How to hide user accounts in windows

Posted: February 17, 2012 in Tips and Tricks

The welcome screen displays all of the local users on the system, except the built-in administrator account that was created during setup. If we want to hide a specific user from the list, we need to create a special value under this registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows
NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList

Under this key you simply create a new DWORD value – the name matches the users name exactly, and the value is one of the following (Decimal format)

0 – Hides the user just from the welcome screen
1 – The user is shown

Before you start putting values in this key, I want to warn you. This tip is particularly dangerous. If you make the wrong move, you could make it nearly impossible to get back into your system. Don’t blame me if you hose your system!

To hide the users I want, I browse to the registry key on my system:
Registry_Screen_Shot_20060812

Now I want to hide all of the accounts except Jennifer, so I add each of the accounts shown on the welcome screen, and give them a value of zero.
Registry_Screen_Shot_B_20060812

that’s all we need to do. I log off, and now I only see Jennifer’s account:
Welcome_Sceeen_Hidden_20060812

Here’s the big question. How do you log on as a hidden user? If you are running windows XP Professional you simply need to press CTRL-ALT-DEL twice, and the standard logon screen will be displayed. This has one pitfall – it will fail to work if a user is still currently logged in. If you are having trouble getting it to show, then reboot and press it twice before any users have logged in. Secondly, if you are running Windows XP Home, you will need to boot in safe mode to use the hidden account. The CTRL-ALT-DEL trick does not work for XP Home.

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