Sometimes, you may need to extract a list of all the user accounts on a Windows computer. 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 five 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 don’t know the Windows version that you have, read How to tell what Windows I have (11 ways).
1. How to see users using the Windows command line (PowerShell & CMD list users)
This method works both in the Command Prompt and PowerShell. Open the command-line app that you prefer, type net user, and press Enter. Net user lists the users that have accounts configured on a Windows PC, including hidden ones or disabled user accounts. The user accounts are listed by their internal names that Windows uses behind the scenes, not by their full display name that you see when you sign in to Windows.
You can also have the net user list stored in a text file that opens in Notepad or any other text editor. Type net user > filename.txt, and a file with the name you provided is created under “C:\Users\Your User Name.”
If you want to export the CMD list of users to a text file that’s saved in a location you choose, enter net user > “path\filename.txt" and press Enter.
A neat trick is using this command to find information about a specific user account: type net user username and press Enter. Windows then displays helpful information about that user account, like when the password was set the last time, when it expires (if it’s set to expire), the groups it’s 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.
2. How to use PowerShell to get all users on a computer
Besides the net user command, here’s another command that you can use in PowerShell to view all users in Windows 10 or previous versions: Get-WmiObject Win32_UserAccount -filter “LocalAccount=True” | Select-Object Name,FullName,Disabled.
Alternatively, if you use Windows 10, you can also run the simpler get-localuser command, as pointed out by one of our readers.
3. How to see the list of all user accounts in Computer Management
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 get to see all the user accounts, their names as used by Windows behind the scenes, their full names (or the display names), and, in some cases, also a description.
Double-click or double-tap on a user account to learn more about its properties and settings, including the user groups that it is part of.
4. How to see the 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 on 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 in Windows, whether they are local accounts, administrators, etc.
With this method, you cannot see hidden or disabled user accounts.
5. How to see the list of active user accounts on the Windows sign-in screen
The obvious and most straightforward method is to look at the sign-in screen just before you log into Windows. You should see all the active (not hidden) user accounts that exist in Windows on this screen. If you are using Windows 10, this list is shown in the bottom-left corner of the sign-in screen.
If you are using Windows 7, all active user accounts are 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 three 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.