Using Other Account Management Tools

Windows 7 includes no fewer than four different interfaces for managing users and groups:

• User Accounts Located in Control Panel, User Accounts provides the simplest method to perform common tasks. It is the one we describe throughout most of this chapter

• Advanced User Accounts If your computer is joined to a domain, clicking the Manage User Accounts link in User Accounts opens Advanced User Accounts . (The title bar of the dialog box doesn't include the word Advanced, however.) If your computer is not joined to a domain, you can open this version by typing netplwiz at a command prompt.

The capabilities of Advanced User Accounts are few (you can remove local user accounts, set passwords, and place a user account in a single security group), but it has a handful of unique features that you might find compelling. With Advanced User Accounts, you can

• Change an account's user name. (For information about the difference between the user name and the full name, see "Creating a New User Account" on page 554.)

• Configure automatic logon. (For more information, see "Bypassing the Logon Screen" on page 573.)

• Eliminate the Ctrl+Alt+Delete requirement on domain-joined computers . (For details, see "Managing the Logon Process" on page 569.)

• Local Users And Groups This Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in— which is available only in Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions— provides access to more account management features than User Accounts and is friendlier than command-line utilities . You can start Local Users And Groups, shown in Figure 16-5, in any of the following ways:

• In Computer Management, open System Tools, Local Users And Groups.

• In Advanced User Accounts, click the Advanced tab, and then click the Advanced button .

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Figure 16-5 Through its austere interface, Local Users And Groups offers more capabilities than User Accounts .

• Command-line utilities The Net User and Net Localgroup commands, although not particularly intuitive (starting with the name—we're talking about local accounts and groups, not network-based accounts!), provide the most complete and direct access to various account tasks.

For full details about the commands and parameters used with Net. exe for managing user accounts and security groups, in a Command Prompt window, type net help user | more or net help localgroup | more. For a succinct display of command syntax only, type net user /? or net localgroup /?. You'll need to use an elevated Command Prompt window to change any local user account or group information with Net User or Net Localgroup .

With varying degrees of ease, all of these options allow an administrator to create, modify, and delete local user accounts and security groups. The availability and appearance of each of these options depends on which edition of Windows you have (the Local Users And Groups console is not available in Starter and Home Premium editions) and whether your computer is a member of a domain . Which interface you choose depends in part on whether you prefer a graphical interface or a command prompt.

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