How To: Enable & Use the Guest Account in Windows 8.1

The Guest account is a feature available in Windows 7 and Windows 8. It’s a special Windows account with limited permissions. The Guest account, will allow someone else to use your computer, while keeping your private files and system settings safe.

The Guest account is similar to a regular Windows user account, but it has limited permissions. Someone using it won’t be able to install new applications or hardware devices, it can only use the applications that were already installed before enabling the Guest account, it cannot change the settings of the Guest account or other user account, it cannot access user folders or libraries of other user accounts and it can create files and folders only on the desktop and its user folders.

The Guest account doesn’t have a password and only an administrator can enable or disable it. It’s a simple solution for allowing guests to use your computer without them invading your privacy or messing with your system’s settings.

Enabling the Guest Account

1. Login as an administrator on your Windows computer or tablet and go to Control Panel (category view) – User Accounts and Family SafetyUser Accounts

Control Panel - User Accounts and Family Safety

2. In the User Accounts section you will find several options to manage your user account. To enable the Guest account click on the Manage another account option.

Control Panel - User Accounts - Manage another account

3. In the Manage Accounts window click or tap on the Guest account (turned off by default).

Manage Accounts - Guest

4. Windows will inform you of the change you are about to make and ask you to confirm it. Click on the Turn on button to enable the Guest account. Now you can close the Manage Accounts window.

Turn on Guest account

Signing in the Guest Account

Sign out from your user account and in the Sign in screen the Guest account will be listed along with all the other available user accounts. Simply select the Guest account to sign in like you would with any other Windows account.

Disabling the Guest Account

1. Follow steps 1-4 from the “Enabling the Guest Account” section of this tutorial.

2. In the Manage Accounts window select Guest.

Manage Accounts - Guest 2

3. Click or tap on the Turn off the guest account option. Now your Guest account is disabled and you can close the Manage Accounts window.

 Turn off the guest account