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Windows 7 Tips & Tricks: PC Safeguard

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If you share your PC with many users, some of whom may be messy users with a habit of littering files and changing settings, or you might just be a privacy nut who doesn’t like to leave any traces behind, either way, a new and previously unannounced feature in Windows 7 called “PC Safeguard” might just be what you’re after.
“PC Safeguard”, as it is called in the Windows 7 user account settings, prevents specified standard user accounts (cannot be applied to admin accounts) from making permanent and unwanted changes by removing all changes and files saved after the user logs off.

    The PC Safeguard doesn’t let anyone mess your PC settings, because after the user logs off, the configurations are reset back to normal. Of course it will not restore the configurations changed by you, but only the ones done by other users you define.

    To use PC Safeguard, go to Control Panel -> User Accounts and create a new account, then select “Set Up Pc Safeguard” and switch it on. Then you can stay relaxed when others use your computer, because you won’t find anything changed, including configurations, downloaded software, installed programs.Select the “Turn on PC Safeguard” option, apply and wait approximately 5 minutes whilst it ponders about the question of life.

You can also tweak the Safeguard feature to allow users to access individual hard drive volumes. One scenario where this might be useful is to set up a small 1GB partition where the user can secure their files without resorting to removable media.
Now when that user logs on, they are presented with this message window reminding them their files will be removed after log off. Also when they try to add files to their user folders, a popup appears, reminding the impending vaporization.

From this point on, the user experience is identical to any other standard user’s. They can access applications installed for all-users, change wallpapers and themes and download files. There’s no performance impact, nor additional restrictions. The difference however is that everything will be reverted to a blank state the next time they log in. Metaphorically speaking, it’s like IE8’s InPrivate or Google Chrome’s Incognito for user profiles.
Windows 7 builds to inherit some of the more advanced features of SteadyState (ex. time restriction and application blacklist)

Siddartha is a Blogger from India. He is currently working as a Java Front End developer and he loves writing about tutorials, technology, algorithm, etc. You can follow him on Twitter | Facebook | Google+. You can subscribe to GadgetCage RSS Feed or Email Notifications.

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