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How can I delete a Windows XP user account?


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#1 Lanimilbus

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 08:26 PM

I have a Windows XP Professional machine with one user account on it; the administrator. Every time I turn on the computer I am greeted by the welcome screen and am asked to type in my password to access the administrator account. Today I wanted to create a new user account on my machine, one specifically for handling my website. I went to Control Panel - User Account - Create a new account and made a new user account; when it asked me to pick the account type, it gave me two choices; Administrator and Limited. Except the "Limited" option was greyed out and could not be chosen. So I chose Administrator, made the new account, restarted, and went into the new user account, called "Website."
I used that for a while and then restarted to go back to my regular Administrator account with all my files and such. However, when I restarted it automatically took me back into the "Website" account and didn't give me the option to login to my original Administrator account. So I figured that there was something in the preferences that made it do that and went to Control Panel - User Accounts once it had logged in to go and change it, but was shown that there was no administrator account anymore. It only had "Website" and "Guest account" listed. I panicked, thinking my entire computer and all its files had just been deleted and lost forever because I had created this new user account which had overwritten the old one. I googled it, however, and found out that when you create a new Administrator user account, Windows hides the built in one. It's still there, you just can't access it.

I found this website:

http://windowsxp.mvps.org/admins.htm

And followed the second step on there: manually changing the registry so my original account would show up on the welcome screen. After I had completed its instructions for the second step I restarted and on the welcome screen I now thankfully had two choices for logins; the new "Website" account and my original built-in one that had all my files. I logged in with my original administrator account and went to Control Panel - User Account with the intent to delete the "Website" half once and for all, so that I wouldn't be faced with the possibility of it taking over my original built-in account anymore. However, when I click on it in the User Account folder, there is no option to delete it. There should be, but there isn't.

Here's a screenshot from a tutorial page on where the "Delete the Account" option should be:

Posted Image

And here's a screenshot of what mine has:

Posted Image

As you can see, there's no "Delete this Account" option there. I assume this is because it's an Administrator account, but I can't change it; again, when I go to "Change the Account Type" I'm faced with two choices; Administrator and Limited, but the "Limited" option is greyed out and cannot be chosen.

So how do I delete this new user account? It's caused me enough grief and panic already from temporarily making me believe it had overwritten my entire computer, and I really just want to be rid of it for good. Of course I've googled this to death and only ask here because I can't find the answer anywhere else, so any help at all would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 08:49 PM

Hi :thumbsup:.

Appears to me that Website is thought to be the Admin account for the install.

Login under the other account and see what options are displayed for that user account.

But...XP says that an administrator can delete an administrator account, regardless of original or not.

I think I'd assume corruption and recreate just one new user account, transfer settings, and delete the two existing.

How to copy data from a corrupted user profile to a new profile in Windows XP - http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=811151

Louis

Since you have Pro...you also might want to just check permissions for the appropriate files.

May be useful: http://windowsxp.mvps.org/userpath.htm

Edited by hamluis, 03 December 2008 - 08:53 PM.


#3 Mr-Bee19

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 08:59 PM

I would just log in as the hidden Administrator and try to delete, I think you should be able too.

The easiest way to access the hidden Admin account is by restarting and booting into safe mode.

Restart your computer and keep tapping the F8 key before the WindowsXP scrolling screen appears. When prompted, select Safe Mode.

Once you are in safe mode it will ask you which account you want to log in as. Select the administrator account and then try and go to the User Accounts. You should be able to delete that other account being logged in as the hidden Admin account.

#4 Lanimilbus

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 09:52 PM

I would just log in as the hidden Administrator and try to delete, I think you should be able too.

The easiest way to access the hidden Admin account is by restarting and booting into safe mode.

Restart your computer and keep tapping the F8 key before the WindowsXP scrolling screen appears. When prompted, select Safe Mode.

Once you are in safe mode it will ask you which account you want to log in as. Select the administrator account and then try and go to the User Accounts. You should be able to delete that other account being logged in as the hidden Admin account.


I did exactly this and was shown the same options that I'm being shown now; I went into Safe Mode, logged into the original (hidden) administrator account, clicked on "Website" and it was still the same 4 options with "Delete the Account" still missing.

#5 Michael-Anthony

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 10:18 PM

Create another account, grant it "administrator" rights, login to that account, then delete the one you want.

You cannot have less than one unhidden admin account.

and FWIW the EASIEST way to access the hidden admin account is to log out, then press CTRL+ALT+DEL twice, username: Administrator, password: whatever you set it to, usually blank.

also here is something you should read...

Edited by Michael-Anthony, 03 December 2008 - 10:40 PM.


#6 Lanimilbus

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 11:42 PM

I've tried literally everything and I still can't get it to go away; I've tried going into the original Administrator account in Safe Mode, I've tried pressing Control+Alt+Delete twice at the welcome screen and logging in that way, I've tried it from the second Administrator account itself, I've tried it from the original while the second has been logged on, I've tried it from the original while the second has been logged off, and every way is the same; the window will come up and there will simply be no option to delete it.
I really don't want to create an entirely new account and then have to transfer everything over, so is there some other way anyone can think of for me to get rid of this thing?
Thanks again.

#7 hillbillygreek

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 04:52 AM

Before you try anything else re-enable the Administrator account & reboot to make sure that it comes up as an account that you can log into.

See > Un-Hide The Administrator Account in Winxp

Then follow the steps here :
> Log on as Administrator
> Right-click My Computer, and then click Manage
> In the left pane expand Local Users and Groups and then click Users
> In the right pane right click the account you want to remove & choose Properties & then Delete

Edited to remove unnecessary step.

Edited by hillbillygreek, 06 December 2008 - 09:14 AM.





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