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Windows 7: Add User to Same Desktop?

09 Apr 2015   #11
remm

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Reinstalled W7 last night.
Set up a second user "Mom" as standard.
Copied the main Admin Desktop to her Desktop
Copied the main Admin AppData to her AppData

This still leaves a lot of manual configuring to do (my W7 installs are as far from OOTB as you can get)...

But before I go further I have to say, this is not what I was hoping for... and maybe W7 doesn't do what I want, so I will ask once more and try to be as clear as possible and maybe someone can flat out tell me, "Windows won't do that."

My goal is ONE WINDOWS ENVIRONMENT with TWO USERS that have different priv's but use the same exact instance of Windows.

I understand why there are separate desktops so everyone can have their own software/files/etc and be private from each other. But I don't need that. I only need her to have reduced privileges using the same account I set up as Admin.

For years I have read that even if you are the only one using the computer you should setup a 2nd standard user for daily use for security purposes. I have never done it, (am always messing with stuff that requires admin) but if that's possible then it sounds like what I am asking for... only in my case, Mom would use the standard one. Here is what I mean (from How to Manage Users in Windows 7 | PCWorld )

paste: "The First User

When Windows first installs, it asks you for a user name and password, which it then uses to create your first account. This account joins the Administrators group, which has the highest set of privileges. From this account you can create and manage all other user accounts. When one person is the sole user of a computer, this first account is sometimes the only one ever created. However, even if you are the only user, a recommended practice is to create a second, standard account for daily use, so that you have it separate from your account with administrative privileges for managing the system. If you want to install software or make other system changes while logged in as a standard user, never fear: When you attempt to make the change, Windows will prompt you to authenticate your administrator account so that you won't need to log on with it." (emphasis added /end paste)


... that would imply to me that both accounts are using the same environment... am I wrong? This is what I want, as if Mom did anything accidentally that might change the system, a popup would ask for admin authentication, and if I needed to do something, I could enter my creds and do it. If not, she'd be locked out from accidentally doing something bad...but we would both be using the same environment.

Anyone KWIM? Is this possible? Thanks for reading and helping. Appreciate it!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Apr 2015   #12
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

I've never done this, but here's something you can try.
Quote:
First, create a temporary profile for the account you're copying to. This gives you something to overwrite.

Search the start menu for "easy". Open "Windows Easy Transfer", tell it this is the "old" computer and use the "USB" option to export the original profile to the local hard drive. The wizard closes after exporting.

Restart "Windows Easy Transfer" on the same computer, but this time tell it this is the "new" computer. Pick the file you saved and select Advanced. Select the destination account and continue through the wizard.
Source: Windows 7: Trying to copy a user profile. The "Copy To" - Microsoft Community

If i understand it correctly,
After the transfer you might need to change Mom's account to standard,
and you would have two different accounts and desktops to maintain going forward.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2015   #13
remm

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DavidE View Post
If i understand it correctly,
After the transfer you might need to change Mom's account to standard,
and you would have two different accounts and desktops to maintain going forward.
Thanks DavidE, but two desktops is what I want to avoid. Is it not possible to have one desktop with 2 users and different priv's?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

09 Apr 2015   #14
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

I don't know if that's possible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2015   #15
remm

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Isn't that what the article I quoted refers to?? (snippet "If you want to install software or make other system changes while logged in as a standard user, never fear: When you attempt to make the change, Windows will prompt you to authenticate your administrator account so that you won't need to log on with it.") This implies (to my way of thinking) that the desktop does not change. Only the privleges change if admin creds are entered.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2015   #16
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

I don't see where that says 2 users will share the same desktop ?

I normally log in with a Standard account.
Anything I need to do that requires admin authority, i get prompted for my Admin password.
If I enter the admin PW, i can preform the "admin task", without logging in with my Admin account.

Each of my accounts still has an individual desktop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2015   #17
remm

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DavidE View Post
I don't see where that says 2 users will share the same desktop ?

I normally log in with a Standard account.
Anything I need to do that requires admin authority, i get prompted for my Admin password.
If I enter the admin PW, i can preform the "admin task", without logging in with my Admin account.
How did you set that up? If you originally created your main account as Admin... then when you added a standard user, none of the admin desktop would have been available to you... ???

Quote:
Each of my accounts still has an individual desktop.
OK, but then I guess I don't care as long as I could get the above to work, and obviously I am not understanding this.

Let's say Mom is signed in as Standard user.... now something comes up that needs Admin p's ... like let's say I sit down at her computer (she's logged in as standard user)... and I go to install some sftw for her... will I get prompted for my admin creds on her desktop??? If so, that's exactly what I want and that's fine!

What I want to avoid is having to log off her account, and into mine to administer HER stuff... cause let's say I need to install software for her... I don't want to have to install it on my admin account, then manually copy my folders again to her user folders...

But it sounds like what you're saying is I only have to copy everything over initially (like I already have)... and now I can even login as her... and do any admin thing I want on HER desktop, as Windows will just ask for my creds... is that right??

Sorry for being so obtuse! Just never had to deal with multiple users before.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2015   #18
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by remm View Post
Let's say Mom is signed in as Standard user.... now something comes up that needs Admin p's ... like let's say I sit down at her computer (she's logged in as standard user)... and I go to install some sftw for her... will I get prompted for my admin creds on her desktop??? If so, that's exactly what I want and that's fine!
Yes, you can run most things while logged in with her Standard account using YOUR admin PW and authority as needed.
For some things you would need to login with your Admin account, such as some Registry editing (if you ever do that).
I also prefer to login with my Admin account when I am updating security programs.

But normally, I am logged in as a Standard user and get prompted for my Admin PW as needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2015   #19
Pyprohly

Windows 10, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, OS X El Capitan
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by remm View Post
Quote:
If you want to install software or make other system changes while logged in as a standard user, never fear: When you attempt to make the change, Windows will prompt you to authenticate your administrator account so that you won't need to log on with it." (emphasis added /end paste)
... that would imply to me that both accounts are using the same environment...
No. This new process that is created after entering the credentials for this other account will be running under this other account's environment.

E.g. Standard user, Joe, runs an application that requires administrative privileges. Joe enters the credentials for Mary, an admin account. This application, which relies heavily on the AppData folder, will then save all it's data to Mary's AppData folder (even if Joe was the actual starter of this application). If this application did not require administrative privileges, the application would have saved to Joe's AppData folder.

Every user has their own environment. New user equals new environment. I'd say that that is the definition of a user account under Windows. This behaviour cannot be altered.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by remm View Post
Is it not possible to have one desktop with 2 users and different priv's?
It is possible to set up two separate user accounts and have them share one desktop by taking advantage of symbolic links.


But what you really should be doing, Remm, is setting up both a standard user account and an admin user account. You and (your) Mom should only use this standard user account. When an application calls for elevation, Windows will prompt for administrative credentials to which only you will know, Remm.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2015   #20
remm

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Thanks to both DavidE and Pyrohly....

So if I understand correctly, as long as I am logged into Mom's account, if I install sftw for her and get prompted for my creds, the sftw WILL get installed into her desktop, not mine. (Or if mine too, that's fine. As long as it gets installed on her's without my having to manually copy my admin user folders over every time I change something.)

I think (I hope) I am beginning to understand.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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