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How to add users to your PS5, Xbox Series X, or Xbox Series S

If you’ve invested hours in achieving high scores, exploring open worlds, and leveling up, then you absolutely don’t want someone you live with — or a passing guest — to sit themselves down in front of your console and interfere with all that hard work.

Whether you use a PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, or Xbox Series S, you can configure multiple user accounts so that games, achievements, and apps belong to you and you alone — while giving other people the chance to play on the console as well.

And you have a couple of options, depending if these are registered users or guests. Users who already have their own Sony or Microsoft accounts will only need to enter the credentials for these accounts once and can protect those accounts with a PIN code. Meanwhile, guest mode is a good alternative for friends or relatives who are only visiting for a day. It’s supported by both Sony and Microsoft consoles, and it means someone else can quickly game on your console without registering their details. All of their gaming data gets wiped when they sign out, so they leave no trace when they’ve gone.

The PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S also cater to families. If you’ve got youngsters in the house who want to track their own gaming progress but aren’t allowed to buy and install games (or access unsuitable content), then a family account can offer another option. Both Sony and Microsoft enable you to set up accounts for your kids that can then be monitored in terms of what games can be played, what content can be accessed, and even what times gaming is allowed to happen. These accounts can then be plugged into your gaming system.

Whether you’re adding full gamers, temporary guests, or family members, managing users on the latest generation of consoles isn’t difficult. Here’s how to do it.

Sony PlayStation 5

If you’re gaming on a Sony PS5 and you want to find the options for adding guest accounts or full user accounts:

  • Select your existing profile avatar (up at the top of the home screen).
  • Choose Switch User > Add User. You’ll get a pop-up window on the screen.

Use Switch User to add new accounts.

To add guests

Pick either Sign In or Quick Play on the right of the pop-up window. Sign In lets the guest sign into the PlayStation Network and get at their own user data and games, whereas Quick Play limits the guest to the games already installed on the PS5 (and means they’re gaming incognito).

In either case, all of the player’s local data is deleted from the console when you quit out of the guest mode: 

  • Select the guest account avatar at the top of the home screen (the smiley face)
  • Choose Switch User and your standard account. The guest account is gone.

To add continuing users

  • On the Add User window, pick Get Started under the Add a user to this PS5 heading. This adds a second (or third or fourth) user with the same privileges as the original one — so you get full game management, having gameplay data saved locally, and so on. 
  • If the additional user doesn’t already have a new PlayStation Network account, they can create one. Otherwise, they can sign in using their PSN account credentials, and they’re ready to go.
  • Use the Switch User screen to jump between users as needed. 

In Login Settings, you can set your system to require a login passcode.

To add a PIN code 

If you want to add some security to stop anyone else from switching to your account:

  • Open Settings (the cog icon at the top of the interface).
  • Select Users and Accounts.
  • Choose Login Settings.
  • Select Require a PS5 Login Passcode and enter one using the controller.

To remove a user account

If you need to remove a user account from your PS5:

  • Go to Settings and pick Users and Accounts > Delete Users.
  • Choose which account you want to remove. 

To add family members

If you’re adding accounts that belong to family members, you first need to tell Sony who these people are through the Family Management section of your PlayStation Network account on the web.

  • Open Settings and select Users and Accounts > Family > Add Family Member
  • For children, you can manage content, game access, and other settings like screen time hours via Family Management on the same screen.

Microsoft Xbox Series X / Series S

To find the options for adding guest accounts or full user accounts on Microsoft’s latest generation of consoles:

  • Press the Xbox button on your controller.
  • Scroll to the Profile & system page using the D-pad. 
  • Assuming you already have one account configured, choose Add or switch.

To add guests

  • To create a guest account on your Xbox, pick Add guest. A guest account will be created instantly. 

Adding a guest account is not difficult.

  • You can switch to and from it by going back to the Profile & system page, selecting Add or switch, then picking a user account. 
  • To delete the guest account, choose Sign out from the Profile & system page, then pick the guest account.

Guests have access to everything you have access to in terms of games, but they can’t buy anything through games or through the store, and none of their gaming achievements will be logged on the console.

To add continuing users

Adding a proper user account is a bit more involved:

  • Select Add or switch from the Profile & system page.
  • Choose Add new.
  • Sign in to the relevant Xbox or Microsoft account.

To add a PIN code 

You can add a PIN when you add a user account or do it later:

  • Open Settings under Profile & system.
  • Select Account > Sign-in, security & PIN > Create my PIN

To remove a user account

  • Open Settings under Profile & system.
  • Select Account > Remove accounts.

To add family members

The process works differently if you’re adding a child account to the Xbox. First, the child needs to be registered as part of your family,

  • Go to Your Family in your Microsoft account dashboard on the web. 
  • Pick Add a family member, then follow the instructions on-screen.

Family members can also be added.

Once that’s done, you can then add or remove family members from your console:

  • Select Settings from the Profile & system page.
  • Go to Account > Family settings > Manage family members

As part of the sign-in process when adding new family members, you’re able to set parental controls for the account if needed.

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