User accounts let you share a computer with other persons, while having your own personal files and settings separate from them. Having multiple user accounts for each person using your computer is considered to be good practice. Everybody will access his/her account with a user name and password, and make changes which don't impact other users. With this tutorial I will start a small series of articles on managing user accounts in Windows 7. In this guide I will show you how to change your account name, your password, picture and account type.
NOTE: Some of the operations explained below can only be done if you login with an Administrator account. If you have a standard account, you can only change your password and account picture. Settings like changing your account name or type, are related to computer security, and can only be done as an Administrator.
Find the User Accounts Control Panel
Open Control Panel and click on 'User Accounts and Family Safety'.
In the 'User Accounts and Family Safety' panel, click on User Accounts.
The User Accounts window is the starting point to all of the changes to your account and also for managing other accounts.
How to Change the Password
In the User Accounts control panel, select the use for which you want to change the password and click on the 'Change your password' link.
In the newly opened window you will be prompted for both your old and new passwords.
In the first box write your current password and, in the next two, your new password. To make your computer safer it is recommended that you use strong passwords. This means a combination of letters, numbers and special characters (like "@", "#" or "&"). This password should be something that would be very hard for you to forget but impossible for anyone else to figure out. At Microsoft Security at Home you can find out more on this topic, including how to create strong passwords.
If you think you cannot remember the new password that you have set, complete in the fourth box a password hint. But, be careful what you write, because this hint will be visible to all people using your computer.
When you have finished, click on the Change password button.
If you don't want to write your password every time you log on, Windows 7 gives you the possibility of logging on automatically, without typing your password. More details on how to do that, you can find in one of our previous articles.
How to Remove the Password
If you want to remove your password, select the user and click on 'Remove password' in the User Accounts control panel.
To remove your current password, you have to first type it and then press the 'Remove password' button.
Warning: if you remove your password, anyone will have access to all your data, personal information, programs, online accounts and others. Therefore, it is not advisable to do it.
How to Change Your Account Picture
To choose another account image, select the user and press 'Change your picture' in User Accounts window.
From the 'Choose picture' window, you can either select one of the default Windows 7 account images or you can set your own image by clicking 'Browse for more pictures'.
Don't forget to click 'Change picture' after selecting an image, to make your change visible.
You will see the modification already in both the Start Menu and the logon screen.
How to Change the Account Name
NOTE: This change can only be done if you have an Administrator account.
From the User Accounts window, select the user and choose 'Change your account name'.
Type the new name in the designated text box and then press 'Change name' to make the change visible on both the logon screen and on the Start Menu.
How to Change the Account Type
To change your user type, select the user and click on 'Change your account type'.
From this control panel you can set your account as Standard or Administrator.
Select the option you desire and click on ‘Change Account Type’.
NOTE: To change an account from Standard to Administrator you have to be logged in with an Administrator account.
As you can see from this tutorial, editing user accounts on your computer can be done very easily. For more information on managing user accounts, stay tuned to the next articles in our series. In the meantime, if you have any questions or problems you need help with, don't hesitate to leave a comment.