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Windows 8 : Sharing and Securing with User Accounts - Deleting User Accounts

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3/3/2014 2:16:31 AM

An administrator can easily delete user accounts. If nobody has ever used a user account, then deleting the account is no big deal. But if someone has used the account, the decision to delete it is more complicated. When you you delete a user account, you also delete all e-mail messages downloaded to the computer, Internet favorites, music, pictures, and videos. You could also delete all of that user’s saved files if you’re not careful. Doing this by accident would be a disaster because there’s no way to undo the deletion.


Caution
Deleting a user account can have very serious consequences. Don’t do it unless you fully understand the ramifications.

If you want to save the user’s e-mail messages and Internet favorites, export them to that user’s Documents folder first. Read the Windows online help for more information on exporting Internet Explorer favorites. Also, refer to your e-mail program’s help for information on saving e-mail messages to a local drive, such as to your Documents folder.

So let’s assume you understand the consequences and have no intention of deleting an account just for the heck of it. Only administrators can delete user accounts. So if you’re in a standard account, you at least need to know the administrative password to delete a user account. You also need to log in to any account except the one you intend to delete. Then:

1. Display the Control Panel, click User Accounts, and click Manage Another Account.

2. Click the account you want to delete.

3. Click Delete The Account and read the resulting message. Then click one of the following buttons:
  • Delete Files: Click this button only if you intend to delete everything associated with the account, including all files that the user has created and saved.
  • Keep Files: Click this option to save the user’s files. You will still lose the user’s saved e-mail messages, Internet favorites, and user account.
4. Read the next page to make sure you understand the consequences of your choice. Then click Cancel if you change your mind, or click Delete Account if you’re sure you know what you’re doing.

If you choose Delete Account, the user’s account will no longer exist. If you choose Keep Files, the user’s saved files (those from his account’s profile) will be in a folder on the desktop. That folder will have the same name as the user account you just deleted. Otherwise, nothing of the user’s account, not even his or her saved files, will remain. (If you choose Cancel in Step 4, the entire account remains intact and unchanged.)

If you create a new user account with the same name as the one you just deleted, the new account is still an entirely new account. It will not inherit any files or settings from the account you previously deleted.


Note
If the user’s Documents folder contains no documents, Windows will not create a copy of the folder on your desktop when you delete the account (because there is nothing to save).
 
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