What's new for user accounts and startup

Windows XP Professional makes it easy to set up and manage computer accounts for everyone who uses your computer. Multiple users can now switch between accounts without having to restart the computer. You can also get help remembering a forgotten password, store multiple user names and passwords, and protect your copy of Windows XP Professional against piracy.

Forgot your password?

If you forget your password, you can recover your settings and user account with the Forgotten Password Wizard. The wizard lets you create a Password Reset Disk to help you open your account and create a new password. The Password Reset Wizard also enables you to change your password.

Passwords overview

Sharing your computer

Windows XP Professional makes sharing a computer easier than ever by storing personalized settings and preferences for each user. You can customize and save the way your screen looks, protect your files with a password, and see your lists of Web favorites and recently-viewed areas.

Switching quickly from one user to another

Fast User Switching lets you switch from one user to another without logging off and on. With just a few clicks, you can leave your programs open, switch to another user, and switch back again. Fast User Switching is available on stand-alone computers and on computers connected in a workgroup. It is not available if your computer is part of a domain.

Fast User Switching overview

.NET Passport Wizard

With a .NET Passport, you only have to remember one name and password when shopping on the Web at .NET Passport-enabled sites. You can also use a passport to store personal information so you will not have to retype it when using .NET Passport-enabled services.

.NET Passport helps protect your information through the use of powerful encryption technology and comprehensive privacy practices, and you are always in control of the services that have access to your personal information, including your e-mail and mailing addresses, as described in the .NET Passport Privacy Statement. .NET Passport also takes steps to help protect your privacy on public and shared computers.

.NET Passport overview

Stored User Names and Passwords

With Windows XP Professional, you can store different user names and passwords for connecting to different sites and resources. For example, you can use your work user name and password on your home computer to connect to work-related servers and resources. Stored User Names and Passwords saves this information as part of your user profile, which you can take to different computers.

Stored User Names and Passwords overview

Windows Product Activation

To help decrease piracy and other unauthorized use of Windows XP Professional, Microsoft has developed Windows Product Activation. During installation, you will be asked to activate your copy of Windows XP Professional. This is a quick and easy process, and you are not asked to provide any personal information, other than the country you live in. If you choose not to activate Windows XP Professional during installation, you will be periodically reminded to do so for a set grace period (usually, but not always, 30 days). You can activate your copy of Windows XP Professional by using your Internet connection, modem, or by telephone. If you have not done so by the end of the grace period, you will be required to activate your copy of Windows XP Professional before you can continue using it.

Windows Product Activation overview

Files and Settings Transfer Wizard

You can move your personal settings and data files from your old computer to your new one without having to go through much of the same configuration you did with your old computer. For example, you can take your Internet browser and e-mail settings, personalized display properties, and entire folders (such as My Documents) from your old computer and quickly put them on your new one.

Using the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard

What's new in other areas of Windows XP Professional

What's new in home networking

What's new with digital media

What's new on your desktop

What's new for Help and support

What's new for browsing the Internet

What's new with files and folders

What's new in Windows XP Professional



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