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Configuring Shared User Accounts

Updated: September 22, 2010

Applies To: Windows 7

In addition to configuring shared computers for employees, Ben is creating shared computers for corporate guests. For these computers, users will share a single account named ByaGuest. Maintaining the computers’ health and creating a consistent user experience are requirements. Additionally, because users might leave personal information on shared computers (for example, through cookies in Internet Explorer® 8), he needs to protect their privacy.

Ben needs Windows 7 to forget users’ changes after every user session. This includes any files they saved in the Documents folder, any cookies that Internet Explorer 8 saved, and so on. The simplest way to do that is to use a mandatory profile.

Ben can create a default user profile, as the previous section described, and then use that profile as the basis for a mandatory profile. This will create one central user profile for all users. When users log off of the computer, Windows 7 deletes their changes. Each time users log on to the computer by using the shared account, they start with a new copy of the mandatory user profile.

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