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How to Enable or Disable guest account

Guest accounts allow temporary login on a Windows system without requiring to provide credentials/password. Each system administrator would have a different need on how to configure guest account on their systems. This post explains how to enable or disable guest account on a Windows computer.

Firstly, let’s see how we can check if guest account is enabled/disabled.

How to check if guest account is active

net user command with a string search using findstr helps to know the status of guest account.

net user guest | findstr /C:"active"

Example:

c:\>net user guest | findstr /C:"active"
Account active               No

How to enable guest account

Open elevated administrator command prompt and run the below command.

net user guest /active:yes

Example:

C:\>net user guest | findstr /C:"active"
Account active               No
C:\>net user guest /active:yes
The command completed successfully.
C:\>net user guest | findstr /C:"active"
Account active               Yes

How to disable guest account

Here’s the command to disable guest account on any Windows version/edition.

net user guest /active:no

The above commands would work on Windows 7, Windows 8 and also on older versions like XP, Server 2003 etc.

Alternatively, we can enable or disable guest account from GUI using the user management console. Run the command ‘lusrmgr.msc’ from Run window, enter administrator credentials and go to the node ‘Users’ in the console. Open the guest account properties and then select / unselect the check button ‘Account is disabled’.

Enable or disable guest account on Windows 7

Is it possible to delete guest account?

If you are never going to use the guest account, you may be thinking to delete it permanently from your system. However, Windows does not allow to delete guest account, for the fact it does not allow deleting any built-in accounts like administrator.
Here’s sample run on my Windows 7 box.

c:\>net user guest /delete
System error 1371 has occurred.
Cannot perform this operation on built-in accounts.
c:\>
8 comments… add one
  • Paul

    Good tip. Helped me to enable guest account on windows 7 machines from a batch file.

  • Rikesh

    Thanks. I could disable guest account from cmd on my windows 8 system.

  • Mike

    I am getting the below error when I tried this command.

    c:\>net user guest /active:yes
    System error 5 has occurred.
    Access is denied.
    • Adam

      Mike, you will want to run CMD as an elevated user, right click and press “Run as Administrator”.

    • Moe

      you are using command prompt as a non-admin user, as Adam said, you can use “Run as Administrator” or open your administrator account and do it.

  • Rita

    Good evening!

    I’m having the same problem as Mike here, though i did run CMD as admin.

    Is there any way to bypass that system error and forcefully deactivate the guest acc?<

    Greetings,
    Rita

  • mostafa

    Thank you very much for your help

  • William Underhill

    I’ve tried the cmd line version and it says the account is active, but when I log off then try to log back in, it’s not an available option. Likewise I tried using the lusrmgr.msc approach, and got the following message:

    (X) Local Users and Groups
    This snapin may not be used with this edition of Windows 10. To manage user account for this computer, use the User Accounts Tool in the Control Panel.

    The problem is that the Guest account is not LISTED in the User Accounts Tool…

    OS: Win 10 Home (free upgrade from Win 7 Home Premium), under local account because I REFUSE to make it easier for MS to snoop in my computer.

    At this point I’m thinking seriously of reverting to Win 7. At least THERE I can have a Guest account if I feel like it, and not have to jump through insane hoops…

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