How to lock down Windows 10 user accounts?

November 26, 2018 |

greater than 7 minutes

An administrator account gives you access to your computer’s hidden features. This type of account should be used only by those you trust or by you. Many average users do not know about it, so they always use a standard account. From Windows Vista onwards, Microsoft disabled the built- in Administrator account by default. So, if you want to use it, you will have to re-enable it manually or create your own Administrator account.

Locking down an account on your computer restricts other users to certain features of Windows. This can be useful when you want to monitor your children’s computer usage or you want to simplify it for a beginner. There are many settings or files in Windows that, when changed or edited, can cause significant errors in your system.

In this article, we are going to show you how to lock down a Windows 10 account. You can use any of the methods, depending on different situations.

Table of Contents

  1. Use Standard Accounts and User Account Control (UAC)
  2. Create a child account
  3. Use Group Policy Tweaks

Solution 1. Use Standard Accounts and User Account Control (UAC)

One of the easiest ways to limit an account’s permissions is to set up a standard account. The standard account is the one which is widely used by most people. Even though it is restrictive, it is not an ideal accounts for kids because they can still access lots of things which you would not want them to. Using this type of account, other users can still make some changes in settings and run software that will not affect you. This account is unable to modify internet connection settings or install programs. Use the following instructions to set a standard account:

  • Click on the Start or Home button and select the gear icon to open the Settings app.
  • Click on Accounts from the available options.
  • In the next window, click on the Family and other people tab on the left side. Now, go to the right side and find the name of the account which permissions you want to limit and click the Change account type button. Here, you will be able to change the user account from administrator to standard.

Also, you can directly create a new standard account. To do this, navigate to the Family and other people tab in the Settings app and click Add someone else to this PC; then when asked for the type of account you want to create, choose Standard user.

You can also control how much the standard user can do by using the User Account Control (AUC). To do this, use the following instructions:

  • Click on the Start or Home button and input UAC in the search bar and choose Change User Account Control Settings.
  • This will open the User Account Control Settings window.
  • On the left side of the window, you will see a bar where you can choose between different levels. The default setting alerts the administrator when apps want to make changes to your system, but it will not notify if the app wants to change system settings. If you set to Always notify, you will feel very secure, but notifications will pop up frequently, and this is very annoying. You also do not want to set it to Never notify because it will be like an administrator account.

Solution 2. Create a child account

Setting a child account on Windows 10 does not only limit your kids to certain features on the PC but also protects them when they go on the internet. Windows 10 has some great inbuilt family features that can help your children be safe online. To create a child account, use the following instructions:

  • Press the Windows logo key + I on your keyboard to open the Settings app.
  • Click on Accounts from the available options.
  • Now, navigate to the Family and other people tab on the left side of the window and click Add a family member under the Your family option.
  • In the next page, choose Add a child, then input their email address. If the child does not have one, then you should click The person I want to add doesn’t have an email address. In this case, you can either create an email for them or use your own email address. It is better to create their own email address. Once the address is created and you add them to the computer, an email will be sent to them. This mail needs to be confirmed before they log into the account you created. If not, then all the protective measures you put in place will not be effective.
  • You will need to provide your phone number as a backup for the child’s It can be used to restore the account if they forget their password.
  • In the next page, you will be presented with two checkboxes which are for Microsoft adverts and promo offers. You should disable them because it is not ideal for children and will annoy them.
  • Once the account is created, you need to click Manage family settings online. This will take you to Microsoft’s website into the Family section.
  • Here, you will see the child’s account you created. You will be able to set controls.
  • In the Recent activities tab, you can enable the option to receive weekly reports on the last visited websites, used applications, or games and the time spent on the computer. Here, you will also be able to disable private browsing so that your kids must leave a trace when they visit any website. Note that you can set up restrictions for using the internet and view reports on the child’s network activity only if they use Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer browsers.
  • The Web browsing tab lets you block inappropriate websites. You can also enter a list of websites which will be blocked or add a list of websites that the child will be allowed to visit. SafeSearch in many search engines is also enforced.
  • Using the Apps, games and media tab, you can block inappropriate games and apps. There is also an option to limit content with respect to the age of the child. For example, if you select 10 years old, the child will be limited to TV-PG shows and games which are rated Everyone 10+.
  • In the Screen time tab, you can set time limits about how long and on which days the child is allowed to use this computer.
  • The Purchase and spending tab allows you to change settings on the Windows Store. You will be able to add money to the child’s account, which can be used to buy games and other apps in the Windows Store. The child can also be limited to downloading only free items from the Store. You will be notified any time they download something.

Solution 3. Use Group Policy Tweaks

In Windows 10 Pro, the Group Policy tool lets you control all types of account options. This tool is mostly used for corporate environments but is not limited to it. You can also use this tool at home.

  • Press the Windows logo key + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialogue box.
  • Input gpedit.msc in the search area and press Enter. This will open the Group Policy Editor.
  • Now, navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Installer, then enable Turn off Windows Install. This will stop users from installing programs.
  • Go to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel, and choose Hide specified Control Panel items to disable certain entries, Show only specified Control Panel items to make a controlled list of items in Control Panel, or Prohibit access to Control Panel and PC settings to deny access entirely.
  • Again, go to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System, where you will find Prevent access to the command prompt and Prevent access to registry editing tools so experienced users cannot use them as workarounds. Also, Don’t run / Run only specified Windows applications limits the applications which users can run.
  • User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Ctrl + Alt + Del Options allows you to disable the ability of a user to change their password, run Task Manager, etc.
  • User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer will disable access to disk drives on your PC. This protects your files and folders from other users.
  • Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Account Policies > Password Policy has many options which let you manage passwords. Enabling Maximum password age will push users to change their passwords, and Minimum password length will restrict users from using short passwords. Password must meet complexity requirements forces users to use a minimum of 6 characters with a mixture of symbols, numbers, and

There are many other Group Policy tweaks that are not listed here

Use the ones above to help you control your PC.

Pro tip: viruses are often a menace to many Windows users. Your computer can react in different ways to the presence of viruses. It may get slow, crash, or show various error messages. Sometimes, it may not produce any signs. Most often, users pick up viruses when browsing the internet. It is almost impossible to be without surfing the internet; that is why we recommend that you download and install Auslogics Anti-Malware. This tool will check your computer for viruses and eliminate them. You will be able to set regular scans of your system to get rid of any virus lurking around. You will also be able to browse the internet without the fear of being infected. Its virus definition is updated on a regular basis to be able to pick up newly created viruses.

We hope that this article has shown you ways to lock down a Windows 10 user account. Share it with others who need such info.

We appreciate your ideas and comments, and we are ready to answer all your questions regarding this topic.

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