Changing Account Settings

Making routine changes to an account is easy with User Accounts To change your own account, start at the main User Accounts page, shown in Figure 16-1 . To change another user's account (you must have administrative privileges to do so), click Manage Another Account to display the page shown in Figure 16-2, and then click the name of the account you want to change. You'll see links to options similar to those you can make to your own account n

In this window, you can make the following account changes to your own account or (if you're an administrator) other accounts on your computer:

• Account name Although User Accounts doesn't explain the distinction, when you change the name here you're changing the full name (the one that appears on the Welcome screen, on the Start menu, and in User Accounts), not the user name. (You must have administrator privileges to change the account name.)

• Password You can create a password and store a hint that will provide a reminder for a forgotten password. If the account is already password protected, User Accounts allows you to change the password or remove the password. For more information about passwords, see "Setting a Logon Password" on page 564.

• Picture If you don't want a user to be identified as a flower (or whatever icon Windows selects for the account), you can change the picture associated with the account name on the Welcome screen, at the top of the Start menu, and in User Accounts . Clicking the change-picture link shows all the pictures stored in %AllUsersProfile%\Microsoft\User Account Pictures\Default Pictures, but you're not limited to those choices. Click Browse For More Pictures, and you can select any picture in bitmap, GIF, JPEG, or PNG format, such as a picture of yourself or a favorite scene. Windows reduces and crops the picture to fit the picture box.

• Parental Controls Clicking this link takes you to Parental Controls, where you can place restrictions on the user by limiting the hours of use, filtering web content, and specifying which games and other programs can be run. You must have administrator privileges to view or change Parental Controls settings, and you can't configure Parental Controls settings for administrator accounts For details about Parental Controls, see "Controlling Your Children's Computer Access" on page 577.

• Account type With User Accounts, you can change the account type to Administrator (which adds the account to the Administrators group) or Standard User (which adds the account to the Users group) . If you want to add the account to other groups, you must use Advanced User Accounts, Local Users And Groups, or the Net Localgroup command. For more information about those alternatives, see "Using Other Account Management Tools" on page 562. (You must have administrator privileges to change the account type )

For your own account (that is, the one with which you're currently logged on), you can make the following additional changes by clicking links in the left pane:

• Manage Your Credentials This link opens Credential Manager (known as Stored User Names And Passwords in earlier Windows versions), which lets you manage stored credentials that you use to access network resources and websites .

• Create A Password Reset Disk This link launches the Forgotten Password wizard, from which you can create a password reset disk. For more information, see "Recovering from a Lost Password" on page 567.

• Link Online IDs With Link Online IDs, you can associate an online ID (a Windows Live ID, for example) with your user account in Windows. Depending on the online ID provider, linking an account in this way might enable you to share resources in a homegroup in new ways or to access your data from any computer signed in to the online ID. For more information, see "Deciding What to Share—And What Not to Share" on page 618 .

• Manage Your File Encryption Certificates This link opens a wizard that you can use to create and manage certificates that enable the use of Encrypting File System (EFS). EFS, which is available only in Windows 7 Professional and above, is a method of encrypting folders and files so that they can be used only by someone who has the appropriate credentials

• Configure Advanced User Profile Properties This link is used to switch your profile between a local profile (one that is stored on the local computer) or a roaming profile (one that is stored on a network server in a domain environment). With a local profile, you end up with a different profile on each computer you use, whereas a roaming profile is the same regardless of which computer you use to log on to the network. Roaming profiles require a domain network based on Windows Server.

To work with user profiles other than your own, in Control Panel open System, click Advanced System Settings; on the Advanced tab, click Settings under User Profiles.

• Change My Environment Variables Of interest primarily to programmers, this link opens a dialog box in which you can create and edit environment variables that are available only to your user account; in addition, you can view system environment variables, which are available to all accounts . For more information, see "Using Environment Variables" on page 968.

• Manage Your Fingerprint Data This link, which appears only on computers with an installed fingerprint reader or similar biometric device, provides a path to the program (usually provided by the manufacturer of the biometric device) in which you register and manage fingerprints to be used for logging on.

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