Set up Shared PC Mode in Windows 10 using Group Policy

If you want to set up the Shared or Guest PC Mode in Windows 10, then the Group Policy Editor can help you get your task done. The shared PC mode was introduced in Windows 10 version 1607. With this mode, Windows 10 PCs can be optimized for shared use scenarios, including touchdown spaces in an enterprise and temporary customer use in retail. The Guest Account in Windows 10 was discontinued in Windows 10 v1607 – and so Windows 10 now offers Shared or Guest PC Mode. This sets up Windows 10 Pro, Pro Education, Education, and Enterprise for limited use in certain scenarios. Here is a glimpse at how you can set up the shared PC mode in Windows 10.

Shared PC Mode in Windows 10

The shared PC mode in Windows 10 can be applied to Windows 10 Pro, Pro Education, Education, and Enterprise.

When in shared PC mode, only one user can sign into Windows 10 machine at a time. When the PC is locked, the currently signed in user can always be signed out at the lock screen. The shared PCs are joined to an Active Directory or Azure Active Directory domain by a user who has the rights to perform a domain join as a part of a setup process. This way, any user can sign into the shared PC which is a part of the directory.

If Azure Active Directory Premium is used in setting up the shared PC mode in Windows 10, any domain user can be configured to sign in with administrative rights. The shared PC mode in Windows 10 also has the Guest option on the sign-in screen. In Guest option, user credentials or authentication are not required. It simply creates a new local account each time it is used.

Setting up shared PC mode in Windows 10 using Group Policy

There are several ways to configure shared PC mode in Windows 10. One of the ways is to use Group Policy. For this, use the following method:

  1. Go to Computer Configuration
  2. Select Administrative Templates
  3. Select Windows Components
  4. Then select Windows Update
  5. Configure Automatic Updates to 4 and check Install during automatic maintenance.

Environments that use Group Policy can use the MDM Bridge WMI Provider to configure the MDM_SharedPC class. For example, open PowerShell as an administrator and enter the following:

Shared or Guest PC Mode in Windows 10

After the setting, the shared PC mode in Windows 10 sets local group policies to configure the device. Some of these are configurable using the shared PC mode options. Some of these policies are as follows:

  • Admin Templates > Control Panel > Personalization
  • Admin Templates > System > Power Management > Button Settings
  • Admin Templates > System > Power Management > Sleep Settings
  • Admin Templates > System > Power Management > Video and Display Settings
  • Admin Templates > System > Power Management > Energy Saver Settings
  • Admin Templates > System > Logon
  • Admin Templates > System > User Profiles
  • Admin Templates > Windows Components
  • Admin Templates > Windows Components > Biometrics
  • Admin Templates > Windows Components > Data Collection and Preview Builds
  • Admin Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer
  • Admin Templates > Windows Components > Maintenance Scheduler
  • Admin Templates > Windows Components > Windows Hello for Business
  • Admin Templates > Windows Components > OneDrive
  • Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options

To know more about setting up the Shared or Guest PC mode in Windows 10, refer to this Microsoft Document.

Windows 10 Kiosk Mode

The kiosk mode account is introduced in Windows 10, version 1703. Shared PC mode can be configured to enable Kiosk Mode using Assigned Access option on the sign-in screen. This doesn’t require any user credentials or authentication and creates a new local account each time it is used to run a specified app in assigned access or kiosk mode.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.