The Windows operating system featured the ability to sign in as a guest user for the longest time. But things changed with the Windows 10 release. Some users complain about the guest user account not showing up on the login screen on their Windows 10 computer.
The guest user account is useful when you share your computer with others in the office or at home. The guest account on Windows keeps all your apps and data from your primary account separate and provides limited access to the guest user. When the guest user account goes missing on the sign-in screen in Windows, the other users might end up using the admin account or attempt to get through that.
Let’s understand why this is happening and how to get it back.
What Happened to Guest User Account in Windows 10
Microsoft removed the default guest user account that came pre-installed with Windows. But, there are ways to manage it using the Command Prompt or Computer Management tool. We will explore both the options and also a third one where you can create a new local user account as well.
With the Windows 10 build 10159, Microsoft disabled creating Guest account. So you’re stuck with using the Microsoft account, sync it to the cloud, or a local account for accessing the Windows computer.
Microsoft didn’t offer any explanations as to why the guest user account was removed. However, the feature is still available, as we will explore below. While Microsoft disabled that option, it remains hidden inside the Windows system and you can make it work again.
1. Enable From Computer Management
As the name suggests, the Computer Management tool allows users to manage various aspects of their computer including user accounts.
Step 1: Right-click on the Start menu icon and select Computer Management. One can also open it from the hidden menu that you can access by pressing Windows key+X keys.
Step 2: In the left sidebar, head to System Tools > Local Users and Groups > Users and you should view a list of all existing user accounts. One of them is Guest.
Step 3: Double-click on the Guest user account name and unselect ‘Account is disabled’ to enable it. Click on Apply and OK to save settings.
There is no need to reboot the computer. You should be able to view the newly-enabled guest user account under the Start menu accounts section.
2. Create From Command Prompt
Try the Command Prompt (CMD) in case the above method is not working for you. We will create a new guest user account using admin privileges.
Step 1: Search for CMD in the Start menu and select Run as administrator to open it with admin rights.
Step 2: Give the command below to create a guest user account named ‘Friend’. As we saw in the Computer Management tool above, you can’t name the guest user account as ‘guest’ because it already exists. That’s the default guest user account.
net user Friend /add /active:yes
Step 3: Now, give the command below to set a password. We are choosing not to set one as guest user accounts don’t need them anyway. Type the password if you want to and press Enter or leave it blank if you don’t want to set one. Repeat to confirm.
net user Friend *
Step 4: Windows will place all new user accounts in the ‘users’ group, meaning the account has all permissions of a Standard user account. Changing the group to ‘guests’ will reduce the permissions and access the guest user account has to a lower level. The two commands below will delete the guest user account from ‘users’ and add it to ‘guests’.
net localgroup users Friend /delete
net localgroup guests Friend /add
You should now view the new guest user account in the Start menu or at the time of boot up, just like we saw earlier.
3. Create Standard User Account
One can create two different types of user accounts in Windows 10. One is Administrator and the other is Standard. The latter is what’s also called the Guest user account. There are many differences between these two accounts as we have discussed in detail. The standard user account is restrictive, unlike the admin account that offers full access to both system apps and files.
Creating a Standard user account in Windows Settings without a Microsoft account or password is the best way forward. That’s still not as restrictive as a traditional guest user account that we all come to love and use, but it works naturally. Also, Microsoft still supports it. The fixes mentioned above may or may not work on your system.
There are other ways to protect sensitive data. One way is to use OneDrive’s personal vault feature. A combination of these steps should help you secure data associated with your Windows user account.
Next up: Did you accidentally delete the admin account in Windows 10? Even if not, learn how to recover the administrator account and make sure something like this never happens with you.
Last updated on 13 July, 2021
The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.