By default, Windows 8 (like Windows XP and Windows 7) shows the list of all local accounts on this computer on the Welcome screen (login screen). To log on to the system, user must to select the desired account and enter the password to it. If there are many local users, the logon screen turns into a Christmas tree. It is not very convenient and not too secure (administrative and service accounts are displayed). In these cases, it would be more convenient to hide the unnecessary users accounts from Windows welcome screen.
You can hide accounts of any users from the list on the Welcome screen in all Windows versions. This can be done by little registry tweak. It allows to hide service accounts (created for some third-party services or applications) or the administrator account. In the last case, you can elevate the privileges if needed with RunAs having the name and password of an administrator.
First of all, you have to get the list of accounts in the system. You can display the list of all local users with the following command:
Or in the Computer Management console compmgmt.msc (Computer Management -> System Tools -> Local Users and Groups-> Users).
Copy the name of the account you want to hide to the clipboard. Suppose, in our case it is User1.
Open the registry editor (regedit.exe) and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon. Create a new branch in it with the name SpecialAccounts, in which you need create another branch named UserList.
In the newly created branch UserList (we have got the following path: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList) create a new parameter with the name DWORD, its name has to be the same as the name of the account to be hidden (the default value of this parameter is 0, and you don’t have to change it).
- 0 — Hide a user from the Welcome screen
- 1 — Show a user in the Welcome screen
In our case, we’ll create a DWORD parameter with the name User1 and the value 0.
Restart your computer and if you did everything correctly, the icon of User1 account won’t be displayed on the Welcome screen.
Hidden user will also disappear from User Accounts applet in Control Panel (Control Panel \ All Control Panel Items \ User Accounts). Hidden accounts can be managed with Local Users and Groups snap-in (lusrmgr.msc) or in a standard console: control userpasswords2.
To show an account on Windows Welcome screen again, delete the DWORD parameter, that you created with this instruction (or change its value to 1).