Local users

How to create local account on Windows 10

Learn the steps to add a new local account on Windows 10 without having to delete or change your current Microsoft account using the Settings app, Command Prompt, and PowerShell.

Windows 10 create local account

On Windows 10, you can create a local account on a computer to perform any task. However, unlike using a Microsoft account, your settings, preferences, and files will remain locally for a more secure and private experience.

You will typically see the local account type on organizations and less on home computers as a Microsoft account is the preferred type for its benefits and sync capabilities. However, it is still a good option to create additional accounts or when you want to share a device with other people.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to create a Windows 10 local account using the Settings app, Command Prompt, and PowerShell. In addition, this guide outlines the steps to set up an administrator account and the steps to delete an account from your device.

Create local account with Settings on Windows 10

Use the following steps to create a local account on Windows 10:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.

  2. Click on Accounts.

  3. Click on Family & other users.

  4. Under “Other users,” click the Add someone else to this PC button.

    Windows 10 create local account option
    Windows 10 create local account option
  5. Click the I don’t have this person’s sign-in information option.

    I don't have this person's sign-in information option
    I don’t have this person’s sign-in information option
  6. Click the Add a user without a Microsoft account option.

    Add a user without a Microsoft account
    Add a user without a Microsoft account
  7. Under the “Create an account for this PC” section, confirm the new local account information.

  8. Create the security questions and answers to recover the account if the password is lost.

    User account details and security questions
    User account details and security questions
  9. Click the Next button.

Once you complete the steps, the new local account will be listed under “Other users.” The only caveat is that for security reasons, Windows 10 creates every new account with standard privileges that limits the usability of Windows 10. If you want the user to have more privileges to install the application and make system changes, you will need to change the account type to “administrator.”

Change local account with Settings on Windows 10

Use the following steps to change the account type from “standard” to “administrator”:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Accounts.

  3. Click on Family & other people.

  4. Under the “Other users” section, select the user account.

  5. Click the Change account type button.

    Change account type on Windows 10 settings
    Change account type on Windows 10 settings
  6. Use the “Account type” drop-down menu and select the Administrator option.

    Change local account type on Windows 10
    Change local account type on Windows 10
  7. Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, the account will have administrator privileges to install apps and make system changes. 

Delete local account with Settings on Windows 10

Use the following steps to delete a local Windows 10 account and files:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Accounts.

  3. Click on Family & other people.

  4. Under the “Other users” section, select the local account.

  5. Click the Remove button.

    Windows 10 remove account option
    Windows 10 remove account option
  6. Click the Delete account and data button to confirm the account deletion.

    Delete account and data on Windows 10
    Delete account and data on Windows 10

Once you complete the steps, the user account and data will be deleted from the Windows 10 installation.

Create local account with Command Prompt on Windows 10

If you are comfortable typing command lines, it is actually a lot faster to create a local account and modify its settings using Command Prompt.

Use the following steps to create a local account with Command Prompt:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to create a new account and press Enter:

    net user USER_NAME PASSWORD /add

    In the command, make sure to change USER_NAME and PASSWORD with the credentials you want to use for the new user account.

  4. (Optional) Type the following command to add the newly created account to the “Administrators” group and press Enter:

    net localgroup administrators USER_ACCOUNT /add
    Create local account command
    Create local account command

    In the command, make sure to replace USER_ACCOUNT with the account name you want to add to the administrators’ group.

If you want to test the new changes, sign out, and you will notice the new user account sitting in the bottom-left corner of the screen. Then select the new user account and sign in.

Change local account with Command Prompt on Windows 10

Use the following steps to change the account type from “standard” to “administrator”:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to add the newly created account to the Administrators group and press Enter:

    net localgroup administrators USER_ACCOUNT /add
    Change account type command
    Change account type command

    In the command, make sure to replace USER_ACCOUNT with the account name you want to add to the administrators’ group.

