How to Enable or Disable a Windows 10 User Account

Windows allows you to have multiple local user accounts on the same device. This allows each user to have their own file storage, custom desktop and custom settings.

However, it is sometimes necessary to disable a user's account without deleting it, as it may delete all of its files, applications, and custom settings. Disabling an account removes the icon from this account from the login screen and the menu for switching users. This allows you to reactivate the account later without losing any of their data. Here's how to enable or disable a user account in Windows 10.

Note: This article is intended primarily for Windows 10 users at home or small business. If you are using Windows 10 in a large enterprise, you probably will not have multiple local user accounts configured on a system and these tools will probably be disabled anyway.

Windows 10 Home and Pro Users: Disable User Accounts Using the Command Prompt

Regardless of the edition of Windows 10 that you use (Home, Pro or even Enterprise), you can use a quick command from the command prompt to enable or disable a local user account. Although there is a graphical way to do this for Windows 10 Pro users (which we will discuss in the next section), the command prompt is accessible to all and very quickly.

First, open Command Prompt as Administrator. Click Start, type "cmd" in the search box and "Command Prompt" will appear as the main result. Right click on this result and choose "Run As Administrator".

At the prompt, type (or copy and paste) the following command, where is the name of the user account you want to disable:

surfer / active: no

Once the command is complete, you can close the command prompt. The user account will be disabled and will no longer appear as an active account for the connection. You can repeat the same process for all the accounts you want to disable.

Note: If you do not know the exact name of the account, type the net user command for a complete list of all users.

If you want to reactivate the account, you only need to open another high privileged command prompt session, but specify the "no" type instead of "yes" for the active switch:. The command will look like this, replacing again with the name of the user account you want to activate:

surfer / active: yes

Windows 10 Pro users only: Disable a user account with the computer management tool

For this method, we will use the IT management tool. It's a fast and powerful way to access a host of administrative tools, such as Task Scheduler, Performance Monitor, Device Manager, Disk Manager, and more. Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise users can use the Local Users and Groups section to grant and restrict a user's access to your device. (Again, though, if you're using Windows 10 Enterprise, you're probably part of an Active Directory domain and you do not have access to this tool.)

RELATED: 10+ useful system tools hidden in Windows

In Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, open the Start menu and search for "Computer Management."

You can also press Windows + X, and then select "Computer Management" from the Power Users menu.

In the Computer Management window, go to System Tools> Local Users and Groups> Users. On the right you will see a list of all the user accounts in your system.

Right-click the user account that you want to disable, and then click "Properties."

In the Properties window that opens, check the "Account is disabled" box and click "OK" to save the changes.

Repeat the previous steps for any other user account that you want to disable. Then you can close Computer Management and deactivated accounts will no longer appear on any login screen.

To reactivate a user account, return to the Properties window of this account and select the "Account is disabled" checkbox.

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