Windows 8 User Accounts and Family Safety – User Accounts

A user account is an identity of a user in a computer system. The account of a user bears his/her name (hopefully) and his/her picture.

Also, each user has a different need of a system. One may only want to use it to watch movies and to browse on internet. Such a user doesn’t, or rather, shouldn’t need too much control on the system. Another user, however, is a programmer.

He regularly needs to install/uninstall software on the system, as well as frequently needs to access the internal parts of the system. Such a user requires full control over the system. These basic user access levels can be applied through the type of the user account.

This Control Panel applet manages these user accounts registered in the system.

How to Launch It

  • Open the traditional Control Panel through the Start Screen or using the Run Windows command “control”.
  • Select “Category” view for Control Panel.
  • Select “User Accounts and Family Safety” category. This opens a new page containing the subcategories.
  • Select “User Accounts”. This will launch the applet on the same control panel page.

The main page of the applet provides links to change your account settings as well as other user accounts. Note that you need to be an administrator to make changes in this applet.

You can change the following components of any user account.

Username

Password

  • Account type – the account type decides what kind of control the use will have on the system. A standard user will be able to access those settings which will affect only his account. He can’t access system-level components. On the other hand, an administrator account type technically rules the system. It has access to all the aspects of the system.

  • User Account Control – This setting defines how many warnings the system should give you when you try to customize system settings or an app tries to install something or make changes to the system.

UAC provides 4 levels of notifications.

  1. The topmost level notifies you when apps try to install software or make changes to the system, as well as when you make any system changes. It also dims the whole desktop to snatch the user’s full attention. This is the noisiest of all levels, and might frustrate impatient users. If you enter a system area like Control Panel with this notification level, you are most likely to get blasted with notifications at every mouse click!
  2. The second level notifies only when some app tries to modify the system. Your customizations go unnoticed. This level dims your desktop, too, while notifying something.
  3. The third level works similar to the second level except that it doesn’t dim the whole desktop.
  4. The fourth level doesn’t notify at all. It might not be recommended by less experienced users. Choose this level only if you know how clean your system is, and what you are doing with your system.

Besides that, you can delete another user’s account. Also, you can set family filters on a user account.

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