How to Set Up Limited User Accounts in Windows 10

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To be successful, malware and other security exploits frequently leverage the powers of highly privileged Windows user accounts. It's not entirely a shock, then, that a new report reveals that 86 percent of all Windows security threats patched in 2015 would have been stopped or rendered toothless if they had attacked users who were using limited, rather than administrator, accounts, and hence lacked the power to install, modify or delete software.


The 2015 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Study by Manchester, England-based enterprise-security provider Avecto, released Tuesday (Feb. 2),  showed that 85 percent of remote-code-execution bugs (some of the most dangerous flaws) detailed in Microsoft's monthly Patch Tuesday reports would be nullified if the Windows active user did not have administrative rights. (The same company reached similar conclusions two years ago.)

Microsoft Office and Windows 10 would also be much safer, as 82 percent of the security flaws would be blocked. Users with limited, a.k.a. "regular" accounts would have been protected from a whopping 99.5 percent of Internet Explorer vulnerabilities on all platforms, and 100 percent of Microsoft Edge security flaws in Windows 10.

MORE: 12 Computer Security Mistakes You’re Probably Making

We advise all Windows users to operate their PCs primarily from regular/limited accounts, and to sign into administrative accounts only when they need to install, remove or update software. The default account that ships on most Windows computers is an admin account, so you'll need to create additional, regular accounts. OS X and Linux users would also be wise to use non-administrative accounts for their daily activity, but fewer exploits exist overall on those platforms.

Here are step-by-step instructions for how to set up a limited-privilege user account in Windows 10.

How to Create Limited-Privilege User Accounts in Windows 10

1. Tap the Windows icon.

screenshot (90)2. Select Settings.

screenshot (91)3. Tap Accounts.

screenshot (92)4. Select Family & other users.

screenshot (93)5. Tap "Add someone else to this PC."

screenshot (95)6. Select "I don't have this person's sign-in information."

screenshot (120)7. Select "Add a user without a Microsoft account."

screenshot (121)8. Enter a username, type the account's password twice, enter a clue and select Next.

screenshot (122)9. Tap the Windows icon.

screenshot (123)10. Select the User icon at the upper left corner of the Start menu.

screenshot (124)11. Select the new user. You'll then sign into your account with your password from step 8.

screenshot (125)You're now using a non-Administrator account!


Author Bio
Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey,
After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.
Henry T. Casey, on
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  • Aaron Bush Says:

    This method worked only until build 10159. basically if you have ever gotten any updates this method no longer works.

  • ct2193 Says:

    The screenshot looks to be 1511 or 1603. Everything back then was a mess compared to the (in)"stability" we have today.

  • Flemming Thomsen Says:

    Using 'Other people' create this response.
    "This snapin may not be used with this edition of Windows 10. To manage accounts for this computer, use the User Accounts tool in the Control Panel."

    That error message is futile advice because it will cycle back to this error in MMC.

  • Flemming Thomsen Says:

    Select Family & other users.
    This menu point do not come up, so I cannot create a new account. Why?
    Windows 10. Hp Labtop, Intel Core i7.

  • Jason Says:

    This is not what Windows 10 shows. Instead of the screenshots in this article, I see the following corrections:

    Step 4: showing the Accounts sidebar:
    "Your email and accounts" really says "Your info"
    This screenshot misses "Email & app accounts"
    "Sign-in options" is correct
    "Work access" really says "Access work or school"
    The green rectangle around "Family & other users" is what is to select, but on my Win10 it says "Other people"
    In addition, none of the above include little icon graphics (a person with 3 lines; an envelope; a key; a briefcase; a person with a +) as is shown in Windows 10

    Step 5: click "Add someone else to this PC"
    This reveals the MMC with lusrmgr and the error message "This snapin may not be used with this edition of Windows 10. To manage accounts for this computer, use the User Accounts tool in the Control Panel."

    That error message is futile advice because it will cycle back to this error in MMC.

    I came across this article in a web search specifically for adding users in Windows 10 home premium. There's no match in Win10 versions shown vs what I have.

  • Peter Krohn Says:

    I believe that Bob in Spain is correct, I've tried this myself and it creates more problems than it solves.

  • Bob in Spain Says:

    Thanks, worked fine, but it's treating me as a new user and not the owner - all my everyday apps and settings are on my admin account. Do I have to start all over again?

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