How to add family members to your Windows 10 PC

Give each member of the household their own Windows 10 login.

dsc0054.jpg
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

Sharing a PC doesn't have to be a pain if you give each family member their own personal login. Personal logins allow for separate files, desktops, and browser favorites, and adult family members can monitor and restrict kids' activity by blocking websites, limiting screen time, and keeping tabs on what sites kids are visiting and what they're searching for.

To add a family member to your Windows 10 PC, you'll need to sign them up for a Microsoft account -- only the primary user can have a local login.

Here's how to get started:

Add an adult

accounts.png
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

1. To add an adult, open the Settings menu and go to Accounts > Family & other users. Under Your family, click Add a family member.

add-an-adult-1.png
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

2. Select Add an adult and type in the email address they use to sign into Microsoft accounts (Hotmail, OneDrive, Skype, or Xbox). Click Next to send an invitation to the person's email account. They will be able to address to log into your Windows 10 PC immediately, but they will need to accept the invitation before they can start managing family settings.

create-an-account.png
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

3. If the person you are adding does not use any Microsoft services and therefore doesn't have a Microsoft account, click The person I want to add doesn't have an email address. You will need to create a Microsoft account for them, either with a new Outlook.com email address or with their own non-Microsoft email address.

Add a child

accounts.png
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

1. Open the Settings menu and go to Accounts > Family & other users. Under Your family, click Add a family member.

add-a-child.png
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

2. Select Add a child and type in the email address your child uses to sign into Microsoft accounts. Click Next to send an invitation to your child's email address.

create-an-account.png
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

3. If the child you are adding does not have a Microsoft account, click The person I want to add doesn't have an email address. You will need to create a Microsoft account for them, either with a new Outlook.com email address or with their own non-Microsoft email address.

child-account.png
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

4. Children must have parental permission to create an online Microsoft account. You will need to verify that you are an adult by re-entering your password and consenting to the creation of the account. You will see a screen asking if you want to let your child use their Microsoft account online -- you can say Yes or No to this.

child-permission-needed.png
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

If you say No, your child will still have an account, but they won't be able to use it without your permission (your password).

charge-to-confirm-add-child.png
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

If you say Yes, you will need to verify that you are an adult by allowing Microsoft to make a small $0.50 charge to your credit card.

Managing accounts

You can change a user's account from Standard to Administrator by going to Settings > Accounts > Family & other users and selecting their account. Click Change account type to switch them from Standard to Administrator (and back again).

From this menu, you can also Block an account from signing in. Blocking a user from signing in is temporary and can be reversed from an Administrator account at any time.

To manage parental controls on children's accounts, go to Settings > Accounts > Family & other users > Manage family settings online.

Featured Video
Close
Drag