Windows 10 user management - Account Savant


Updated: June 24, 2016

A bunch of weeks ago, someone emailed me, informing of a potentially big problem with user management on Windows 10. Namely, after upgrading from Windows 8.1, the person had trouble creating additional users. Apparently, there is an issue with the user profile format and whatnot. That definitely sounds tricky.

I decided I had to test for myself, to see whether there are real problems in the process. Also, this gives us a nice opportunity to check how Microsoft handles user management in their latest operating system. So let's see what gives.

Teaser

Add account

As you can expect, this is not a trivial thing. If you search through the Settings menu, you will get the new Metro interface. And again, efficiency takes a hit, as the needed buttons to actually create users are hidden three levels deep. If you use the system search functionality with the phrase add user, then you will get the old pre-Windows 8 stuff.

Trying the new interface, you have the option to add either a family member or someone else. I presume the difference is mostly in sharing and parental control, if any. But still, let's continue. Oh, I like how it says, This won't add them to your family. Wow, what a relief. I'm not getting new family members!

Add account

When you start the wizard for a new account, you will be asked to provide the email or phone of the person that you want to add. As you can imagine, this option means you will end up with an online account. No, don't want.

New email

If you want a local account, as you should, you still have one more hurdle. You will still be asked to setup an online account, so pay attention. You actually want the option at the bottom of the window. Then you can do the normal thing. Again, I like how the online account is advertised - Microsoft services are all better and more personal. What? What does that mean? Better how? More personal how? Has anyone read this sentence and actually felt inspired?

No online account

Setup local account

This will complete the creation of the user. The next step is to log off your current user, and try the new one, or you can just switch, but that will also lock existing programs and files in use. To actually log off, hit the user name at the top of the menu.

User added

Switch user

Test new account

The login took several minutes, as Windows 10 was busy preparing the user environment. What this effectively means is, if you have an Internet connection, Windows 10 will download all sorts of useless stuff and populate your account. As you can see from the desktop screenshot, all sorts of crap have been added to the system. Now, why would I ever be interested in these promo semi-adware semi-spyware nonsense programs? Google Play Music on a desktop? What?

Desktop

It gets worse. The menu is there, and it features all the stupidity you can imagine. Flipping live tiles, stupid news that tell us what happened in moronland, promotional shit, games designed for people with unpaired chromosomes, trialware that does nothing useful, and other associated digital diarrhea.

System menu

I even got something called McAfee Central, and you know well how I feel about pointless security software. Not only was the system menu flashing in twenty colors of retarded, also known as twenty shades of stupid, now I was also forced to suffer even more interference into my habits and usage model.

Unwanted software

On the bright side, user management works as advertised, but the end result is, you will be landed with a desktop polluted with nonsense and noise and crap, and you will need to spend some time trying to strip down all this crap to a minimum. I have no idea what happens if you go with an online account, but it must be a lot worse.

More reading

You will probably be interested in the following:

Why upgrading to Windows 10 won't make you into a genius or anything

Windows 10 privacy guides, number one and two and three

If you are being pushed into a corner ...

Conclusion

Windows 10 user management is pretty much like everything else included in this operating system; simple and complicated. You are definitely less efficient than when using Windows 7, and the need to create a happy and abstract interface for its users has led Microsoft down some rather convoluted and unpredictable ergonomics paths. However, no matter how it's designed, the accounts functionality works. So that's one thing.

The other side of the coin is, there's a lot of pressure into trying to make you succumb to this online mania, and immerse yourself into the cesspool of mediocrity that seems to be the sweet spot of profit for large corporations. You can try to disassociate your emotions from that, but I won't begrudge you if you lose your composure. I know I did. I hate promo software, I hate clickbait offers, I hate crippled ad-ridden limited use programs. I hate when companies try to dictate how I should use my devices. And creating new account probably gives you the biggest jolt of all, as you get a whole desktop of crap all at once. Anyhow, you know where you stand. No point in me typing any more here. We're done.

Cheers.

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