How to Create a Hidden User Account

Have you ever wanted to go unseen while working on your PC? Would you like to have an invisible computer presence?

You can do all of these things when you create a hidden user account. In this case, hidden simply means that your account won’t be visible on the Welcome screen of Windows XP. You’re account will be there, but no one will know. For you to be able to log on, a dialog box like the one in Windows 2000 will have to be used.

Before we begin, be aware that this will make you invisible on the Welcome screen. However, your account profile will still be visible in C:\Documents and Settings. Think of this feature as an invisible man casting a shadow. You may be unseen on the Welcome screen, but your shadow, or account profile, will reveal your presence. Your account profile isn’t visible only in C:\Documents and Settings, it can also be seen in Local Users and Groups as well as wherever user profiles are stored.

Now that you’re aware of what hidden in this context means and you still want to proceed, remember that this registry tweak is for Windows XP. Also remember that tweaking the registry means making changes to your registry settings. Prepare a backup just in case.

Here’s how to create a hidden user account.

  1. Click on Start and go to Run. Enter regedit and wait for the registry editor to come up.
  2. Locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE on the left side of the registry. Click on the cross on the left of the folder to expand the folder.
  3. Now go to SOFTWARE. Expand this folder.
  4. Look for the Microsoft folder and expand.
  5. Now go to Windows NT. Expand this folder until you get to CurrentVersion.
  6. Expand the CurrentVersion folder so that you can get to Winlogon.
  7. Expand Winlogon and go to Special Accounts. Expand Special Accounts until you get to UserList.
  8. Now look at the right hand side of the registry. Can you find Name of Account to be Hidden? If you can, go to step nine. If you can’t find the value, you will have to create Name of Account to be Hidden using the steps below.
    • Right click on the right hand pane of the registry editor.
    • Select New and then select DWORD.
    • Rename the new DWORD Name of Account to be Hidden or just right click on the new DWORD value and select Rename.
  9. Double click on Name of Account to be Hidden. This will bring up a new box.
  10. Enter 0 if you want your account hidden. Enter 1 if you want your account to show up on the Welcome screen.
  11. Exit the registry and reboot.

Remember, a hidden user account is like an invisible man: you can’t see the man, but his shadow gives him away.