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How do I create a guest account, then define what it will authorize/grant access to (e.g. internet browser(s), specific programs and files)?

Additional information:

I have two user accounts within my WinXP Pro PC. One I'd like to erase, but I'd also like to setup a GUEST user account.

I've already gotten instructions on how to get rid of the extraneous account:

  1. Use an MS tool called delprof.msi
  2. Manually delete the former users files in Documents & Settings.
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2 Answers

There should be a Guest account already in place that cannot be deleted. You can use this as your starting base. For programs you do not want the user to have access to, just use NTFS permissions on that program folder.

NOTE: You will not initially have the security tab in file properties on Windows XP Professional. In an explorer window, navigate to Tools -> Folder Options -> View and uncheck use simple file sharing then apply.

Then you can change permissions on folders like so:

  • Right click the folder, select properties:

    alt text

  • Click "Add" and type in Guest, then hit OK

    alt text

  • Deny them permissions on the folder and apply:

    alt text

If you wish to give the guest back original permissions you do not have to modify all folders separately. Use the command line tool cacls recursively over the program files directory.

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To enable the guest account:

  1. Go to Start, then Control Panel, and then click User Accounts.
  2. Click Guest.
  3. Click Turn On the Guest Account.

Although, since the guest account is a bit special, it's much better to create a new user and give him the right permissions. See this tutorial:
About User Management and Security in Windows XP

A user's access level can be a Standard User (Power Users Group), a Restricted User (Users Group), or an Other Group (Administrators, Backup Operators, Guests, Power Users, Replicator, Users, or any previously created group).

Once a user is listed, you can then modify their properties. Specifically you can modify their User name, Full name, Description.

I also found this utility that I've never tried but that some people do recommend:
Windows XP Security Console.
Its freeware version is a bit limited and requires you to log on to the said user account, but it seems like a convenient tool to make security changes without hunting through various system programs and registry settings:

image

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There is nothing wrong with using the built-in guest account, the only reason it's "special" is because it is used for windows networking. You have limited access while on the account in the first place so there isn't much they can do. As for the limited freeware tool, it's only another front end for group policies, and the free tool provided by Microsoft isn't limited at all (gpedit). You will see the same in gpedit: i37.tinypic.com/5dphqp.png –  John T Oct 11 '09 at 18:06
    
For XP Pro, this free tool is only intended to simplify the user interface (which seemed to be called-for here). For XP Home, gpedit is unavailable but this program still works. –  harrymc Oct 11 '09 at 18:43
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