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HP PCs - Managing user accounts and logins in Windows 10

Passwords and separate accounts help keep the information on the computer private and secure. The information in this document describes the different account types in Windows 10 and explains how to change account types and how to save and change passwords and other sign-in options.

This document also explains how use a Microsoft account to sync your personal settings and software applications to other Windows 10 devices, connect apps to accounts, and link contacts.

Recommended: Use a Microsoft-connected account to log in to Windows

There are two ways to sign in to Windows: with a Microsoft account and with a local account. HP recommends using a Microsoft account due to the differences between the two ways.

Microsoft account

  • Log in to Windows using an email address and password.

  • Reset your password or manage your account using a different device at any time.

  • Sync your settings and files across desktops, laptops, and phones.

  • Install Desktop apps and apps from the Microsoft Store.

Local account

  • Log in to Windows using a user name and password.

  • Reset password or manage account.

  • Access the system resources and customize the computer with your own settings and preferences.

  • Install Desktop apps, but not apps from the Microsoft Store.

HP recommends using a ‘connected account’ with Microsoft to sign in to Windows. The email address that you use to set up the Microsoft account does not need to be a Microsoft or Hotmail email address. Any email address works.

For steps to create a Microsoft account in Windows 10, see Create a new account.

CAUTION:

If you use a local-user account, HP cannot recover or reset your password if it is lost or forgotten.

HP strongly recommends creating a password reset disk to enable you to reset your password in case it is forgotten. If you do not have a password reset disk and you forget your password, you might be directed to perform a full recovery to original factory conditions. In that case, you lose any data that was not backed up to an external location. For more information about creating a password reset disk, see HP PCs, Tablets - Creating a Password Reset Disk (Windows).

Types of user accounts in Windows 10

There are two types of user accounts in Windows 10, with each account type having different levels of access. The following list shows the account types and levels of control for each.

Standard account

  • Can be a local user account or Microsoft-connected account.

  • Change, edit, or delete the password.

  • Change the account picture.

  • Cannot install or open new programs.

Administrator account

  • Can be a local user account or Microsoft-connected account.

  • Create accounts.

  • Set and change privileges.

  • Change passwords for user accounts.

  • Install and open certain programs.

Create a new account

Create a new account using the Accounts settings.

  1. Sign in to an administrator account, and then make sure that the computer is connected to the internet.

  2. In Windows, search for and open Manage your account. You can also click Start, select Settings, and then select Accounts.

    Selecting Accounts on the Windows Settings home screen
  3. On the Accounts window, select Family & other users, and then click Add someone else to this PC.

    Selecting Add someone else to this PC
  4. On the How will this person sign in? screen, choose an option depending on whether you have the sign-in information for the new account.

    • If you have the sign-in information: Type the email address or phone number of the person for whom the new account is being set up, and then click Next. Click Finish. The new account is created.

    • If you do not have the sign-in information: Click I don't have this person's sign-in information, and then continue with these steps.

    Selecting how the person signs in to the computer
  5. Type an existing email address or create a new one, type a password, select your country or region, select your birth date information, and then click Next to create a new Microsoft account (MSA).

    Note:

    If you do not wish to create a new MSA, select Add a user without a Microsoft account, and then create a user name and password for a new local account.

    Typing the email address of the person you want to add, or create a new MSA account
  6. To create a local account, type the user name of the person for whom the new account is being set up. Type a password in the Enter password field, then type it again in the Re-enter password field. Next, choose a security question from the Security question 1 field and type your answer in the Your answer field. Do this again for the two remaining security questions. Click Next. The new account is created.

    Create an account for this PC

Use a Microsoft account

When using a Microsoft account in Windows 10, you can do a variety of things, including the following.

  • Access files from other computers and devices using OneDrive.

  • Install Microsoft Store apps you already own on other devices.

  • Link all your contacts using the People app.

Access files from other devices using OneDrive

Files stored on OneDrive can be viewed, uploaded, and shared from other computers and devices. For more information, see Sync files with OneDrive in Windows (in English) from Microsoft Support.

