Here’s how to share a Windows 10 PC with family members

pc and child

Most households have two or more computers, which are often used by different people. In this article, we will discuss the possibilities within Windows 10 to share your PC with family members. Here’s how to share a Windows 10 PC with family members.

In Windows 10, a lot of attention has been paid to the settings for use within a family with children. For example, you can indicate how long the computer may be used and which apps may be used. You can find these options in the settings window (Windows key + I) in the section Accounts. click on Family and other users. Then choose Add a family member. Windows asks if you want to add a child or adult. You do not necessarily have to provide an email address.

click on The person I want to add does not have an email address. All new users are added to the list Family and other users. After this, you explicitly indicate that the child may register. Click on the user account and choose To allow. In the confirmation window, click again To allow.

You can always delete the account at a later time, as long as you have an administrator account. Choose again Family and other users and click on the user account you want to delete. Choose remove. Windows asks if you are sure. Confirm the question and the account (including associated data) will be removed from the computer.

Do you want to temporarily disable access to a user account, but not delete the user account? In the Family and other users section, click the name of the user account you want to disable. Press the button To block. Access will be refused until you cancel the lock.

Manage settings

You can manage the family settings of your computer via an online environment. In the settings window, click Manage family settings online. below Family members you will find the available options per account. First we choose Activity. You can request an activity overview via this section. First put the slide on On to activate reporting. If you want to automatically receive a weekly report, you can also set the second slider On. On the tab Recent activity you will find the most recent actions. After that you can set the restrictions for the computer and its use.

Use the tabs to set the restrictions. On the tab Screen time you can determine at what times and for how long the other family members may use the computer. In the section App limits you can determine which apps can be used and for how long. For example, you can specify that the YouTube app should not be used or indicate that games should only be played for a certain period of time.

Screen time

On the tab Content restrictions you indicate which websites can be visited and you can block websites with inappropriate content. Finally, the tab Spending important: this tab prevents users from making purchases in the Microsoft Store without permission. Instead, you can set to use a balance or block usage altogether.

User without a Microsoft account

Windows 10 makes extensive use of online Microsoft accounts linked to the user accounts. This brings several benefits, such as the ability to sync user settings (such as the desktop background) and Internet favorites. However, using a Microsoft account to sign in to Windows is not mandatory. If you share the computer with several family members, the other users do not need a Microsoft account.

This is very important, for example if your partner does not have a Microsoft account or if you want to create an account for your children. In the settings window (Windows key + I), choose Accounts. click on Family and other users. Choose voor Add someone else to this PC. Then click on the option I do not have the registration information of this person. In the window below, choose User without a Microsoft account add.

Your perseverance is rewarded: finally you can now create an “offline account” for the new user. Enter the desired username and choose a secure password, which you enter in the two boxes below. Windows asks you to set three security questions, which should help you out with a forgotten password. click on Next one. The new account is created and added to the section Other users.

add Account

Do you share the computer and want to use another computer for a while? Of course you can log out, let the other user log in and log in again afterwards, but luckily it can be a lot easier: by quickly switching to the other user account, your own session is preserved. You can quickly switch back when the other users are finished with the computer.

Open the Start menu and click on the photo of your user account (top left). A menu will appear, including the names of the other user accounts. Click the name of the account you want to open. After the session, your housemate chooses Sign out. You can then continue your own session.

Right rights

If you have multiple user accounts on the computer, make sure they have the correct permissions. Not every user needs to have administrator rights. In the settings window you choose Accounts, Family and other users. Bee Other users click on the name of the user. Choose Change account type. Change Administrator in the list at Account type in Standard user. Repeat these steps for all accounts on the computer, except for your own account. At least one administrator account must always be available on the computer.

Account type

Set restrictions

If you share the computer with others in the household, it can be interesting to lock Windows a little more. For example, you can prohibit access to certain parts. Good examples of this are blocking access to the Registry Editor and blocking the ability to install new programs. With the Pro version of Windows 10, you have a handy program with which you can change the settings. Press Windows Key + R and type in the window Gpedit.msc. Press Enter. The Local Group Policy Editor opens.

With this program you have access to a large amount of settings. To prevent new software from being installed on your computer, choose Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Windows Installer. Double-click Disable Windows Installer. In the newly opened window, choose Switched on. click on OK.

In the editor you will find even more interesting options. For example, if you want access to the Registry Editor to be blocked, choose User configuration, System. Double-click on the option Prevent access to registry editing programs and choose for Enabled. In the same section you will find the option to disable Command Prompt (Prevent access to the command prompt). In the section Ctrl + Alt + Del options you can indicate that the computer should not be locked or that passwords should not be changed.

Shielded discs

Finally, do you not want other user accounts to have access to all the disks of the computer, for example because you want to prevent important folders or disks (such as for backups) from being opened? In the editor you choose User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, File Explorer. Set the option Prevent access to drives through My Computer on Switched on.

In the same section you will also find the option Prevent users from adding files to the root folder of their User Files folder. Choose Switched on if you don’t want items to be created in the root of the user folder, but rather want all files to always be stored in a child folder.

Dive deeper into Windows 10 and completely customize the operating system using our Tech Academy. Check the Windows 10 Manage online course or go for the Windows 10 Management bundle including technique and practice book.


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