Deleting second user account that isn't showing in User Accounts

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  1. Posts : 159
    Win 10 Pro x64
       #1

    Deleting second user account that isn't showing in User Accounts


    Win 10 Pro 1607, single user desktop PC. Yesterday, I changed the password on my Windows account. After that, when I booted, Windows prompted me for a password. The thing is, though, that it showed two accounts, let's call them Sam and Sam Jones. Sam Jones is the Administrator account and the one I was using and shows in User Accounts; Sam is an extra one I created awhile back to troubleshoot some operating problems. I would like to delete the Sam account, but I can't find it anywhere except on the startup screen and under netplwiz (and that takes a little trickery). It doesn't show under User Accounts or after switching users or logging off. For the moment, I've bypassed the password login on both. My question is, how do I find and get rid of the Sam account? Thanks,
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  2. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,221
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #2

    highstream said:
    ... I can't find it anywhere except on the startup screen and under netplwiz...
    A screenshot of where 'sam' is shown in netplwiz may give us some clues. Feel free to black out some parts of the name(s) if you want to obscure your identity.
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  3. Posts : 159
    Win 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter
       #3

    In netplwiz (second screenshot), if I click in the checkbox to require username and password on startup, then uncheck it, click Apply, the "Sam" user account shows, per the screenshot. The "Sam Jones" one doesn't except insofar as the email address showing is attached to it, although both users may be, I'm not recalling.

    The top screenshot is the User Account page, where "Sam Jones" shows and the email attached to it, but not the "Sam" account. OTOH, in the bottom screenshot is the Users folder, where you can see both accounts showing. The Samj entry is the "Sam Jones" one, i.e., the active Administrative account and the only one I use. I hope that's clear.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Deleting second user account that isn't showing in User Accounts-windows-10-netplwiz-sam.jpg   Deleting second user account that isn't showing in User Accounts-windows-10-user-folder.jpg   Deleting second user account that isn't showing in User Accounts-windows-10-user-account.jpg  
    Last edited by highstream; 22 Dec 2017 at 11:03.
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  4. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,221
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #4

    In the first screenshot, what do you see if you click the 'Manage another account' link near the bottom? If the 'Sam' account actually exists it will be listed (and can be deleted) there.

    In your second screenshot of netplwiz you are allowed to set any random name and password to automatically sign in, Windows doesn't check what you've typed it so it doesn't have to exist. But if you give a non-existent account name here it will appear at start up as the user that tries (and fails, obviously) to log in.

    Normally, when setting up the account to automatically sign in, the 'User name' field is automatically filled in with the name of the account you had highlighted. The space in 'Sam Jones' may be confusing it (coupled with the fact there was once a 'Sam' account). Try deleting 'Sam' from the 'User name' box then click OK, that may clear it from the start up page.
    Last edited by Bree; 22 Dec 2017 at 11:29.
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  5. Posts : 159
    Win 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Manage another account shows only the main one. I deleted the name in the User Name box, but I'm not sure what that does. because in C:\Users the 'Sam' account name is still there. What effect would there be if I deleted the latter in C:\Users, assuming it allows me?

    At the moment, when I have netplwiz set to require a password, only the main account shows. That's unlike yesterday before I posted when it showed both and gave a password error message because it was starting with the 'Sam' account. Not sure what to make of that change.
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  6. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,221
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #6

    highstream said:
    I deleted the name in the User Name box, but I'm not sure what that does. because in C:\Users the 'Sam' account name is still there.
    There are two parts to an account, the first is in the registry where the details of the account are stored. The second is a folder in C:\Users to hold the user's documents, created the first time a new user signs in.

    When you delete a user account you are given the option to delete (or not) their user folder and its data. If (as it appears) you didn't delete their data the C:\Users\Sam folder remains after the 'Sam' account is removed. You are free to do whatever you want with it.

