How to Create a Local Account for a Guest on Your Windows 10 Computer

By Peter Weverka

Consider creating a local account for each person who uses your Windows 10 computer. A local account is more than just a way to sign in. Each local account preserves the user’s settings and Internet browsing history. When you set up a local account, Windows 10 creates separate folders called Documents, Pictures, Videos, and Music for the account holder. Only the account holder can open and edit files in these special folders.

  1. To create a local account, select your name on the Start screen and choose Change Account Settings on the menu that appears.

    The Settings app opens to the Accounts screen.

    To create a local account, you must be your computer’s administrator. To see whether you’re the administer, look for the word Administrator below your name on the Your Info page of the Settings screen.

  2. On the left, select Family & Other People. On the right, select Add Someone Else to This PC.

    The How Will This Person Sign In screen appears.

  3. At the bottom of the How Will This Person Sign In screen, select the link called I Don’t Have This Person’s Sign-In Information.
  4. On the next screen (it’s called Create an Account for This PC), enter the user name in the first box.

    Use the person’s first name, last name, first and last name, initials, or nickname — something easy to remember and type.

    You are not required to use a password with a local account, which makes signing in easy. However, without a password, anyone can use the computer and access information that you might want to protect.

  5. In the Password box, enter a password (or skip to Step 8 if you don’t care to create a password for your account).

    A dot will appear for each character you type.

  6. In the Reenter Password box, type the same password exactly.
  7. In the Password Hint box, type a reminder that only you will understand.

    For laptops or other portable devices, consider using your phone number with area code as the hint (if you’re sure you don’t need a real hint). The hint appears when someone tries and fails to enter login information. By including your phone number, you might help an honest person return your lost, stolen, or misplaced device to you.

  8. After completing all the available boxes, choose the Next button.

    In the Accounts screen, the new user name appears under Other People.

  9. Return to the Start screen and select your user name.

    Notice that the new user name appears on the drop-down menu. You can switch between accounts by selecting a user name on the drop-down menu. To sign out of an account, choose Sign Out.

  10. In the drop-down menu, select the new user name to switch to that account.

    A screen appears with the new user name. If you used a password on the new user account, type that password in the box and select the onscreen right arrow or press Enter. If you didn’t use a password, select the Sign In button.

    The first time you sign in as a new user, you have to wait a moment while apps are installed for the new user. Soon the generic Start screen appears. (Any settings you changed in your account do not transfer to other accounts.)

    When you start a computer for which you’ve created more than one user account, the users’ names appear in the lower-left corner of the Windows 10 screen. To tell Windows which user to sign in with, select a user name on the Windows 10 screen before signing in.