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If you are troubleshooting a problem in Windows Windows 8 Crashing? How to Easily Troubleshoot Blue Screen & Other Issues Windows 8 Crashing? How to Easily Troubleshoot Blue Screen & Other Issues Windows 8 isn't perfect. That said, most blue screens and application crashes aren't Windows' fault. Our tips will help you identify exactly what's wrong with your PC and fix it. Read More and you’ve tried everything else, the last resort may be fixing it by creating a new user account. There is a right and a wrong way to go about this.

Such problems could include your Windows 8 apps no longer launching and working properly, which is what I experienced or a corrupted user account file. A handful of different issues are best solved by creating a new user account.

Since this is a bit of a hassle, I highly recommend you are certain it is the only way to fix the problem. Once you have determined this, be sure to follow the steps in this article to ensure you do it the right way with the least amount of headaches possible.

Always Back Up Your Data

This basic step is the most crucial. Humans are prone to making mistakes, and we certainly know computers aren’t perfect either. If something goes wrong, your data shouldn’t be at stake. Back up your files 4 Free File Sync & Backup Tricks Available In Windows 4 Free File Sync & Backup Tricks Available In Windows You've heard it a million times: backing up your files is important. Using cloud storage services like Dropbox or OneDrive, you can make a backup for free, without needing to purchase new hardware. Read More and create a system restore point What You Need To Know About Windows System Restore What You Need To Know About Windows System Restore Imagine the trouble you could find yourself in, if your system failed! The Windows System Restore feature could save your butt. This article explains how to create and use Windows restore points. Read More . These two things go a long way in saving you time, frustration and tears. Check out our guide on the 6 safest ways to backup and restore your files in Windows 7 & 8 6 Safest Ways to Backup & Restore Your Files in Windows 7 & 8 6 Safest Ways to Backup & Restore Your Files in Windows 7 & 8 By now, we're sure you've read the advice over and over: Everyone needs to back up their files. But deciding to back up your files is only part of the process. There are so many... Read More .

Creating a New User Account

1 Start - User Accounts

To create a new account, open search (or tap Windows key) and type user. You’ll see Add, delete, and manage other user accounts. This should take you to Other Accounts (shown below). Now click Add an account.

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2 Other accounts - add an account

The next steps here are important to follow – don’t just blow through them following Microsoft’s “recommended steps“.

3.1 Create new account - don't enter email

Instead of entering an email address, look towards the bottom of the screen and click the gray Sign in without a Microsoft account, known as a Local Account.

3.2 Create new account - local account

Again, Microsoft is a bit persistent in convincing you to create an online account How Microsoft Overhauled User Accounts In Windows 8 How Microsoft Overhauled User Accounts In Windows 8 What's up with user accounts in Windows 8? It's not complicated - Microsoft wants everyone to use an online account to sign into their desktop operating system. Sure, they offer an offline equivalent, but they... Read More , but you’ll see at the bottom of the screen three buttons. Click the middle one titled Local Account. Then on the next screen click Finish.

4 Add user account - create local account

Optional

Your new account will only have Standard User permissions. If you want it to be an Administrator, follow these additional steps. Back at the Other accounts page, click the new user account and then Edit.

6 Edit new local user account

From here you’ll have a dropdown menu with the option to change the account from a Standard user to an Administrator.

6.2 Edit new local user account - admin

Transferring User Account Files from Old to New

You’ve created your new account and the problem you were experiencing is solved. OK, but now you need to make it like your previous account. The desktop wallpaper and theme are the easy parts that can be quickly tweaked, but what about program settings and all your personal files? When doing this from two different computers, you can use the Windows Easy Transfer tool, but transferring these files on the same machine can be done via manual copy and paste.

First, make sure your hidden files and folders are displayed as your program settings reside in the AppData folder, often hidden from view.

7 Merge account files - show hidden files

Once in your old User Account folder, click View and see if there is a Hidden Items checkbox (labeled with a 1 in the top image). If for some reason you don’t see it, or it doesn’t display all the hidden folders, follow number 2 in the top image by clicking Options and Change folder and search options. Click the View tab, find Hidden files and folders and check Show hidden files, folders, and drives.

7.2 Merge account files - show hidden files - Option 2

Keeping your old user account folder open, open a new Windows Explorer window and go to your new user account folder. You can easily find it by typing in C:\Users.

