Windows 8 will soon be here, and if you plan to set up a system to be shared by more than one person, you’ll want to know how to add and manage user accounts. As with many aspects of the Windows operating system, things have changed in Windows 8, and you’ll have to learn how to get around in the new OS.
In Windows 7 and other prior versions of Windows, you’d simply click on Start, open up the Control Panel, and select the option to manage the user accounts. In Windows 8, though, there is no Start button, and there’s also no direct way to get to the Control Panel.
So, how do you handle user accounts in Windows 8? You can add a new user from the Metro interface by swiping from the right side of the display to open the Charms bar, and choosing Settings. By default, Windows 8 only shows a handful of the settings choices, so you have to click (or tap) on the link at the bottom labeled “Change PC settings”.
Once you get to the Metro PC Settings, you will see Users listed as the second option on the list in the left pane. After you tap Users, you will see details of your own account on the right, and you will see a plus-sign button at the bottom with the text “Add a user”.
Microsoft encourages users to link their Windows account with an online Microsoft account. Doing so enables you to download apps from the Windows Store, sync settings like browser favorites and history, and access online content automatically. It provides a more consistent, seamless experience from one Windows device to the next.
You can enter an email address associated with a Microsoft account to set up the user account. There are also options at the bottom to either create a new email address to associate if you don’t already have one, or to sign in without using a Microsoft account--otherwise known as a Local account.
If you use a Microsoft account, the Windows account credentials will be the same as those of the Microsoft account. If you choose a Local account you will have to assign a username and password. The final step gives you an option to designate the account as a child’s account and configure parental controls for it. Then, just click Finish and your new account is all set up.