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I have a loaner Microsoft Surface RT to evaluate. When I turn it on and it boots to the login screen there is the previous user's name and prompt for their password. I don't seem to be able to do anything to switch users. I can only sleep, shut down or restart. How can I change users without the previous user loging in? What would be done in the case of the previous user no longer being available to login? It seems the device would no longer be usable. I am sure I am missing something.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If there was another possible user account on any Windows 8 (ish) device, then there should be an arrow to the top left of the picture for the user account you're on. That would take you to another screen with usernames and pictures to select who to login as.

So, if that is not there then it is unlikely that another account exists that can be used. Sounds like you need to talk to whoever you borrowed it from to evaluate and ask them to create a guest account or something temporary for you.

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How would a user be created if you can't exit from the login screen? Is there a way to get to the preconfigured administrator account? – DaveB Mar 25 '13 at 16:24
You would need to be able to login (and typically the admin account isn't enabled by default when the main user is an admin), so again - you'd need to talk with the owner of the tablet. It would probably be frowned upon for me to tell you how or link to guides to tell you how to hack into Windows. – nerdwaller Mar 25 '13 at 16:46
I asked because there is a possibility that the person with the login could not longer be available and I wondered if the device would then be rendered unusable. – DaveB Mar 25 '13 at 18:01
If that's the case you could find guides online to reset the password (though you'd need to make adjustments for ARM hardware), otherwise a recovery image is available locally (if the owner didn't remove it yet). I think to access that you would hold Vol+ during power on (at least on my pro). If they removed it, then there should be a way to obtain the image from Microsoft or possibly floating around online. – nerdwaller Mar 25 '13 at 18:24

Microsoft has a pretty good tutorial on how to do it. Check here:

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External links can break or be unavailable, in which case your answer would not be useful. In this case, the link opens to a non-English page, so if there's a language setting, it isn't obvious. Please include the essential information within your answer and use the link for attribution and further reading. Thanks. – fixer1234 Mar 2 at 6:05

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