How to Set Up “Users” on your PC… So Your Family Doesn’t Interrupt Your TOEFL Studies

Audrey TOEFL: Advice for Studying 0 Comments

Recently, I was in class with one of my students. She is a busy mom and she has supported her family a lot, for years. Now that she’s focusing seriously on getting the advanced scores on TOEFL iBT that she needs (Speaking 26 and Writing 24), she has been making some changes with her family. For years, they have expected that as soon as they need anything, they can interrupt her. That kind of disruptive home environment makes it difficult to study for TOEFL iBT — even when you’re a really smart person.

One challenge that she has is with her PC. She uses “the family computer” to study for TOEFL iBT. (Because obviously no one can simulate realistic exam conditions by writing TOEFL essays on a smartphone or tablet). A few days ago, she was writing an essay for her homework assignment for me, and suddenly, her son came in and asked if he could use the computer for something. They agreed on a time when they could trade off. She went back to working on her essay. When she finished, she left some of the documents open, and her son used the computer.

After her son was finished with his thing, my student got back on the computer to keep studying TOEFL and finish her homework. Her essays had disappeared! She was sure they had been right there! But now she couldn’t find them. Plus, some of the internet tabs that she had open (to study for her essay) were closed.

Basically, because it was inconvenient for her son to look at all that TOEFL stuff, he closed it. Needless to say, this made my student frustrated and she ended up wasting time just looking for documents that she could have spend actually studying.

When a family shares a computer, it’s hard for everyone to respect each other’s space and needs. It’s difficult when this kind of distraction happens once… but lots of busy parents who study for TOEFL iBT on the family computer have the same problem on a daily basis. Eventually, it becomes a legitimate obstacle.

SO… Here is what I suggested to my student… And no, I didn’t recommend that she buy her own computer — because it’s expensive and there is actually an easier, faster solution. It takes time to research a new computer, go out, buy it, come home, set it up… Not to mention the money of a new computer. In a fraction of the time, she could follow my suggestion below… for free!

The solution I suggested to her was to set up the family computer with different User Accounts. If their computer had been configured with User Accounts that day when she was studying, she could have left all of her TOEFL study windows and programs open — and her son could have logged into his User Account, where he would not have seen any of her TOEFL study stuff. And when her son was done, my student could have logged back into her User Account, and she would have had all of her stuff in exactly the same place that she left it. She wouldn’t have lost her essays or gotten frustrated because the websites that she was looking at were closed.

Creating “User Accounts” on your Windows PC lets all the people in your family use the same computer — without driving each other crazy! It’s win-win!


Because your success with TOEFL iBT ultimately depends on small changes like this, I’m sharing the tutorial with you, too. It’s a fact that when you get the scores that you need on TOEFL iBT, your family’s life will change for the better.

I hope the following tutorial is helpful!

Best wishes,
Jaime Miller

How to set up multiple users:

The goal of this is to make it easier for your family to share the computer with you, so that you can study for TOEFL — and they can do their things — without everyone causing problems and frustration for each other.

It might take about 90 minutes to do this, but it will be well worth it in the long-run.

Step 1: Each family member makes an account with Microsoft.

This is necessary to make Step 2 easier.

The benefit of everyone making accounts is that you will find it much easier to upgrade to a new PC in the future.

Click here to make an account

Step 2: Follow this tutorial to set up users on the PC

Find the tutorial here

Step 3: Everyone logs OUT of their account, back to the main Windows Log In Screen…

This video tutorial from Acer shows you how to quickly switch back and forth between your account, and other family members’ accounts.

Everyone in your family should watch this video, and you should all agree to follow the “switching” rules to use your own account.