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I want to make a hidden account so my family doesn't stumble across my code and mess it up, but I also want to be able to access this account through some other means. Is this possible?

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    Just use a password; no if can be logged into then it will be listed
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 21:05

3 Answers 3

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I want to make a hidden account

Use the following procedure.

On bootup, Windows operating systems including Windows 8/7/Vista/XP will display a Welcome Screen, with a list of user accounts existing on your computer so that user can click and login. If you want to hide one of the user accounts at Welcome Screen and protect your privacy, here’s a complete guide for you. Let’s see how can we hide user account from Welcome Screen in Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP.

How to Hide User Account from Welcome Screen in Windows 8/7/Vista/XP?

  1. Press WindowsR to open the "Run" dialog, type "regedit" and press Enter.
  2. In the Registery Editor window, navigate to the following registry key:

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

  3. If the SpecialAccounts key and Userlist keys do not exist then create them.
  4. On the right hand side of Userlist, right-click on any blank space, and select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  5. Name the new DWORD registry value name with the exact user name used at the logon screen.
  6. Double-click on DWORD registry value, and set the value data to 0 in order to hide the account from Welcome Screen. To display the user account on Welcome Screen again so that it’s visible again, delete the registry entry, or set the value data to 1.

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  1. Exit the Registry Editor.
  2. Log off or restart to make the change effective.

This trick will prevent the user account from showing up on the Welcome Screen or in the Control Panel -> User Accounts area.

  • On Windows XP you can still log into the hidden user account by pressing CtrlAltDel two times to display the "Login" dialog and type the username and password.
  • Note that, on Windows 8/7/Vista, pressing CtrlAltDel does not bring up the login screen.
  • If your user account is not shown up on the Welcome Screen and you’re locked out of your computer, the "Reset Windows Password" utility could be used to remove your forgotten password or make your user account visible again.

Source Hide User Account from Welcome Screen in Windows 8/7/Vista/XP

For Windows 8.1 see How to hide user accounts from the login screen in Windows 8.1

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After hiding an account like David described you wont be able to log in using the Windows start-screen in Windows 8.x, but if you have a second Windows PC on your network, you can use that hidden account to log in via Remote Desktop.

Your hidden account must be protected by a password and I suggest making it an administrator, so you can unhide it if needed.

Remote Desktop clients are also available for tablets and smartphones.

You can also create two batch files to hide the account:

 reg.exe ADD "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList" /v MagisterTech /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

and unhide it again:

 reg.exe ADD "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList" /v MagisterTech /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
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this worked for me:

  1. start cmd.exe

  2. change the path: cd C:\Windows\System32

  3. start cmd with your hidden (admin) account: runas /user:john cmd.exe

... you will be prompted to enter the password of "john"

  1. now run regedit.exe

  2. you can now edit/redo the changes as above described by setting the DWORD value to 1

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