How to Add a User The Right Way in Windows 8

UAC Error

One of Window 8’s best features is its ability to handle multiple users and sync their settings with the cloud. If you use a Microsoft account and log into your second, third or even millionth device with those credentials,  you’ll get the same wallpaper, account settings and even favorites you had on your other computers.

Despite these advantages, Windows 8 has one serious multiuser problem as by default new users cannot install desktop applications on their own. When secondary users try to install a program on the desktop, they’ll be hit with a User Account Control dialog box, asking for the admin password. After entering the password, the application installs but does not put a shortcut on the desktop or even — in our experience — in the apps menu.

If you want someone to be able to install software, you must give them admin privileges. Here’s how.

  1. Navigate to PC Settings under the Charms -> Settings menu. You must be logged in as an administrator before doing this. If you are the first user to have activated Windows 8 on this PC, you are an administrator.
     Select Change PC Settings
  2. Click Add User under the Users tab.
    Select Add User 
  3. Enter the new user’s email address and click Next.
    Add User Email Address
  4. Click Finish.
    Add User 
  5. Launch the desktop control panel and select small or large icon view. If you don’t have a shortcut to it handy, you can find the Control Panel by searching for it. A window with a list of settings appears.
    Search for Control Panel and select it
  6. Click User Accounts.
     Select User Accounts
  7. Click Manage another account.
     Click Manage Another account
  8. Select the Account you want to modify.
    Select the account you want to change
  9. Click Change the account type. Change account type
  10. Select Administrator then click Change Account Type.
    Select Administrator

New users who want their accounts to sync to a device need to designate the device as a “Trusted Computer” on the Users tab in the PC Settings menu and then enter the confirmation code that it sends by email.

Trust This Computer

More Windows 8 Tips

Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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  1. Tejasva Malhotra Says:

    Thanks alot !

  2. Joe Famulary Says:

    Holy smoke! This is one of the most user UNFRIENDLY tasks I have ever successfully completed (after two days of research and racking my brain). The problem is in step three in the above instructions: “What email address would this person like to use to sign into Windows?” The clue to the problem is in the next sentence:” “(If you know the email address they use to sign into Microsoft Services, enter it here.) What needs to be said here is that the user MUST have a MS Services account with that email. If he does not and you use his email address, you will (I did) get in a “Please Wait” loop with no error message. You must use the option AT THE BOTTOM of the page (not shown in number three above) “Sign in without a Microsoft account.”

    You cannot use the Guest Account to access the Internet (Well, maybe through some esoteric ritual that I could not find.) So set up a new account and be sure to write the pass code down. Oh, apparently the pass code must include a number. I used two numbers. Who knows, maybe it needs two! First two I tried without a number went into the endless wait loop with no error message. Really poor programming!

    I am now working on the problem that my pass code as admin is not accepted on the first submit. More crazy stuff. God, I wish I had windows 7 back!!! (PS I am a retired programmer.)

  3. Shell Says:

    I’m trying to set up a kids user account (selected local account, not MS Services account) but if I do above, then they’ll have admin rights & I don’t want that. I just want them to have access to some games that I installed from the Windows store but only my admin account can see/access them.

  4. asdf Says:

    Advising people to set all their accounts as admins makes the computer less secure. Way to go! Linux and Mac OS default accounts are restricted accounts which is why they are more secure.

  5. Dragon Says:

    Thank you very much!! Great instructions, took 2 mins :)

  6. Sam Says:

    How can I add more users to Windows 8 all at once-one at the time-more that 5 users. I am getting an error when I try adding more than 2 users.

  7. jeff maina Says:

    am the administrator of a certain pc bt a soon asi try to copy and paste a certain database this is not executed what could be the problem

  8. Says:

    GooԀ day! Ɗo you know if they makе any plugins tօ safeguard aǥainst hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid ɑbout losing everythiոg I’ve ѡorked hard on.

    Any suggestions?

  9. MAC Says:

    Tried, “The only way for the secondary user to launch his new app is to find its .exe file in the Program Files folder and create a shortcut from that.” When 2nd user tries to run the .exe shortcut, it asks for Admin login in order to run the executable.

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