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Windows 7: 1 or more user accounts?

23 Aug 2014   #1
Staffs Lebowski

Window 7 64bit
1 or more user accounts?

Hi everyone (new here!),

Just moving from XP to Windows 7 and would appreciate the collective wisdom here.

My girlfriend and I previously shared an XP machine with just a single account. This has worked great. 1 password. 1 location for files (backup, cloud). 1 mailbox. 1 of everything. We don't care about having individual wallpapers or individual settings. We are very happy just 'sharing' the PC.

When I consider 2 accounts, I see all sorts of problems arising:
  • Do we have to have individual Microsoft Accounts?
  • Do I have to spend hours trying to get each others calendars/email visible to each other without switching User?
  • We will both have individual (1TB) of cloud storage. How do we keep our joint files (photos, music etc) in sync?

I've read on the net that it's recommended we should have individual User accounts. Can anybody give me some good reasons to change and have 2 accounts when we really don';t care about individuality?

Many thanks for your replies,

Staffs Lebowski

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Aug 2014   #2

Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit Desktops; Windows 7 Professional 64Bit Laptops

All of our machines are networked and have only 1 user account. The single user is "transparent" and has no bad side effects. (Unless you really need it, some do, the use of a password may be unnecessary and will allow easy start up.) I do not use HomeGroups and other add-ons in Windows 7. All data on all machines is easily viewed because of the Sharing that is available.
In your case just go ahead and set up a single account as you did in XP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2014   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

The normal suggestion is always to use separate accounts for everyone, but that follows a reason. Separate accounts give the benefits of having different settings (desktop wallpaper, various programs configurations and the like) and security for having separate private files, that each others can't see. Your situation don't seems like you need or even want those then it would be just simple to use a single shared account.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Staffs Lebowski View Post
Do we have to have individual Microsoft Accounts?
Are you referring to the hotmail/live/outlook websites? Those are totally irrelevant to your Windows installation. In each case, you just login though your browser using the very same credential to have shared emails.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Staffs Lebowski View Post
Do I have to spend hours trying to get each others calendars/email visible to each other without switching User?
"Hours" for sure not, it's not difficult, but it depends on how do you use them. If they're entirely web-based you two only use the same login info. But if you use desktop programs you need to configure them for using the very same database for sharing. Not difficult, but it's an extra step.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Staffs Lebowski View Post
We will both have individual (1TB) of cloud storage. How do we keep our joint files (photos, music etc) in sync?
Very same situation again, if it's web-based, you just use the same user/password and both will have access to the very same things. They're completely separate to your Windows install.

My personal preference would be to use separate accounts, but it seems as if you prefer and not need any of its benefits and under those circumstances, go for a single account.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Aug 2014   #4
Staffs Lebowski

Window 7 64bit

Hi Guys,

Wasn't sure what to do but after reading both your replies I've decided that, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it..!"

Thank you for giving your time today to help me.

All the best,

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2014   #5

Windows 10 Pro

For security, I suggest both of you using a standard user account, and then having a separate admin account.

This is why it is recommended- for security purposes.

See here:

I also suggest using a standard user account in windows, and only using an admin account when you need to install software. If you have family members sharing your pc, create standard user accounts for them. See this link below on how to do so:

User Account - Create

Why use a standard user account instead of an administrator account?

When using a standard account and you make a change or install a program that affects the whole system, UAC will prompt you to continue. Make sure the setting or program you are tying to install is listed, then click yes to continue. If you are just browsing the web and the prompt appears with a program you have not heard of, or do not know what it is, it is much safer to click no then yes. No will block the action, and if you were trying to do something, you can always start it again and choose yes.

UAC makes this easy, see here:

What is user account control (UAC)?

I also suggest choosing always notify for UAC:

What are User Account Control settings?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2014   #6
Staffs Lebowski

Window 7 64bit

Hi Everyone

When I previously suggested 1 account, I was referring to 'User accounts'. So I agree, 'X' User account/s and 1 Admin account is the best setup. I appologise for not being clear previously.

Many thanks for 'chipping in'..!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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