Windows 7 / Vista / XP – Hide User Account from Welcome screen / Login screen

   Posted July 7, 2010 by Jimmy Selix in Windows 7

This recipe will explain how to hide accounts from the Windows Welcome / Login screen.  This can be handy for when an application or service account is  created for apps to run with and are not needed for logging with. (ie Copssl and its SvcCOPSSH user account that it creates)

1. Run The Registry Editor in Windows XP/Vista/Win7 by going to Start Menu > Run or by hitting the Start Menu Key + R key> type: regedit and hit enter. You will need to run this from an account that has Administrative rights.

2. In the Registry Editor window, go to:

HKEY_Local_Machine\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList

3. Right-click on the UserList folder on the left pane and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value

Use the username of the account you want to hide as the value and hit OK. It will show up in the right-pane. Exit the Registry Editor

Voila, your account should no longer show up on the Welcome / Login screen or in the Control Panel > User Accounts area.

To unhide the account, just go back to the same registry entry/location and delete the key with the name of the account.


About Jimmy Selix

Jimmy Selix is an early adopter that loves to be one of the first on the block to have the latest and greatest in technology and gadgets. Another love of his is being able to share his knowledge to others seeking it. Feel free to drop any comments or questions that you may have.
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  • Tomhre

    I get as far as “CurrentVersion”; there is no “SpecialAccounts”showing on my display! I have the home version of windows 7.

    • Stennie

      Check the screenshot — a step was left out. It should be:

      HKEY_Local_MachineSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionWinlogonSpecialAccountsUserList

      • jimmyselix

        recipe has been updated w/full HKEY path. Thanks Stennie for the proofing 🙂

        • venky

          There is no specialaccountsUserList in Win7

          • jimmyselix

            you will then need to create these folder in the registry.

            create a new Key under the WinLogon folder and then another new Key called UserList under that folder. Once these are created, you can then follow the above recipe 🙂

  • Yar

    If I’m not mistaken, in Windows 7 this tweak will render the account completely unusable and is effectively disabling it.

    • jimmyselix

      nope, the account should still be usable. i use this trick for my few Remote Desktop sessions i have setup and this allows them to be accessed just fine via Remote Desktop and not show on the login screen.

      i believe you should still be able to login locally but have to do the ctrl+alt+del twice trick on the Welcome login screen and type the account name and password in.

      • Guest

        Don’t do this tweak on Windows 7 or you get that account absolutely unusable and, by the way, ctrl+alt+del twice on the welcome login screen doesn’t work anymore after this registry modification. You’ve been warned!

        • jimmyselix

          the account is usable but not locally; you can still remote desktop into the machine using the account (given it was part of the remotedesktop users group).

          as for the CTRL+ALT+DEL twice to get the user name and password box, you can get that back somewhat by enabling a security policy. You would need to run the security policy snap-in (go to Run, type: secpol and hit enter. Then go to Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options and double-click on the “Interactive Logon: Hide last username” Change the setting to Enabled. This does disable the Welcome screen login page but does let you type in and use the hidden user accounts.

          again, this recipe was mainly meant for user accounts that get created by applications or accounts you use to remote desktop into the machine with and not for accounts you use on a regular basis. hope that helps.

  • Guest

    Under “Winlogin” in RegEdit, I only see the directories “AutoLoginChecked” and “GPExtensions”. I don’t see “SpecialAccounts” or “Notify” as in your screenshot above.

    Do you know what is wrong?

  • Guest

    I think it is because I am running Windows 7 64 bit.

  • jusselgomez

    I tried it but the account is still there. What must I do?

    • Guest

      > For those whom can not find the SpecialAccounts, make sure you are in the WindowsNT key, not the Windows key

      • Miguel Ladisla

        > I can’t see the SpecialAccount. -__-

        • Tom

          > You have to create it by right clicking and selecting new key, type SpecialAccounts, then right click that and select new key and type UserList

  • xian michael

    Hey!!! I encounter jusselgomez’s question too, do you know what to do???

  • jusselgomez

    But there is no current version in my display?:(

  • Jimmy Selix

    @jusselgomez and @xian

    are you sure your going to this path in Regedit/registry?

    HKEY_Local_Machine\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList

    This should exist both in windows 7 32bit and 64bit, main thing is that you have to go to Windows NT and NOT Windows.

    What version of Windows 7 are you using? Prof, Starter, Ultimate, Business?

  • xxxxxxxxxx_inc

    Beware – this reg hack disables administrator privileges on Windows 7 Ultimate if you do not have remote connections enabled and there is a blank password restriction and the admin password is blank.

    • Jimmy Selix

      > i was not of aware of that since i use remote desktop/connections. thanks for the heads up!

  • doug

    how do i login to this after i have hidden it

    • Jimmy Selix

      i believe at the welcome screen, you can login manually by hit CTRL+ALT+DEL two times in a row. you should get the legacy login screen and in turn can type in the user name. >

  • xxx

    Hello you know the trick which convert windows password to text in the winlogin screen …provided without any third party software.. i think it can be achieved through regedit

  • Concerned

    OK, just got my computer back from a guy that repaired it for me. When going into set up my daughter a user account and password protect my user account, I noticed something strange. There is another user account, that I did NOT set up that shows under the user accounts but NOT in the login screen. Upon researching this, I see on this thread that it can be used for remote access of some sort. Ok, at this point, im scared. This guy was supposed to reformat this computer, reinstall windows fresh, and that was it. it is named ASP.NET Mobile A…. Should I be concerned. I have installed windows a dozen times myself, but have NEVER seen this happen! I am giving this laptop to my 13 yr old daughter, and dont want someone seeing her through it’s webcam or accessing our files remotley! Someone PLEASE tell me what you think.

    • David Kirk

      Anytime you give somebody physical access to a system they can install backdoors that are so well hidden that regular users will not be able to find them. If you don’t trust your computer person enough to call and ask, then I would suggest finding somebody better.

      Certainly, I can’t prove what this user account is; however, in the past ASP.NET installs special user accounts with limited privileges as a special security measure. See this link for additional details…

  • Dave

    Relax about the account. It was installed when your tech updated the .net framework on your computer. Microsoft creates the account, which is a limited account, when the update is installed. It was NOT the tech, and he probably didn’t even realize it was created when he did the updates for you.

  • pbowman

    Hi! I’m pretty new to computers, but i followed the tutorial as specified. But I can’t login to it using ctrl+alt+del. Help?

  • pbowman

    Hi! I’m pretty new to computers, but i followed the tutorial as specified. But I can’t login to it using ctrl+alt+del. Help?

  • Man Dude

    I followed these instructions and created the subkeys that weren’t there, and I’m still unable to hide the account. I’m thinking it might have to do with the fact that the account i want to hide is an admin.

    I’m using Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

    Please Help!

  • Moe

    Confirmed working on windows 8 pro 64-bit build 9200 😀 thanks for the tutorial

  • jerry

    can you still acces the the sccount your trying to hide becaue im just trying to hide it so that when i come up to the login screen it automatically brings me to the main account

  • Sarah

    NOOOOOOOOOOOO! I did this and it successfully hid from the welcome screen, but it ALSO hid itself from the UAC (which I had set to require a password) so I can’t do ANYTHING now! I AM the administrator, and so I need access to settings and such. Now I can’t see the Administrator in UAC to put in a password!!!

    Arggg!!! You should have WARNED that it would do that!!!

    What can I do to get it back? I can’t get back into regedit to delete the registry key to put it back to normal!!!

  • Raffey

    i can’t find any SpecialAccounts folder in winlogon 🙁