Install your apps on other devices

Apps obtained from the Microsoft Store can be installed on up to five Windows 10 computers. Go to the Microsoft Store to see a list of apps you own and to install the apps on other computers.

  1. On the Windows 10 device you want to install an app, sign in to your Microsoft account.

  2. On the taskbar, click the Store icon .

  3. In the Microsoft Store, click the More icon , and then select My Library.

    Selecting My Library on the More menu
  4. Find the app you want, and then select Install.

    Installing an app from your library on another Windows 10 device

Link accounts and contacts with the People app

Link Twitter, Outlook, LinkedIn, and other accounts to the People app, where you can add contacts from lists and address books. View the online status of your contacts, as well as ways to interact with them.

Add your accounts to the People app

Add your email, social networking, and other accounts to the People app. The instructions also work for linking accounts to other apps.

  1. n Windows, search for and open People.

    Note:

    When you add your email account, Windows 10 automatically adds your email contacts to the People app.

  2. Click Get started.

    Clicking Get started on the People app welcome window
  3. Click Import contacts.

    Clicking Import contacts on the Let's get started! window
  4. Select the type of account you want to add. Choose from Outlook.com, Exchange, Google, Yahoo!, or iCloud.

    Account type options
  5. Click the account you want to add, and then follow the on-screen instructions.

  6. When you are finished adding accounts, click Ready to go.

Adding multiple modes of contact to one profile

When you have multiple modes for contacting a person, such as email and Twitter, you can add all profiles for each contact in the People app. All ways to communicate with a contact display in the People app profile.

  1. In Windows, search for and open People.

  2. Select the name of a contact to open the profile.

  3. Scroll down the profile page of the contact, and then select See more.

  4. Add or remove a contact from the selected contact's profile:

    • To add a contact to a profile, click Find a contact to combine, and then select the contact you want to add.

    • To remove a contact from a profile, click Separate under the contact.

    Adding or removing contacts from the selected contact's profile
  5. To communicate with a person with multiple saved modes of contact, open their profile, and then click an option from the list, such as Mail or Skype.

    Windows opens the app for the selected option. For example, if you select Mail, the Mail app opens and creates a draft email addressed to the contact.

Pin a contact to the taskbar

There are a few methods you can use to pin a contact's profile to the taskbar. The contacts display as icons on the taskbar.

  1. Choose a method.

    • Open the contact's profile, click the Pin icon , and then select Pin to taskbar.

    • If the People icon is displayed on the taskbar, click the icon, click Find and pin contacts, and then select the contact you want to pin to the taskbar.

    Opening a list of contacts to pin to the taskbar from the People app icon

Change your Microsoft account password

If you know your current Microsoft account password and want to change it, use the Accounts settings to change your password.

  1. Sign in to your Microsoft account, and then make sure that the computer is connected to the internet.

  2. In Windows, search for and open Manage your account. You can also click the Start icon , click the Settings icon , and then select Accounts.

    Selecting Accounts on the Windows Settings home screen
  3. On the Accounts window, select Sign-in options, and then select Password.

    Selecting the Password option on the Sign-in options screen
  4. Click Change.

    Note:

    If a window appears and prompts you to verify your identity, type the requested credentials.

  5. Type your current password and a new password in the appropriate fields, and then click Next.

    Locating the current and new password fields, and then clicking Next

    Callout

    Description

    1

    Current password field

    2

    New password field

  6. Click Finish.

Set up local account security questions

Set up security questions to avoid losing access to your local account if you forget your password.

  1. Sign in to your local account, and then make sure that the computer is connected to the internet.

  2. In Windows, search for and open Manage your account. You can also click Start, select the Settings icon , and then select Accounts.

    Selecting Accounts on the Windows Settings home screen
  3. On the Accounts window, select Sign-in options, and then select Password.

    Selecting the Password option on the Sign-in options screen
  4. In the Password area, click Update your security questions. If a window prompts you to verify your identity, type the requested credentials.

    Selecting Update your security questions for your local account
  5. Select a security question from the Security question 1 field and type your answer in the Your answer field. Repeat this for the two remaining security questions.

    Selecting security questions and typing the answers
  6. Click Finish.

Your security questions are now updated.

