User Profiles

If more than one person uses the same computer, you can set up user profiles so that when one person logs on, their personal Windows settings are used. For example, you could have your own desktop colors, icons, and program groups appear when you log on to Windows, but if someone else logs on, their settings appear instead.

To set up user profiles, double-click the User Accounts icon in the Control Panel.

To establish individual user profiles on the same system,

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Click on the Control Panel.
  3. Double-click on the User Accounts icon. The User Accounts dialog box appears.

You should recreate and account for each person who is using your computer.  If privacy is an issue, you may also want to password protect each user's account.

One word of caution is appropriate about user profiles and passwords. Establishing user profiles and passwords does not prevent someone from getting on your computer. All it does is to prevent someone from getting into your configuration and making changes to it. There are two ways in which someone can get onto your computer without your password. First, when you get the log on screen, by pressing <Esc>, you can get onto the system using the default system configuration. Second, anyone can type in their own name and a password and create a user profile.  This is no longer true under Windows XP, but was the case in earlier versions of Windows.

Hughes Glantzberg

Last Revised: 03/13/2005

Created by
The PC Help Desk
(Hughes Glantzberg)