How To: Restrict guest users to a single app in Windows 10

Guest accounts in previous versions of Windows were limited accounts you could create so other people were able to use your computer, but without access to important settings and private documents (and other files). In Windows 10, guest accounts don’t work the same way, and yes you can customize the share options and settings but they don’t have the same limitations in place anymore.

So how are we supposed to allow a guest to use our personal computers while restricting their access to a specific app? Luckily, there is still a feature which can be useful in this situation, called Assigned Access (although you might know it as Kiosk Mode). It allows you to set up a user account in which only one Universal Windows app can run.

It’s not exactly like the old Guest user account, but it can still get the job done. Assigned Access is currently available in Windows 10 Professional and Enterprise editions, so if you’re using either of them, follow the instructions below to learn how to use it.

How to set up a User Account for Assigned Access in Windows 10

To begin with, you’ll have to either create a new user account or select an existing one, to be used for Assigned Access.

For this reason, go to Settings -> Accounts -> Family & other users. No need to navigate there step by step, you can just search for this area of the system Settings in the Start Menu.

Windows 10 - Family & other users

If you already have another account select the ‘Set up assigned access‘ option.

Windows 10 - User account creation without Microsoft account

Otherwise, click on the ‘+’ icon. Note that Windows will initially ask you to provide that person’s Microsoft credentials, but if you don’t have them you can select the ‘Add a user without a Microsoft account‘ option like in the image above.

After you create the account, return to the ‘Family & other users‘ Settings panel and select the ‘Set up assigned access’ option.

Windows 10 - Set up Assigned Access 1

On the next screen you can select the user account for which you want to enable Assigned Access.

Note: You need to have previously logged in at least once on that user account in order to select it.

Windows 10 - Set up Assigned Access 2

To continue, you can select any Windows 10 app for Assigned Access. You can use other Universal apps as well, but they need to be active on the user account you selected for Assigned Access.

After you select the app, a computer restart will be needed to apply the changes. From then on, when you sign in with the user account you configured for Assigned access, only the app you selected will be available for use.

How to end an Assigned Access session

You can quickly terminate an Assigned Access session by using the Ctrl+Alt+Del key combination.

How to disable Assigned Access

In some cases you might want to use Assigned Access temporarily, in which case you’ll probably want to turn off the feature for the selected user account after a short while. To disable Assigned Access, head back to the ‘Set up Assigned Access‘ screen (accessible via Settings -> Accounts -> Family & other users). Then, click on the user account and in the pop-up menu, select the ‘Don’t use assigned access‘ option.