Many families have a single PC that’s shared between multiple users. Setting up alternative accounts with standard user rights might be fine for sharing a PC between regular users. However, letting non-regular users utilize PCs with standard accounts might not be ideal for some people. Those non-regular users would have to be strictly supervised when using a standard account that includes user files. Therefore, guest accounts provide a better solution for letting non-regular users utilize a shared PC. This guide will teach you how to enable guest account in Windows.
What is Guest Account on Windows?
A guest account is a stripped-down account type that enables people to utilize the software on a PC, but little else. Those guest accounts do not have user names or passwords. Therefore, there’s no need to log in for guest accounts with passwords.
Guest accounts are more restricted than standard user accounts. Users can’t install or uninstall software within a guest account. Furthermore, guest account users can’t access any user folders or libraries, including document, video, image, and music files. Thus, general user permissions are extremely limited for guest accounts.
The advantages of enabling a guest account on a Windows PC are obvious. For example, let’s suppose you invite a friend to play a few games on your desktop or laptop. With a guest account enabled, you could go away and make a cup of tea, leaving your friend temporarily unsupervised on your PC without compromising any confidential files. By letting somebody on your standard account, you would need to remain with them all the time to ensure the invited user doesn’t try to open any of your user files. Heck, you can’t even always trust your friends, can you?
Furthermore, a guest account can also provide a way for you to utilize your PC without needing to log in to Windows with a password all the time. Many users will often start up their PCs just to play games or browse the web on them. Instead of entering passwords for standard user accounts, users can simply jump straight into guest accounts for some gaming fun without the need to log in. Thus, a guest account will give you a way to bypass the Windows login.
There are a few ways to enable guest accounts on Windows 8.1, 8, and 7. Windows 10 doesn’t incorporate a built-in guest account feature (Microsoft removed it in 2015). This is how to activate guest accounts in Windows 8.1, 8, and 7.
How to Turn On Guest Accounts in Windows
2.1. Enable Guest Account on Windows via Control Panel
Step 1: First, open the Run accessory, which has a Windows key + R hotkey.
Step 2: Type Control Panel in Run, and click the “OK” button.
Step 3: Then click “User Accounts and Family Safety” in the Control Panel.
Step 4: Next, click “User Accounts” to open the Control Panel applet shown directly below.
Step 5: Click “Manage another account” to open user account selection as in the shot below.
Step 6: Then select Guest to open a “Turn on” option for enabling guest accounts.
Step 7: To enable a guest account in Windows, click the “Turn on” button.
Now when you sign out of Windows, you’ll see a guest account on the login screen, as shown directly below. You can jump straight into that account without entering any kind of password by clicking Guest.
2.2 Enable Guest Account on Windows in Computer Management
Step 1: Users with Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions can enable guest accounts with Local Users and Groups in Computer Management. To do that, launch the Run accessory.
Step 2: Next, type compmgmt.msc in Run’s Open box.
Step 3: Press the “OK” button to open the window shown directly below.
Step 4: Then click “Local Users and Groups” on the left of Computer Management.
Step 5: Click “Users” to open a list of user accounts as in the shot directly below.
Step 6: Next, double-click “Guest” in the user list.
Step 7: Then uncheck the selected “Account is disabled” checkbox on the General tab.
Step 8: Click the “Apply” option.
Step 9: Press the “OK” button.
2.3 Enable Guest Account on Windows via Command Prompt
Step 1: The Command Prompt command-line utility provides users with another way to turn on guest accounts in Windows. To open the Command Prompt window, first launch the Run accessory.
Step 2: Then type cmd within Run’s Open text box.
Step 3: Press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter hotkey to open the Command Prompt as an administrator.
Step 4: Input
net user Guest /active:yes in the Command Prompt as shown directly below.
Step 5: Press the Enter keyboard key to initiate the command and enable guest account on Windows.
Step 6: You can also disable a guest account by typing
net user Guest /active:no in the Prompt and pressing Enter.
2.4 Enable Guest Account on Windows via Local Group Policy Editor
The Group Policy Editor is a Windows feature that includes many advanced settings. Users can also enable guest accounts with Group Policy Editor. Note, however, that GPE is only available in Ultimate, Enterprise, and Pro editions of Windows. This is how to enable guest accounts in Windows with that feature.
Step 1: Launch the Run accessory, which you can select on the Win + X menu in Windows 8.1 and 8.
Step 2: Next, type gpedit.msc in Run’s Open text box.
Step 3: Click “OK” to open the Group Policy Editor window.
Step 4: Click “Computer Configuration” > “Windows Settings” > “Security Settings” > “Local Policies” > “Security Options” on the left of Local Group Policy Editor.
Step 5: Then double-click “Accounts: Guest account status” to open a properties window for that policy.
Step 6: Select the “Enabled” radio button.
Step 7: Click the “Apply” option.
So, that’s how to enable guest accounts in Windows 8.1, 8, and 7. By activating a Windows guest account, you’ll have a convenient account without a password both yourself and guests can utilize your PC with. With a guest account established, you can safely let your (not so trustworthy) friends utilize your desktop or laptop.