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HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Managing User Accounts and Logins (Windows 7)
Passwords and separate accounts help ensure that information on the computer stays private and secure. The information in this document describes the different account types in Windows 7, and explains how to change account types and how to save and change passwords.
View a video on Managing User Accounts in Windows 7
Administrator, standard, and guest accounts
The Welcome screen shows the accounts (and account types) on the computer. You click an account on the Welcome screen when you log in.
Windows 7 provides three types of user accounts:
Creating a new account
To create a new account, log in as the main user (or any user with administrative privileges) and follow these steps to create the account:
The account has been created.
Adding administrative user privileges to a user account
If an account requires administrative privileges, you can log in using any user that has administrative privileges and add administrative privileges to any account.
The account type has been changed to Administrator.
Changing a password
When an account has a password, the Windows password is used to log in to the computer.
To change an account password when you know the password, log in to the computer using the account, and then do the following:
Saving a password
When you create an account, you should also create a password reset disk, which you can use to recover a lost password. This procedure requires removable storage media. The types of storage media that can be used are USB storage devices, floppy disks, and flash memory cards. Writable CDs and DVDs are not supported at the time of this writing.
NOTE: You create the password reset disk once per account. You can change the account password but do not have to remake the disk.
Resetting a lost password
When you forget your password, use the following instructions to create (reset) a password in Windows 7:
NOTE: If the main administrator password is lost, and you have the Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, or Home Premium operating system, you can perform a system recovery to reinstall Windows 7 and set up a new administrator password.
With a password reset disk (device)
Without a password reset disk
Use one of the following procedures to reset a lost password using an Administrator account.
CAUTION: If you use an Administrator account to reset an account password, you permanently lose access to any email or encrypted files that are associated with that account.
NOTE: You cannot reset a lost password using a non-Administrator account. If the main Administrator account password is lost , and you do not have a password reset disk and you do not have another Administrator account (available in Windows 7 Ultimate operating system only), you must run a system recovery to reinstall Windows 7 and set up a new administrator password. You might find password recovery software from the Internet, but this type of software is used at your own risk and may cause other problems. Always write down your password and store it in a secure location where it can be retrieved later.
Turning on the Guest Account
A guest account can be used to allow multiple people quick limited access to the same computer through one account. Use the following steps to enable a Guest account.
NOTE: This procedure for the Guest account is not available if you have the Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, or Home Premium operating system.