Manage Windows users with Net User

Martin Brinkmann
May 24, 2017
Updated • Jul 6, 2018

The following guide provides you with information on the Net User -- or Net Users -- command of the Windows operating system.

Net User is a command line tool that allows system administrators to manage user accounts on Windows PCs. You can use the command to display account information or make changes to user accounts.

It can be used, among other things, to enable the inactive administrator account of a Windows system.

The core command Net User, when run from the command prompt, returns a list of all user accounts on the system.

net user output

If you never worked with the command before, or accounts on the system, you will notice that Windows ships with default accounts and user accounts created during installation or afterwards.

The output does not tell you which accounts are active or not, and which are default accounts and which user created.

Note: Some operations require that you run the commands from an elevated command prompt. You can launch one in the following way:

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type cmd, hold down the Ctrl-key and Shift-key, and hit the Enter-key on the keyboard.

Core commands

net user

Net User supports plenty of parameters, but there are some that you may use more often than others.

  • Net User username -- e.g. Net User Martin -- This command lists detailed information on the user that you specify. This includes the last logon, local group memberships, and password information.
  • Net User username password -- e.g. Net User Martin NewSecretPass -- Sets the password NewSecretPass for the account Martin.
  • Net User username /active:yes|no -- e.g. Net User Martin /active:yes -- Activates the account so that it can be used. Setting it to no deactivates the account.
  • Net User username password /add -- Net User Test qwerty1234  /add -- This adds the user account Test with the default password querty1234 to the system.
  • Net User username /delete -- e.g. Net User Test /delete -- Deletes the Test account on the system.

Net User Syntax

The syntax of the command looks confusing at first glance, as it displays various commands that you can run when you run Net User /? to display the help text of the command.

[username [password | *] [options]] [/DOMAIN]
username {password | *} /ADD [options] [/DOMAIN]
username [/DELETE] [/DOMAIN]
username [/TIMES:{times | ALL}]
username [/ACTIVE: {YES | NO}]

Lets take a look at all Net User parameters in detail:

  • username -- specifies the username you want to run the operation on.
  • password -- sets the password for the specified username. Must satisfy the minimum length requirement, and may have as many as 127 characters.
  • * -- displays a prompt for the password. Password is not shown when entered.
  • /domain -- performs the operation on the selected domain.
  • /? or /help -- displays the help text for the Net User command.
  • /active:yes|no -- this commands activates (yes), or deactivates (no) the specified user account.
  • /add -- will add the selected user account to the computer system.
  • /delete -- removes the selected user account from the system.
  • /command:"text" -- adds a comment to the selected user account. Limited to 48 characters. Visible in the description field of the user account.
  • /countrycode:0 -- Adds country code or region information to the account. A value of 0, or not using the parameter, sets it to the default region.
  • /expires:date|never -- Sets the user account to expire at the specified date, or never expire. Expiration dates are set using mm/dd/yy, e.g. 12/24/2019, or Mar/13/19.
  • /fullname:"name" -- Sets the full name for the selected account. Must be enclosed in quotation marks.
  • /homedir=path -- Sets the users home directory to the selected path. Please note that the path needs to exist, so create it in advance before you run the command.
  • /passwordchg:yes|no -- Specifies whether the user may change the password. The default value is yes which means that password changing is allowed.
  • /passwordreq:yes|no -- Specifies whether the user account needs to have a password. The default is yes, which means that a password is required.
  • /logonpasswordchg:yes|no -- When set to yes, prompts the user to change the account password on the next logon to the system.
  • /profilepath:path -- Sets the path for the user's logon profile. The path points to a Registry profile.
  • /scriptpath:path -- Sets the path for the user's logon script. Path needs to be relative to %systemroot%\System32\Repl\Import\Scripts
  • /times:times|all -- Sets the logon hours for the account. Times needs to be specified as Day,Hour-Hour and separated by semicolon, e.g. M,2PM-8PM;T, 1PM-9PM. Days of the week abbreviated as M, T, W, Th, F, Sa, Su, may combine days, e.g. Monday-Friday. All means a user is not restricted when it comes to logins, no value means logons are not allowed.
  • /usercomment:"text" -- May set a user comment for the account.
  • /workstations:computerName -- Specify up to eight computers the user may log on to. Separate names by ,. e.g computer1, computer2, computerx. Works best with /domain, and if you don't specify this value, user is not restricted when it comes to workstations.

Net User Advanced Examples

We have listed basic examples of the Net User command near the top already. The following lists examples that are more complex, and explains what they do:

The following command creates the new user account mohammedlee, sets the account password to password1, the logon times to Monday to Friday from 6am to 6pm, and configures the system to prompt the user for a password change on the next logon.

  • net user mohammedlee password1 /add /logonpasswordchg:yes /times:monday-friday,6am-6pm

The next command sets a user's full name, and assigns access to the two workstations eastoffice1 and eastoffice2 to the user, and adds the user comment "changed workstations".

  • net user joe /fullname:"Joe Montana" /workstations:eastoffice1, eastoffice2 /domain /usercomment:"changed workstations"


The following resources offer information on Net User:

Manage Windows users with Net User
Article Name
Manage Windows users with Net User
The following guide provides you with information on the Net User -- or Net Users -- command of the Windows operating system.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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