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How to Share Programs with Other Users in Windows Vista

Vista is nothing without programs. Sure, Windows is nice, but your work (and play!) gets done inside programs — word processors, e-mail programs, spreadsheets, Warcraft XIX: The Prequel . . . you get the idea. If you don't know how to share programs with other users in Windows Vista, you'll end up with everyone having to log on as you in order to play your games and programs. To give other user accounts access to a program, follow these steps:


Log on as the user who can get to the program.

In short, log yourself in.


Right-click Start and choose Open. On the right, double-click the Programs folder.

You end up in the Start Menu\Programs folder for the user who’s logged on.


Find the folder that contains the programs you installed.

To share The Sims, go to the folder called Maxis. That’s the name of the company that makes The Sims. You may have to click and search a bit to find the folder you need, but make sure you get the main folder — the one that contains all the shortcuts.


Right-click the folder and choose Copy.

Now you need to move over to the “All Users” Programs folder.


Right-click Start and choose Open All Users.

Windows Explorer shows you the Start Menu folder for “All Users.”


Double-click the Programs folder.

That puts you in the “All Users” Programs folder.


Right-click a blank spot on the right side of the Explorer window and choose Paste. Then “X” out of Windows Explorer.

You may need to jump through a security dialog hoop, but in the end, the program shortcut folder (in this case, to the Maxis folder) appears in the Start Menu\Programs folder.


“X” out of Windows Explorer.

By virtue of its location in that folder, Maxis appears on the Start→All Programs menus for every user.

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