Once you complete the steps, the profile will have administrative privileges, meaning that the users will be able to install apps, modify system settings, and unlimited access to the device.

Delete local account with Command Prompt on Windows 10

Use the following steps to delete a Windows 10 local account using Command Prompt:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to delete the Windows 10 account and press Enter:

    net user USER_ACCOUNT /del
    Delete account command
    Delete account command

    In the command, make sure to change USER_ACCOUNT for the account name you want to delete.

After you complete the steps, the user account and files will be removed from the device.

Change local account with PowerShell on Windows 10

Use the following steps to use PowerShell to change the account type from “standard” to “administrator”:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for PowerShell, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to change the account type to administrator and press Enter:

    Add-LocalGroupMember -Group "Administrators" -Member "USER_ACCOUNT"
    Change account type with PowerShell
    Change account type with PowerShell

    In the command, make sure to change USER_ACCOUNT for the account name you want to update.

Once you complete the steps, the local account will be added to the “Administrators” group, giving the user permissions to make system changes and install or remove apps.

Create local account with PowerShell on Windows 10

Use the following steps to create a local account with PowerShell:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for PowerShell, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to temporarily store the password in a secure string inside the “$Password” variable and press Enter:

    $Password = Read-Host -AsSecureString
  4. Type the password for the new Windows 10 account and press Enter.

  5. Type the following command to create the new account with PowerShell and press Enter:

    New-LocalUser "NEW_ACCOUNT_NAME" -Password $Password -FullName "USER_FULL_NAME" -Description "DESCRIPTION"
    PowerShell create local account
    PowerShell create local account

    In the command, make sure to change NEW_ACCOUNT_NAME for the account name and USER_FULL_NAME for the user’s full name. Also, replace DESCRIPTION with the description you want to use for the account.

  6. Type the following command to add the Windows 10 account to the correct user group and press Enter:

    Add-LocalGroupMember -Group "Administrators" -Member "NEW_ACCOUNT_NAME"
    PowerShell change account type
    PowerShell change account type

    In the command, make sure to change NEW_ACCOUNT_NAME for the account name. In the above command, we add the new account to the Administrators group, which gives the user full access to the computer. However, if you want the user to have limited access, you can add the account to the Users group, making the account a “Standard User.”

Once you complete the steps, the new account will be added to the device with full access using administrative privileges. Of course, this is unless you added the account to the “Users” group, in which case the account will be a limited standard account.

Connect new account to a Microsoft account

Using PowerShell should also be possible to create a user account connected to a Microsoft account with this command: New-LocalUser -Name "MicrosoftAccount\accounName@outlook.com" -Description "Microsoft account description". However, there is still a bug that returns this message when running the command: “New-LocalUser: Cannot validate argument on parameter ‘Name’. The character length of the 36 arguments is too long. Shorten the character length of the argument, so it is fewer than or equal to “20” characters, and then try the command again.” As a result, the easiest way to get around this problem is to create a local account and then use the Settings app to link it with a Microsoft account.

To link a local account with a Microsoft account, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Accounts.

  3. Click on Your Info.

  4. Click the Sign in with your Microsoft account instead link.

  5. Continue with the on-screen directions to connect your account to a Microsoft account.

After you complete the steps, the new account will be connected to the Microsoft account you specified.

Delete local account with PowerShell on Windows 10

Use the following steps to delete an account with PowerShell:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Windows PowerShell, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to delete the user account and press Enter:

    Remove-LocalUser -Name "USER_ACCOUNT_NAME"
    PowerShell delete account
    PowerShell delete account

    In the command, make sure to change USER_ACCOUNT_NAME with the account name you want to remove.

After you complete the steps, the account will be deleted from the computer. However, the user account data will remain. If you want to delete both account and data, the easiest way is to delete the account using the “Accounts” page from the Settings app.

Update May 3, 2021: This guide was originally published in October 2015, and it’s been updated to reflect the new changes.