Two or more people sharing one PC for work sounds like a recipe for disaster. Do you really want a co-worker to read, edit and delete your files and folders; use or delete your applications; or make system-wide customizations?

In some offices, however, computers need to be shared between two or more workers, or handed off to a temporary worker — without being completely wiped each time. And Windows 10 has great tools for allowing multiple people to share a single PC without any of those problems. In this piece, I’ll show you what to do.

This article has been updated for the Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809). If you have an earlier release of Windows 10, some things may be different.

Setting up accounts for sharing a Windows 10 PC

Windows 10 makes it easy for multiple people to share the same PC. To do it, you create separate accounts for each person who will use the computer. Each person gets her own storage, her own applications, her own desktops, her own settings, and so on.

One person, the PC’s administrator, sets up and manages all the accounts, including a variety of system settings that only the administrator can access. The administrator account is established when Windows is first installed or used on the machine.

Once you’re an administrator, setting up a user account is easy. Click the Start button, select Settings and then choose Accounts. On the Accounts screen, choose “Family & other users” from the menu on the left. To set up an account for a co-worker, go to the “Other users” section and click “Add someone else to this PC.” (To set up accounts for family members that let you set age limits, game and app restrictions, etc., instead choose “Add a family member” under the “Your Family” section.)