User accounts make it so that several people can easily share a single computer. User accounts also control the files and programs you can access and what types of changes you can make to the computer. There are three different types of user accounts: Standard, Administrator and Guest.

Each type gives the user assigned to that account a different level of control over the computer. The Administrator account has the highest level of control and should be reserved for the computer owner or network administrator. Guest accounts are used primarily for giving temporary access to the computer. Standard user accounts are assigned to users that will need to access the computer regularly and may need to modify their profile to make the computer look and work a certain way while they are logged in.

User profiles are a collection of settings that a user account holder can customize. Each user account will have at least one user profile associated with it that will affect the appearance of the desktop, backgrounds, color schemes, screen savers, pointer preferences and sound settings.

To create a user account, users that are not connected to a domain (i.e.: home users) should follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click User Accounts and Family Safety, and then click on User Accounts.
  4. Click Manage another account. If you are prompted to enter an administrator password or provide confirmation, type the password or confirmation in the space provided.
  5. Click Create a new account.
  6. In the space provided, type the name you want to give the user account. Then click on the account type you want to give the user (Standard, Guest or Administrator).
  7. To finish, click Create Account.