In certain situations, you may need to extract a list with all the user accounts that exist on a Windows device. Or you may want to know the hidden user accounts that exist alongside your user account. To help you out, we compiled a list of four methods that you can use to see all the users, including the hidden ones created by Windows or third-party apps that you installed. Here they are:
NOTE: This guide covers Windows 10, Windows 7, and Windows 8.1. If you do not know the version of Windows that you have, read this tutorial: What version of Windows do I have installed?
See the list of all user accounts, using the Net User command, in Powershell or CMD
This works both in the Command Prompt and Powershell. Open the app that you prefer and then type net user and press Enter. This command lists all the user accounts that exist in Windows, including hidden ones or disabled user accounts. These user accounts are listed with their internal name that Windows uses behind the scenes, not their full display name that you see when you sign into Windows.
If you want to create the text file in a specific location, enter net user > “pathfilename.txt” and press Enter.
A neat trick is that you can use this command to find information about a specific user account. Type net user username and press Enter. Windows then displays useful information about that user account, like when the password was set the last time, when it expires (if it is set to expire), the groups that it is a part of, and more.
If you want to know more about this command and all its parameters, go to this documentation page: Net user.
See the list of all user accounts, using the Computer Management tool
Another method that displays all user accounts, including hidden users or disabled ones, involves using Computer Management. Open Computer Management, and go to “Local Users and Groups -> Users.” On the right side, you see all the user accounts, their names as used by Windows behind the scenes, their full names (or the display names), and a description for each.
Double click on a user account to learn more about its properties and settings, including the groups that it is part of.
See a list of active user accounts, using the Control Panel
A method that is less geeky but which also displays less information, involves opening the Control Panel. After you start it, go to “User accounts” or “User Accounts and Family Safety,” depending on the Windows version that you have.
Then, click or tap User accounts.
Now you see your user account, information about it and several links. Click or tap the link that says “Manage another account.”
Now you see the active, not-hidden user accounts that exist in Windows, and whether they are local accounts, administrators, etc.
With this method, you cannot see hidden or disabled user accounts.
See a list of active user accounts, on the Sign In screen
The obvious and most straightforward method is to look at the Sign In screen, just before you log into Windows. On this screen, you should see displayed all the active (and not hidden) user accounts that exist in Windows. If you are using Windows 10, this list is shown in the bottom-right corner of the Sign In screen.
If you are using Windows 7, all active user accounts should be displayed front and center.
The same is true when using the Windows 8.1 Sign In screen.
The downside of this method is that you cannot see hidden or disabled user accounts.
Did you find many hidden user accounts on your Windows PC?
We highly recommend trying the first two methods for identifying all the user accounts that exist on your Windows computer or device. You may be surprised to see that some of your apps created hidden user accounts that you had no idea existed. Before closing this tutorial, share in a comment whether you found hidden user accounts on your PC, and how many of them were there. We are curious to know.