Accounts Tuner, Change Windows User Security Settings

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 10, 2010
Updated • Nov 29, 2011
Software, Windows

The user account in an operating system determines the access and usage rights of a user in the OS. A guest account for instance has limited rights, so that most critical settings, features and operations cannot be accessed or executed. Administrators of a system have the rights to change user account settings, including security settings.

Accounts Tuner has been designed to provide administrators with a tool to quickly change user related settings. The free program can be used by administrators to change security settings of local and remote users.

These settings are all available in the local or group security policy, but those settings are harder to reach, and not available on all supported operating systems. Especially Windows Home users do not have access to the policy tools.

Accounts Tuner displays all information in its main interface on startup. The username pull down menu can be used to select the information of a specific local user, the server option allows to connect to a server to manage the user accounts of that server as well, but only if it is connected to the local network.

accounts tuner
accounts tuner

The settings that can be changed are divided into user parameters on the left side, and server parameters on the right.

User parameters include the following options:

  • Account Disabled: Check or uncheck to disable or enable a specific user account in Windows.
  • Account Locked: User accounts are temporarily locked after a specific amount of failed login attempts. Allows to unlock accounts, or lock them.
  • Password Expired: Is checked if the user password has expired.
  • Password Required: If enabled, forces the user to log in with the account password, if disabled, allows log ins without password.
  • Password never expires: Sets the password age to unlimited, so that the password does not have to be changed after x days.
  • User can change password: Allows users to change their passwords, if disabled prevents that and only allows admins to change the pass of the user.

Server parameters:

  • Maximal Password Age: The maximum time a user is allowed to use the same password, before it is required to be changed.
  • Minimal Password Age: Users can only change the password of the account after the time specified in this field.
  • Minimal Password Length: Defines a password length minimum, passwords shorter than the number will not be accepted.
  • Bad Passwords Before Lockout: Defines the number of failed logon attempts before the account will be locked by the system.
  • Lockout Duration: Defines the time the account stays locked. Will unlock automatically after the time passes.
  • Bad Password Timeout: The interval between failed logon attempts in which failed logon attempts are not counted.
  • Password History Length: Compares the new password with passwords used in the past. Prevents the creation of to-similar passwords.
  • Password Expiry Warning: Defines a "warning" period in which the user is reminded that the password needs to be changed soon.

Accounts Tuner offers fast access to user account security settings. The program is especially helpful for users of systems without Group Policy Editors, the ease of access however makes it an excellent choice for system with the editor as well.

Accounts Tuner may be used on computers with following operating systems: Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 (Service Pack 6 required), Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and later. Both 32- and 64-bit systems supported. Administrator rights required for the program to work.

The program is available for download at the developer's website over at (via Nirmal TV)


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  1. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    Does it come back after every “moment” update?

  2. Baloney said on March 9, 2023 at 2:23 pm

    Yeah right.. Like this is going to stop defender from running =) This is comedy gold right here.

  3. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    no ‘about the author’ paragraph?

  4. Gregory said on March 9, 2023 at 4:19 pm

    For permanent disable defender is if removed complete from system no just change permission folder.

    Just this is joke.

  5. moi said on March 9, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    simpler, load Autoruns (SysInternals)
    – filter “Defender”
    – untag all entries
    – reboot
    nothing has changed since my 1st modification years ago

  6. John G. said on March 9, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    I wouldn’t disable Defender imho, it has too many hidden roots inside Windows itself. One time I tried to uninstall it using brute force scripts and then the Onedrive feature stopped working definitely. A reinstallation was needed and since those times I prefer to maintain Defender untouched. It’s a better method to install another antivirus and it will disable Defender in a safer and easier mode (e.g., Avast is the best in this way, and also Panda Cloud Free is good too).

  7. boris said on March 10, 2023 at 12:19 am

    You can not stop defender from running in background or remove it without some penalty. All you can do is to limit telemetry.

    1. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:52 pm


      It’s probably Smartscreen which is preventing WD from being disabled. Get rid of that and the problem should be solved:

  8. hoho said on March 10, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    Remove Windows and go for Linux.

    1. basingstoke said on March 10, 2023 at 2:51 pm

      Linux sucks dude. Besides it’s not comparable to Windows, these OSes are in different classes entirely.

      1. Derp said on March 10, 2023 at 4:36 pm

        I use Linux as my daily driver. It’s far more stable than Windows. When’s the last time you used Linux, 2010?

      2. Bromosexual said on March 11, 2023 at 2:04 am


        You’re right, dude. Bro, linux is just a bunch of code that starts before the OS, dude. Brobrodude, that shit ain’t even got emojis, dudebrodudeman! Dudebro, it’s no way near as cool as Windows with its hardcoded abilities to make money off the user, bro. Yo brodude man, you’re the coolest dude ever man, bro. Dude.

      3. basingstoke said on August 16, 2023 at 7:20 pm

        Lol what? Windows 7 doesn’t come with any Emojis

  9. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:46 pm

    Download Autoruns and remove the checkmark from Windows Defender. It doesn’t remove it, but it will never run.

  10. Simon said on March 10, 2023 at 8:37 pm

    Just use “Defender Control”:

    Per this video,
    it also works on Windows 11 too…

  11. Someone said on March 10, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    Win Defender, is completly the most succesful free-built in antivirus of Microsoft. Really nice product. Saved my ass a lot of times. Has updated malware database, completly strong defence
    from whatever smart screen disables. Or if you want better and more upgrated (paid) program,
    you can go further. But defender is always on your side.

  12. CalixtoWVR1 said on March 10, 2023 at 10:03 pm

    Why would one disable Windows (or Microsoft) Defender in the first place?. I consider this to be playing with fire big time. Everybody knows that if one is using another A-V, Defender will be disabled on its own and won’t be in one’s way.

  13. Ed D said on March 10, 2023 at 11:09 pm

    Why would I want to disable Windows Defender in the first place? It’s a great anti virus in my opinion. Been using it since Windows 8 and and never had a problem or a virus. Why mess with a good thing, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  14. owl said on August 17, 2023 at 1:57 am

    How a ridiculous article!
    I am thoroughly stunned.

    Why Should You Disable First-Party Windows Defender?
    I can only think that it is “malice or perversely intention (want you to buy a third-party AV where you can expect a back margin)” to guide invalidation without showing the premise.
    No sane company will use third-party closed source programs (such as AV).

    As I thought, “Ghacks Technology News” seems to be coming to downfall.

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