Microsoft has added plenty of new features to Windows in recent years, but some functionality has been removed in that time.

That includes the ability to create a “Guest” account, separate from any of the main user accounts. Previously, it offered an easy way to share your computer with someone, without risking any of your settings or files being affected.

Not only is the feature unavailable in Windows 11, it's also been removed from Windows 10 . This is presumably for security reasons, but the risk when giving access to friends or family is very low.

Fortunately, a workaround means it’s still possible to create an account with these characteristics. It won’t be officially known as a “Guest” account, but it performs in much the same way.

How to create a guest account on Windows 11

There are several ways to do this, but the easiest method is via Settings. The first step involves creating a new local account:

  1. Open Settings and choose ‘Accounts’ from the left pane
  2. From the menu that appears, select ‘Family & other users’
    Windows 11 guest account
  3. Under ‘Other users’, click the button labeled ‘Add account’
    Windows 11 guest account
  4. After a few seconds, you’ll be prompted to enter an email address or phone number. Instead, click ‘I don’t have the person’s sign-in information’ just below where you’d type
    Windows 11 guest account
  5. Now, you’ll see three options on the ‘Create account screen’. Choose the one which says ‘Add a user without a Microsoft account’
    Windows 11 guest account
  6. Next, provide a name for the account you’d like to create. ‘Visitor’ makes sense, as you still can’t use the ‘Guest’ name here
  7. Enter the chosen password twice, followed by answers to three security questions
    Windows 11 guest account
  8. Click next to complete this process

The newly created account will now be listed under ‘Other users’. To start using it, simply sign out of your current account and sign in to the new one. You’ll need to log in to many apps and services again, but most functions are still accessible.

To make things more restrictive, you’ll then need to add that account to the “Guest” user group:

  1. Open the ‘Computer Management’ window by searching for it via the taskbar
    Windows 11 guest account
  2. From the left pane, choose System Tools > Local Users and Groups > Users
  3. Locate the newly created account, right-click it and choose ‘Properties’
  4. From the ‘Member Of’ tab, choose ‘Add’, then ‘Advanced’
  5. Click ‘Find Now’, then scroll down until you find ‘Guests’
  6. Click it, then hit ‘OK’ twice to confirm
  7. You’ll now see ‘Guests’ added to the list. Select ‘Users’ and remove it
  8. Click ‘Apply’, followed by ‘OK’ to confirm changes

If you’re not seeing the ‘Local Users and Groups’ option, there’s a simple solution - just download ‘lusrmgr’ from GitHub. It opens in a separate window, but the process is roughly the same:

  1. Click ‘Users’ from the left pane
  2. Double-click the account and select the ‘Group membership tab’
    Windows 11 guest account
  3. Click ‘Add membership...’, then highlight ‘Guests’ and choose ‘Select’
    Windows 11 guest account
  4. This will now be added to the list. Next, highlight ‘Users’ and remove it
    Windows 11 guest account
  5. Click ‘OK’ to save changes, then log out and log back in again to apply changes

Is creating a guest account on Windows 10 different?

Very slightly. Windows 10 users can follow all the same steps as above, aside from finding the option to add a new user in Settings:

  1. Head to Settings > Accounts > Other users
  2. Under ‘Other users’, click ‘Add someone else to this PC’
    Windows 11 guest account

That's the only difference. Now, scroll up to the Windows 11 section and start from step 4 of the first section. 

There's no limit on the number of guest accounts you can create. But if you want someone to be able to change Settings or remove files (for example), just follow the steps on creating the local account. Both methods are an effective ways of providing limited access to your personal device.

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