When it comes to managing user accounts, it’s better if you don’t create everyone as an administrator. We show you how to create a standard non-administrator account in this article.
When creating a new user account in Windows 8 and 8.1, you’ll have to decide whether that user will be an administrator or a standard user. Administrators can make changes to the entire computer including ones that affect other users. Examples of these kinds of changes include Windows updates, software installations and changing computer-wide settings.
Creating every account on the computer as an administrator even if the users don’t need to perform the aforementioned tasks is a disaster waiting to happen – it’s too easy for unknowing users to install unwanted software or make changes to the system that directly affect its operation. The benefit of creating a standard user account is that those users won’t be able to make changes outside of what’s specific to their account; in other words, they can’t make changes that will adversely affect the computer for other users. If you’re managing a computer for others or using a computer with more than one account, try to have only one administrator account with the rest as standard accounts.
The advice in this article applies to Windows 8 and 8.1, all versions.
(Note you’ll need to be signed in as an administrator to perform the following steps.)
The first task is to access the Start menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard or monitor or (Windows 8.1 only) by clicking the Start button in the lower left of your screen.
Once there, simply type manage accounts; Windows will automatically start searching. When it appears, click the item Add, delete, and manage other user accounts. Doing so will open the PC Settings app.
Click the Add an account button to begin the process of adding a new account.
You’ll be prompted to choose how the new user account will sign into the computer. Windows 8 and 8.1 give you the ability to connect a Microsoft account meaning users will sign in with their email address. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to create a non-Microsoft account by selecting the option at the bottom of the screen, Sign in without a Microsoft account. However you can of course create a Microsoft account if you wish; most of the steps in this guide from this point will still apply.
If you choose to create a local account, you’ll be prompted to confirm your choice on the following screen – click Local account.
Enter the new user’s name, password and an optional password hint on the next screen and then Finish on the final screen to complete the user creation process. You’ll be taken back to the PC Settings app where we started – the user you created will now be listed.
If you click on the new user and then on the Edit button that appears, you’ll notice the user has been created as a Standard user by default. You can change this by selecting Administrator from the drop-down (which again, we don’t recommend doing unless the user will need to be performing administrative tasks. You can change an existing user’s account type at any time by navigating back to this screen and making the appropriate changes.
Note: you may have noticed a third option on the drop-down, Child. These accounts are essentially the same as standard accounts but allow you to apply parental controls such as the ability to set how long and when the user is allowed to be logged in along with restrictions on Internet usage.
We detailed the primary differences between standard and administrator accounts in Windows 8 and 8.1. The main idea is to create users as standard accounts unless they need to perform administrative tasks; this greatly reduces the risk of said users making changes that will adversely affect the computer such as installing unwanted software. It’s always possible to change a user’s account type from standard to administrator and vice versa should the need arise at a later point.