by John S. Krill
One Computer, Several Users
If youre reading this article
then you know you have a problem. Each member of the
family wants to set up Windows 98 for themselves. One
family members screensaver is anothers
To avoid this we will create a Profile
for each member of the family. Each member of the family
will have their own Start Menu and Desktop. So lets get
Having a separate Log On for each
member does not prevent any user from changing anything
they want. All users still have access to
the entire computer and can delete, move, and modify
anything they want.
A little History
If your Windows computer has no users
then items such as Start Menu, Desktop, etc. will be in
separate directories under the Windows directory. Once
you create your first user all information for that user,
and all others you create, will be in the
When we create our users we will copy
all items, such as the Start Menu, Desktop, etc., from
our original non-user setup. Make sure your system is
setup so that each user has a good starting point for
customizing their desktop.
Enable User Profiles
To enable user profiles go to: My
Computer >> Control Panel >> Double-click the
Password Icon >> Select the User
Profiles tab. Select 'Users can customize their
preferences and desktop setting.' Also check both
options in 'User profile settings.' Click
Well setup all the users at the
same time. First go to >> My Computer >>
Control Panel and double-click on the Users Icon. To
setup each user click the Add button and from the various
panels give a user name, password (I recommend that you
not setup any passwords the first time through,) and
lastly specify what items will be unique for each user (Figure 1.) You should also select "Create copies of
the current items and their content." Remember the
desktop when you had no users? Thats the desktop
that will be copied to each users profile. If you select
"Create new items to save space" you will have,
virtually, a vacant desktop. Finish up and create the
next user until all users are setup. Now each member can
log-on and create a Windows environment that meets their
Once each member of the family has a
Profile they can log-on and do their thing. To go to a
different user or log off the current user go to the
Start Menu and select Log Off User. Where User
is the name of the currently logged on member of the
family. Confirm you want to log off and at the log on
screen enter a new log on.
Always log off when you are through.
This prevents another member of the family from using
Once a user is logged on they can
change their password. To do so go to: My Computer
>> Control Panel >> double-click on the
Password Icon and click on "Change Windows
Password" and enter your old and new passwords.
You can also go to the Users Icon in
the Control Panel and select a User and Change the
Password. You still need to know the old password to
change to a new one.
Not Just For Family Members
Setting up different profiles can also
help in separating home from office use. Or you may have
different profiles for the different applications.
Limiting the Number of Users
If you want to prevent people from
inadvertently creating multiple log-on names for
themselves, use Microsoft Family Logon. It presents a
list of all previously created log-on names for that PC.
Users must choose from that list and can't create a new
log-on name. To set it up, open the Network Control Panel
and click on the Add button under the Configuration tab.
Double-click on Client, then select Microsoft from the
left pane and double-click on Microsoft Family Logon in
the right. Under the Configuration tab, click on the down
arrow next to the Primary Network Logon field and select
Microsoft Family Logon from the drop-down menu. Click OK.