to customize the desktop, save documents to personal folders, install programs… The changes never project to other user accounts.

To open User Accounts, click the Start menu, click Control Panel, click Add or remove a user account and then click Create a user account.

   

One user account for all other computer users

If the computer is used for web browsing, playing games or listening to music by a lot of users, it is not necessary to create several user accounts. For these purposes, the Guest account should be activated. The users will be free to do all these activities but they will not be able to browse data, files and settings protected by password.

To open User Accounts, click the Start menu, click Control Panel, click Add or remove a user account, select Guest account and click Enable (or clear the Account is disabled check box).

   

Account settings and security

As an administrator, you can manage other user’s accounts (changing the names, creating passwords, change the account picture or account type). All these, excluding the change of account type, can be also changed by the user. The benefit of you being able to change all these settings as well comes handy when, for example, one user forgets his password and cannot login into the system. You can easily remove and create a new password for this user (or allow him to create his password on his own).

Setting parental controls

Parental control can be found in the Managing User Accounts tab of the Control Panel. It is a feature mostly used by parents of small children. Via parental control, you can disable games which are not suitable for your children (violent, sexually explicit etc.) or you can set the time frame when the computer is accessible for the child. The parental control runs on a simple principle—if the computer decides that a game has unsuitable content, which you have described or determined in the settings, it will not allow the user to run the game, unless the administrator’s password is entered. The time restriction function works on a similar principle—if the time is up, the administrator’s password is required for any further action.

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