If more than one person is going to be using a PC, it's a good idea for each to have their own account. We show you how to add them and make sure they've got the right level of access
If you want to share your computer with other people, rather than letting them sign on to it as you, you can give them their own user account, whether they're an adult or a child, a member of your family or someone from outside your family circle.
It's a good idea to do this rather than simply let them use your account. First, of course, it's good security practice not to share passwords, but additionally you might have personal or confidential work documents on your PC that you don't want others to be able to access. And you might prefer not to make some software available or you might want to restrict their ability to install software or tinker with your existing settings.
Fortunately, it's straightforward to add a new user and to make sure they've got the right access permissions - and it's worth remembering that security experts recommend the 'principle of least privilege', where you only let people have access to what they need.
To get started, tap the Windows key and type user into the search box, then select Add, edit or remove other users.
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That takes you to the Family & other users section of the Settings app, and then choose whether you want to add a family member (adult or child), or a user who isn't a member of your family.
If you tap Add a family member the next screen will ask if you want to add an adult or a child. You'll need an email address for the family member you want to add, though if they don't already have one, you'll be prompted to either create an email account for them (using the free Microsoft outlook.com), or to add them either with their phone number or via your own email account.
If you create the account with a phone number, that phone will be sent a code via SMS to verify the account, so make sure you have access to the phone when you're setting up the account.
If you set up your new user via their email address, they will be sent a code that you'll need to enter to verify the account, so make sure you either have access to that email account, or that they are expecting you to add them and that you can get the code from them in a timely manner.
Adding someone from outside your family is much the same: under Other users, tap Add someone else to this PC. You'll be asked How will this person sign in? and you'll be able to choose between their email address or phone number. Again, if you choose either of those options, make sure you either have access to the phone or email so that you can receive the verification code, or that they're expecting you to create the account and can send you the verification code.
If you don't have access to their phone or email, click I don't have this person's sign-in information. Click Next, and you'll be given three choices: Use a phone number instead, Get a new email address, and Add a user without a Microsoft account.
If you choose the latter, you'll be invited to create a user name and password and then create three security questions with the answer.
Users can have either Administrator or Standard accounts. An administrator has full rights over the computer: they can install and uninstall software, access the Registry and make other far-reaching changes. We recommend that you don't give someone an administrator account unless it's absolutely necessary - that's the principle of least privilege in action.
Standard users can't install software and can only make limited changes to the computer.
If you add a child account, you have a lot of control over what that user can do. You can manage those permissions online by going to the Family page online from your Microsoft account. Here you can set screen time, add money to their accounts to spend in the Microsoft Store and set app and content restrictions.
If anyone other than you uses your computer, it's well worth setting up appropriate user accounts - and if you get it wrong, you can always delete the account you've set up and start again.