Windows 7 Registry Tweaks

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How to Hide a User from Welcome Screen

How to Hide a User Account from the Welcome Screen

The main idea of this tip is to prevent a user account appearing on an XP, Vista or Window 7's Welcome screen, thus making the computer a little more secure and private.  My sub-plot is to brush-up our registry editing skills, in general and check out the Winlogon section of the registry in particular.  Incidentally, it's a shame it's not possible to physically hide certain users as easily as you can with regedit!

Topics for Hide User Accounts on the Welcome Screen

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Instructions for How to Hide a User Account from the Welcome Screen

  1. Be sure to logon as an Administrator, then create a local account in the Control Panel, User Accounts.  For example, I will call my user 'Eddie'.
  2. While not essential it's a good idea to test this account, or at least logoff and make sure that it appears on the Welcome Screen.
  3. Launch Regedit, while this registry editor does not appear on any menu, just type the word 'regedit' in the Start.  right-click on regedit and 'Run as administrator'.
  4. Navigate to the Winlogon section of the registry, to be precise:
    *HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\
    *HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  5. Create a Key called SpecialAccounts  (note plural)
    Then create a sub-key called UserList (note singular no spaces)
  6. You should have:
    Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList  (See screenshot below)
    Now create a DWORD (32-bit) Value with the same name as the user that you wish to hide, if you remember I called my account 'Eddie'.
  7. I now have Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList\Eddie
    With a RegDword Value (0)
    Zero means hide, one would mean show.
  8. The crucial question for any registry hack is, 'Do you logoff, or restart the computer to see the effect?'  I am afraid to hide the user account requires a restart, but it will be worth it!

How to Hide a User Account From Welcome Screen in Windows 7

Key Learning Points for How to Hide Account From Welcome Screen

  • Were you able to master: Find - 'Winlogon'?
  • Do you find Winlogon key in HKCU** or HKLM?
    Answer: HKLM
  • Do you have to add a value, or modify an existing setting? 
    Answer: Add new key then value. 
  • Is it a String Value or a DWORD?
    Answer: DWORD (32-bit).
  • Do you need to Restart, or merely Logoff / Logon?
    Answer: Restart

** HKLM is an abbreviation of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, and HKCU is shorthand for HKEY_CURRENT_USER.  These acronyms are so well-known that you can even use them in .reg files, Vista will understand and obey the registry instruction.

Scenarios for Hiding User Accounts From Welcome Screen

One use of this technique is to hide administrator from welcome screen.  The benefit is that if the account does not appear, then people won't think of trying to impersonate the administrator, it will also make people focus on their own account.

Another scenario is that you are testing.  Perhaps you are just learning about the registry, or perhaps you are creating a template user / machine and want hide administrator from welcome screen.

Summary of Hide User Accounts From Welcome Screen

Perhaps you want to hide administrator from the Welcome Screen.  This registry technique works on an XP, Vista or Window 7 computer, and as a result the computer is a little more private.  My sub-plot is to brush-up our registry editing skills, in general and check out the Winlogon section of the registry in particular. Incidentally, it's a shame it's not possible to hide certain users physically as easily as you can with regedit!

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Article by: Guy Thomas Copyright © 1999-2014 Computer Performance LTD All rights reserved.

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