How to create multiple user accounts in Windows 8 (step-by-step)

Adding accounts

One of the great things about Windows for many years has been that anyone can easily create a user account to share a computer with other people at home or with colleagues — even now with Windows RT, something that iOS doesn’t natively have and Android is just catching up in version 4.2.

Each account in Windows is different, it has settings and other configurations unique to a person, such as personal files, wallpaper and color scheme, and even applications are associated. A user account also dictate which applications and data an individual can and cannot access, and what changes to the system are permitted or restricted.

Over the years Windows accounts have certainly been improving; one of these improvements in Windows 8 is the introduction of a new way to sign-in with a new type of account that is linked to a Microsoft account — Yup! We are moving away from the “log-in” expression –, which basically means that you can sign-in to your PC using an account that you create with Microsoft using an email address. The benefits are that you’ll be able to download Windows Store apps and you’ll also get PC-to-PC synchronization capabilities. But you can always opt to create a local account, although you’ll still need a MS account to download apps from the Store. Now that you have a foundation, let’s dive into the steps.

The instructions to create one or multiple user accounts will depend upon whether the PC is in a Homegroup or in a domain (corporation). Today we will focus only on adding another user to one Windows 8 PC.


1. Use the Windows 8 Key +I keyboard shortcut to bring Settings and click or tap in Change PC settings.

2. In PC settings navigate through Users, scroll down and click or tap Add a user under Other users.

User account

3. For this demonstration we’ll be creating a local account, click the Sign in without a Microsoft account to continue.

Win8 user creation

4. Click Local account.

Opt local user account Win 8

5. Enter a user name, password and hint, and click Next.

Win 8 new users information

6. Finally, if this is a new “sign-in” for a young person you can also check the option to turn on Family Safety to get reports of their PC use. Then click Finish.

Win8 Family safety account

You’ll see under Other users the newly created account, to test simply go to the Start screen, click your account name in the top-right corner of the screen, click Sign out. When you do this the Lock screen appears, enter the new user credentials and press Enter. You’ll also notice that this being the first time signing in with the new account, Windows will go through the process of configuring all the default settings, including the installation of apps.

Start screen user

Remember, to add multiple accounts just repeat the steps.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].