One of the unfortunate side effects of the Windows welcome screen is the listing of all the user accounts on the computer. What if there is an account that you do not want others to see? Using the same feature that Microsoft uses to hide system accounts from the Welcome screen, you can hide user accounts as well.
Hiding user accounts can be done by a simple hack in the registry. Hidden away in the local system settings is a list of accounts that Microsoft does not want to appear on the Welcome screen. These accounts are primarily system accounts under which different processes that run in the background use to execute.
To hide a user from the Welcome screen, all you have to do is create an entry on the list for the user you want to hide. Follow these steps to find out how to add a user to the list:
- Click the Start button and select Run, then type regedit in the box and click OK.
- This will start up the system Registry Editor. Expand the following keys: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, SOFTWARE, Microsoft, Windows NT, Current Version, Winlogon, SpecialAccounts, and UserList.
- You should now see the list of the account names, and parts of account names, that the system will look for and will hide. To add name to the list, just right-click and select New DWORD value.
- When the new key is created, enter in the name of the user’s account as the name of the key. Once you have done this, you can close regedit.
The next time you log off and on, or reboot, the user will not be displayed on the Welcome screen. To log into the account that you hid from the Welcome screen, just press Ctrl+Alt+Delete on your keyboard once, twice and you will be able to type in the name of the user under which you want to log in. This way you can hide an account from others and still log into it.