    I'd check to see if there are any files you may want to keep before deleting it.
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  7. Posts : 159
    Win 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter
       #7

    The return of the Windows login screen with two accounts I described in the OP got me to take a closer look at the Advanced tab in netplwiz. This looks like the page we need to discuss. I don't understand the different items and, without knowing more, sure don't want to delete the "Sam" account with "Sam Jones" next to it as the full name, when the latter is the name of the real Administrator account. Would you mind breaking down this list for me? Thanks,


    Deleting second user account that isn't showing in User Accounts-windows-10-netplwiz-lusrmgr-advanced-tab-.jpg
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  8. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,221
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #8

    highstream said:
    ...sure don't want to delete the "Sam" account with "Sam Jones" next to it as the full name, when the latter is the name of the real Administrator account...
    No - you certainly don't! That is the account you log in with!

    But it's wrong to think of it as 'the real Administrator account' with a capital 'A'. It is an administrator by virtue of being in the Administrators group - the Administrator is a built-in account, disabled from logging in by default, that is an essential part of the Windows system.

    Guest is also a built-in account, disabled for log in by default. It's purpose is to grant (very limited) access to the PC for other machines on the network that have no other account they could use on this PC.

    DefaultAccount is there as the template to be copied when you create new users.

    Apparently defaultuser0 is an anomaly that serves no useful purpose. Seems that it may have been used by Setup during the initial install of Windows 10. It should not have remained once completed, but sometimes it does. There's no harm in leaving it there, but if it also has a folder in the C:\Users folder that can be safely be deleted. For more on this one, see Kari's comments here... defaultuser() folder - is that normal?

    Basically, everything looks normal and there's nothing you need to do.
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  9. Posts : 159
    Win 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Thanks, but Iím confused by your second paragraph explanation. The list shows an Administrator account and an account labeled Sam and Sam Jones, the latter apparently being the account showing as the Administrator account on the User Accounts page. What is the difference? And where might the Sam account that also shows up on the login screen at start up, i.e. the point of this thread, be?
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  10. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,221
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #10

    highstream said:
    Thanks, but Iím confused by your second paragraph explanation. The list shows an Administrator account and an account labeled Sam and Sam Jones, the latter apparently being the account showing as the Administrator account on the User Accounts page. What is the difference?
    Stop using capitals for every administrator, it's confusing :)

    Every install of Windows has a built-in account called Administrator with unrestricted control of the PC, not being subject User Account Control. This account is disabled by default, so it cannot be used to sign in. When you install Windows 10 you have to create at least one user account to sign in with. This user account is made a member of the Administrators group, so it's an administrator, but not the Administrator. You can make as many administrators as you like, but they will all be (for your own protection) subject to UAC.

    Note
    User Accounts in Windows 10:

    standard user (Users) - The standard account is an unelevated restricted user account that can be a local account or Microsoft account. It can help protect your computer by preventing users from making changes to the system that affects everyone who uses the computer. When you are signed in to Windows with a standard account, you can do almost anything that you can do with an administrator account, but if a standard user tries to do something that requires elevated rights (ex: run as administrator), Windows will display a UAC prompt for the standard user to enter the password of an administrator account for approval and confirmation before allowing the action.

    administrator user - Is an unelevated administrator account that is created by default during the installation of Windows, or is already setup for you on an OEM (ex: Dell) computer. This account can be a local account or Microsoft account. An administrator account has complete access to the computer, and can make any desired changes. If an administrator user tries to do something that requires elevated rights (ex: run as administrator), Windows will display a UAC prompt for the administrator user to approve before allowing the action.

    Built-in "Administrator" - The hidden built-in elevated "Administrator account" is a local account that has full unrestricted access rights to the PC. By default, this "Administrator" account will not be prompted by UAC. Anything that runs while signed in to this "Administrator" account will also have full unrestricted access to the PC, so it is not recommended to use the built-in "Administrator" account for everyday usage. It's recommended to only enable and use the built-in "Administrator" account as needed instead.

    Enable or Disable Elevated Administrator account in Windows 10
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