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January 14, 2009

Hiding the vmware_user account in Windows 7

Installing VMware Server or Workstation on Windows 7 will leave the __vmware_user__ account showing on the logon screen, which does not happen in earlier versions of Windows.

Windows7LogonScreen

If you want to hide this account, it’s a simple registry value addition:

  1. Open Registry Editor and navigate to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
  2. If it does not already exist, create a key named SpecialAccounts
  3. Below the SpecialAccounts key create another key named UserList
  4. Create a new DWORD value (DWORD32 on x64) inside UserList named __vmware_user__ (the name of the account we want to hide) and ensure the value is 0
  5. Close Registry Editor and you are done – no need to reboot or logoff

To add this value a little quicker, paste the following command into an elevated command prompt and it will add the value for you

REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList" /v __vmware_user__ /d 0 /t REG_DWORD /f

This link has some detail on what the __vmware_user__ account is used for.

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