Create a password reset disk before you forget your local account password

If you prefer to use a local-user account, HP strongly recommends creating a password reset disk to enable you to reset a forgotten password. Create the password reset disk before you forget your password, while you have access to Windows. If you do not have a password reset disk and you forget your password, you might be directed to perform a full recovery to original factory conditions. In that case, you can lose any data that was not backed up to an external location.

For more information about creating a password reset disk, see Creating a Password Reset Disk (Windows).

Reset a lost password

When you forget your password, use the following instructions to create (reset) a password in Windows 10.

Reset your Microsoft account password

If you have forgotten the password that you use to sign in to Windows 10, you can reset the password using any computer or device that has internet access. Sign in to the other device and use the following instructions.

  1. Go to the Microsoft Recover your account page (in English).

  2. Enter your Microsoft account email, and then click Next.

  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to reset your password.

When the password is reset, you can use your Microsoft account with the new password to sign in to your Windows 10 device. Make sure that Windows 10 is connected to the internet before you attempt to sign in.

Reset your local user account password using security questions

You can reset your forgotten password by answering the security questions you set up when you created your local account.

To use this option, you must have previously set up security questions for your local account.

Note:

If you continue to use a local account, you might not be able to reset your password if it is lost or forgotten. HP recommends using a Microsoft account to sign in to Windows. With a Microsoft account, your password can be reset using any internet-connected device at any time.

  1. Turn on the computer and attempt to enter your password.

  2. If the password was entered incorrectly, a message is displayed indicating the password is incorrect. Click OK.

    Clicking OK when the password for a local account is incorrect
  3. Click Reset password.

  4. Your three security questions display. Type your secret answers to each question. After the last question, press Enter.

    Example security questions for your local account
  5. In the spaces provided, type a new password, and then type it again to confirm. When done, press Enter.

    Typing a new password to in the appropriate fields on the lockscreen

    You are now signed in and your local password is reset.

Reset your local user account password using a password reset disk

If you have forgotten the password of your user account and you have a password reset disk, you can reset the password using the password reset disk. Find the disk or USB flash drive and use the following steps to reset the local account password.

Note:

This method applies to local accounts only. A password reset disk does not reset a Microsoft account password. If you do not have a password reset disk, use one of the other sections in this document to access Windows.

  1. Turn on the computer and attempt to enter your password.

  2. If the password was entered incorrectly, a message is displayed indicating the password is incorrect. Click OK.

    Clicking OK when the password for a local account is incorrect
  3. Insert your password reset disk, and then click Reset password.

    The Password Reset Wizard opens.

  4. Click Next.

  5. Select the password key location from the drop-down menu, and then click Next.

  6. In the spaces provided, type a new password, type it again to confirm, and then create a password hint to help you remember the password in the future.

  7. Click Next > Finish.

  8. Use the new password to sign in to Windows. You do not need to create a new password reset disk for the new password.

Change the local user account password from another user account

If you have forgotten the password of your user account, you can change the local user account password using another administrator account on the system. Use the following steps if there is another account on the system that has administrator rights. You might need help from the owner of the account.

  1. Sign in using an account that has administrator rights.

  2. In Windows, search for and open Control Panel.

  3. In the Control Panel search field, type User Accounts, and then click User Accounts from the list.

    Selecting User Accounts from the Control Panel app
  4. Click Manage another account.

    Clicking Manage another account in the User Accounts window
  5. Select the local account with the forgotten password.

    Selecting the local account with the forgotten password
  6. Click Change the password.

    Clicking Change the password in the Change an Account window
  7. Type the new password, and then type the password again to confirm.

  8. Type a password hint to help you remember the password in the future.

  9. Click Change password.

    Clicking Change password in the Change Password window

    You can now sign in to the local account using the new password.

Access your account when no other option is available

If you do not have a Microsoft-connected account, there are no other accounts in Windows with administrator rights, and you do not have a password reset disk, try these other options.

  • You can perform a Windows reset to completely erase all files, including local account password information, and reset the computer back to its original settings. For more information, see HP PCs - Reset the computer.

  • Call local computer repair and service stores. Local stores might offer password recovery services for a fee.

