Windows User Accounts

Taken from Microsofts User Accounts:FAQ

What is a User Account?

A user account is a collection of information that tells Windows which files and folders you can access, what changes you can make to your computer, and your personal preferences, such as your desktop background or screen saver. User accounts let you share a computer with several people while having your own files and settings. Each person accesses his or her user account with a user name and password.

There are three types of accounts. Each type gives users a different level of control over the computer:

  • Standard accounts are for everyday computing.

  • Administrator accounts provide the most control over a computer and should only be used when necessary.

  • Guest accounts are intended primarily for people who need temporary use of a computer.

Do I need a User Account to use Windows?

Yes. When you set up Windows, you'll be required to create a user account. This account will be an administrator account to allow you to set up your computer and install any programs that you would like to use. Once you have finished setting up your computer, we recommend that you use a standard user account for your everyday computing. The Welcome screen, where you log on to Windows, displays the accounts that are available on the computer and identifies the account type so you'll know if you're using an administrator or standard user account. 

Why use a standard user account instead of an administrator account?

The standard account can help protect your computer by preventing users from making changes that affect everyone who uses the computer, such as deleting files that are required for the computer to work. We recommend creating a standard account for each user.

When you are logged on to Windows with a standard account, you can do almost anything that you can do with an administrator account, but if you want to do something that affects other users of the computer, such as installing software or changing security settings, Windows might ask you to provide a password for an administrator account.

Do I need to use a Password on my account?

No. However, we recommend that you use a strong password. Using a password is one of the most important things you can do to help keep your computer secure. When your computer is protected with a password, only someone who knows the password can log on to it.


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