7.3 Merge account files - accessing second user account

Select all (Ctrl+A) this folder’s contents and delete it (press Delete key).

7.4 Merge account files - remove existing files of new account

Return to the old user account folder, copy all files and folders (Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C), then paste them in the new user account folder (Ctrl+V).

7.5 Merge account files - paste old files into new account

This will take some time – go refill your coffee, make a sandwich, or continue with some other work that won’t bog your computer down too much.

7.6 Merge account files - transferring files

Changing Your Username

If you wanted to have the same account name with your new account as you did with your old one, you probably weren’t able to do so due to the old account already having the name. Once you are all settled into your new account, with your old one removed, you can change the account name pretty easily.

The setting is found in User Accounts under the Control Panel and can be accessed by entering control.exe userpasswords into the Run box (Windows Key + R) or by typing Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\User Accounts in the address field of a Windows Explorer window. Click Change your account name and enter the new one you desire, shown in the image below.

8 Change account name

A Fresh Start Without All the Work

Hopefully, the new account has solved the problem and you won’t have to do a reset, restore, refresh or reinstall of Windows Should You Refresh, Reset, Restore, or Reinstall Windows? Should You Refresh, Reset, Restore, or Reinstall Windows? Ever wanted to reset Windows 7 without losing personal data? Between a factory reset and a reinstall, it was tough. Since Windows 8, we have two new options: Refresh and Reset. Which one is right... Read More .

Are there other Windows issues you have had or know about where creating a new user account miraculously solves the problem? We want to know about them! Share in the comments.

  1. Sree Harsha Koyyalamudi
    August 23, 2016 at 9:14 am

    we cant sign into your account. this problem can often be fixed by signing out of your account and then signing back in.if you dont sign out now,any files you create or changes you make will be lost. can any one fix this problem

  2. DrLukho
    August 18, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Thanks for your help but when i copy the contents from my old user windows 10 does not or is unable to paste the content in my new user what could be the problem??

  3. XXXXY
    April 24, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    I can't delete the App Data folder from the new account

  4. Craig
    April 11, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    I have windows 10 and it's not working. None of the formerly hidden files will copy from my user account to the new account. Both accounts are admin accounts.

  5. Bruce
    December 1, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    I created a new local account okay but cannot get into it. when I put in the password the account opens then immediately signs out again. I tried creating another account - same thing. Any suggestions.

    • Nitin
      January 12, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Just make sure you make the new account an administrator

  6. Sergio Montesano
    July 17, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    It worked for me, on Windows 8 Pro. I have tried step by step this guide, but for my Pc has work fine the "Creation of a new Account".

    In my issue every "windows app" didn't work, and also Google Chrome.

    Now everything is alright.

    Thanks a lot for your help, you are a very Genius.

  7. dan
    May 23, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    I missed your point as to 'why and how' a new user account can correct a problem? What does it mean for a user account to become "corrupted" ?

    Dan

  8. Anonymous
    May 20, 2015 at 6:53 am

    Nice article. Next time rather move to mac or linux. With windows the problems are never quite fixed.

    • Aaron Couch
      May 21, 2015 at 1:10 am

      With ALL operating systems, the problems are never ending. With computers, the problems are never ending.

      • Maryon Jeane
        November 9, 2015 at 7:04 pm

        With life, the problems...

  9. Setari
    May 20, 2015 at 3:01 am

    Huh, does this work for programs that don't install correctly, perhaps?

    • Aaron Couch
      May 21, 2015 at 1:09 am

      I would first try thoroughly uninstalling the program with a tool like Geek Uninstaller, then reinstalling it.

      By "thoroughly uninstalling", I mean removing the "background files" like those in the Registry.

    • Setari
      May 21, 2015 at 3:07 am

      Yeah, I meant like that. I actually use Geek Uninstaller, extremely handy for those registry files/other background files.

  10. Mel Jove
    May 20, 2015 at 2:19 am

    Many thanks.

  11. Mel Jove
    May 19, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Does this procedure also work for Windows 7?

    • jimvandamme
      May 20, 2015 at 12:34 am

      Yes, I've done it a couple times on one machine to get rid of a weird desktop problem and some malware I just couldn't get rid of. But I told [the user] that next time I'm putting her on Linux for good.

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