Set up an account PIN

A Windows 10 account PIN replaces reusable passwords with the combination of a specific device and the PIN.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Manage your account. You can also click Start, select the Settings icon , and then select Accounts.

    Selecting Accounts on the Windows Settings home screen
  2. On the Accounts window, select Sign-in options, and then select Windows Hello PIN.

    Selecting the Windows Hello PIN option on the Sign-in options screen
  3. In the Windows Hello PIN area, click Add > Next. If a window displays prompting you to verify your identity, type the requested credentials.

    Selecting Add in the Windows Hello PIN area
  4. On the Windows Security window, type a PIN, type the PIN again to confirm, and then click OK.

    Locating the PIN and confirm PIN fields, and then clicking OK

    Callout

    Description

    1

    PIN field

    2

    Confirm the PIN field

    Your account PIN is set up, and you can use it to sign in.

Set up Windows Hello

Windows Hello lets you unlock your Windows 10 devices by using your fingerprint, facial recognition, PIN, or picture password. This technology is much safer than traditional passwords since you and your device provide the authentication to Windows, your apps, and your data.

If your computer has the necessary hardware (fingerprint reader or IR web camera), Windows Hello is installed automatically during the Windows installation.

To set up these features, go to Set Up Sign-in Options for Windows Hello (Windows 10).

Set administrator privileges for an account

If a standard account requires administrator privileges, you can log into any account that already has administrator privileges and change the account settings.

  1. Sign in using an administrator account.

  2. In Windows, search for and open Manage your account. You can also click Start, select the Settings icon , and then select Accounts.

    Selecting Accounts on the Windows Settings home screen
  3. On the Accounts window, select Family & other users, and then select the user account that you want to change in the Other users area.

  4. Select Change account type.

    Change account type in the Family & other users window
  5. Click the Account type drop-down menu.

    The Account type drop down menu selected
  6. Select Administrator, and then click OK.

    Selecting Administrator as the account type

Remove a password from a local account

If you do not want the computer to require a password to sign in to your local account, remove the password using the Accounts settings.

Note:

If you use a Microsoft account, you cannot remove the password.

  1. Sign in to your local user account.

  2. In Windows, search for and open Manage your account. You can also click Start, select the Settings icon , and then select Accounts.

    Selecting Accounts on the Windows Settings home screen
  3. On the Accounts window, select Sign-in options > Password.

    Selecting the Password option on the Sign-in options screen
  4. In the Password area, click Change.

    Clicking Change in the Password area of the Sign-in options window
  5. Type your current password in the Current password field, and then click Next.

  6. On the Change your password window, leave all the fields empty, and then click Next.

    Clicking Next with all fields empty in the Change your password window
  7. Click Finish.

    You can now sign in to the local user account without using a password.

Add a password for a local account

If your local account does not use a password, but you want the computer to require a password to sign in to your account, use the Accounts settings to set a password.

  1. Sign in to your local user account.

  2. In Windows, search for and open Manage your account. You can also click Start, select the Settings icon , and then select Accounts.

    Selecting Accounts on the Windows Settings home screen
  3. On the Accounts window, select Sign-in options > Password.

    Selecting the Password option on the Sign-in options screen
  4. In the Password area, click Add.

    Clicking Add in the Password area of the Sign-in options window
  5. Type the new password, and then type the password again to confirm.

  6. Type a password hint to help you remember the password in the future.

  7. Click Next.

    Typing and confirming the password in the Create a password window
  8. Click Finish.

    The computer requires the new password next time you sign in to your local account.

Disable the password requirement

If you do not want the computer to require a password to sign in for all user accounts, you can disable the password requirement.

Note:

If your computer is connected to a network domain, you might not be able to disable the password requirement.

  1. Sign in to a Microsoft account with administrator privileges.

  2. In Windows, search for and open netplwiz.

  3. Remove the selection from the Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer check box, and then click OK.

    Deselecting Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer
  4. In the appropriate fields, type your password, type your password again to confirm, and then click OK.

    Typing and confirming the password
  5. Restart your computer.

    The computer restarts, and the desktop displays without requiring a password.


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