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What is the difference between "User accounts" and "local users and groups"?

jasonfarmer asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-02-26
What is the difference between "User accounts" in the control panel and "local users and groups" in computer management?
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b0lsc0ttIT Manager

When you make changes there is no difference.  The accounts are the same whether you access them from Control Panel or Management.  The big difference is in function.  User Accounts has limited option and does not display all accounts.  It does provide an easy way to change option like Welcome Screen and Fast User Switching.

Changing those option in Management is a little more difficult.  Management will let you see and change all user accounts and have access to change or select all available groups.  You can not do this in the User Accounts area.


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is this the same for workgroups and domains?


if you were to login locally that is... i know for domain you use AD
b0lsc0ttIT Manager

My experience with domains is limited so another expert may have better information but I don't see that it would make a difference.  As long as you login locally as you mentioned in your last comment.

There may be other differences between the two options but the information I listed are the highlights as far as I'm concerned.  I will be interested to see what other experts have to say on this interesting question.
Author of the Year 2011
Top Expert 2006
Hi JasonFarmer,
If you go into the 'Advanced Tab' in the Users Group, you will see similar options to the "local users and groups" in computer management.

I don't think you can create a 'Workgroup' account and 'Domain' accounts are just that - accounts managed by a Domain Controller for use on all workstations on the Domain.

You also have 'local' computer accounts in a Domain which apply only to the individual workstation.
To answer as shortly as possible, they are the same thing, just with different interfaces. Both only work with local accounts (with the exception of being able to ad Domain accounts to local groups).
Cloud Architecture Manager
hi there

the local users and groups are the one u have configured on your computer while domain users and groups are different. over a workgroup u need passwords and other authentications only when u have set passwords to the resources like file shares, files, printers. so the authentication in workgroup is done by the indvidual systems while in a domain the authentication is done by the domain server.

say u have a computer that is part of a domain. u can log on to the domain from the computer or u can logon locally to the computer. incase u want to logon to the computer locally a user a/c needs to be created in the computer which ur logging in. while if ur logging on to any computer with a domain a/c u can log on to any computer in the domain.



from my experience and what you guys say they are the "same" but my reason for the question is this, why do they show different users? if you add users via the "user accounts" in the control panel, they will not show up in the "local users and groups" section in computer management.
Bascially on the Control Panel Users main screen, you are doing what you would do by going to the "local users and groups" section in computer management, opening groups, doubleclicking on Users, then Adding there. You are adding domain users to the Local Users group, not creating local user accounts.
When you specify a Domain there that it, if you don't fill out the Domain box, the next Window takes you to a screen to create a local user account.
Author of the Year 2011
Top Expert 2006

If you add a 'network account' to a local group on the computer - they will show up in the group.
Ex: If you add your Network Account (Domain\JasonFarmer) to the local computer 'Administrators' group, then your network account will show up when you open the 'Administrators' group.
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