How to Fix: Hide User Accounts on Windows 7, 8, 10 Login Screen

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Sam R. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I am running Windows 10 and I have installed RDP Wrapper (per your previous article). This allows more than one person to use the same Windows computer via remote desktop - this is very convenient if you have a 'server' computer and want to use it for multiple purposes. I have a question: I would like to be able to hide the remote desktop user accounts I want to use on the server from being displayed on the Windows 10 login screen. Do you know how I can do this? "

My response:

It is possible to hide user accounts from the Windows 7, 8 and 10 login screen using a registry entry. Below I'll explain how to do this step-by-step.

How to Fix: Hide User Accounts on Windows 7, 8, 10 Login Screen

  1. The first thing to note here is that you will only want to hide an account on the login screen that isn't normally used to login to Windows.

    In Sam's case, he wants to use special, hidden user accounts that are used for Remote Desktop purposes, and to keep these accounts hidden from the Windows login screen. This makes sense, since Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) uses its own method for signing into Windows, and therefore it is not necessary to have these accounts displayed on the Windows login / welcome screen. This is similar to how Windows Server works.

    Let's look at another reason why you might want to hide a user account at login. Let's say you want to lock down a folder share on the network (server computer), such that only a specific user has access to it and no one else. One way to achieve this is to create a user account on the server computer with the same user name and password as another remote machine on the network. Once that is done, you can create a network folder share, then specify the user name on the remote system as having full permissions. Since the user name exists on both systems and the passwords are the same, Windows will grant the user access to the folder and deny everyone else. Once again - in this case, you would probably not want to have that user's name on your Windows login / welcome screen.
     
  2. Now that we have some solid examples as to why you might want to hide a user account on the Windows login screen, let's get down to the nitty gritty on how to achieve this. As I mentioned previously, hiding a user account from the login / welcome screen can be done using a registry key. I have gone ahead and made a simple script to achieve this, though you will need to modify the 'NAME' variable below to make it work.

    To begin, highlight the text below using your mouse:

    set NAME=myname
    reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList" /v %NAME% /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
    echo this is a dummy line

    Right click over the highlighted text above, then select "Copy" from the dialogue menu.
     
  3. Now it's time to modify the 'NAME' variable - we can do this using Notepad. To do so: click Start, then type in "Notepad"; wait for Notepad to appear in the list, then click it. A blank Notepad window will appear - click the middle of the Notepad window, then press CTRL + V on the keyboard. The text you copied in Step #2 above should now be output into Notepad.
     
  4. Where it says "set NAME=myname", change the "myname" part to the name of the user account you wish to hide from the Windows login screen (example: John, Jeff, Jane, etc). Once you have made that change, highlight all of the text in Notepad, then right click over top of it and select "Copy" from the dialogue menu.
     
  5. Now it's time to execute the command using using an administrative command prompt. To do so: click Start, then type in "cmd" (no quotes); wait for "CMD.EXE" or "Command Prompt" to appear in the list, then right click it and select "Run as Administrator". The Administrative command prompt should appear; right click in the middle of the window and select "Paste" from the dialogue menu. The text you copied inside of Notepad should now be output to the command line.
     
  6. If you have any other hidden accounts you would like to add, do it now - simply repeat Steps 3 to 5, changing the NAME variable along the way.
     
  7. Now it's time to log off the machine to test the results. You might want to bookmark this page so that you can come back to it - to do so, press CTRL + D on the keyboard to bookmark this page now. To log off Window 7: click Start -> Shutdown -> Log off; to log off Windows 8 and 10: click Start -> Power button -> then click your user profile icon, and select "Sign out". This will take you back to the login screen where you can view all users able to login to Windows and verify that the hidden user account(s) are in fact hidden.

I hope that helps.

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I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question - or even a computer problem that needs fixing - please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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