Switching between Users in Windows

by Barry Dysert
(last updated March 24, 2014)

Windows supports the existence of multiple user accounts on the same PC. In fact, it even allows more than one person at a time to be logged in. If you're currently logged in and you (or someone else) want to switch to another user, you don't need to log off to do it. Switching between users keeps your workspace intact and in memory so that you can easily switch accounts and continue working where you left off. When you log off of the second account your original workspace is automatically restored.

To switch between users, click the Start button, then click the right-arrow beside the words "Shut down", then click "Switch user." (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Switching to another user.

When you do this, your screen will temporarily flash and you are prompted to press CTRL+ALT+DELETE. This keystroke combination brings up a screen where you can login as "Other User". Click that icon and enter the username/password for the new account. When you are finished working in that account, logoff. This is done by clicking the Start button, then clicking the right-arrow beside the words "Shut down", then click "Log off."

When you logoff the second account you are again presented with the CTRL+ALT+DELETE screen. After pressing that combination of keys, click the icon representing the account you were originally logged in to, enter your password, and you're right where you left off.

 This tip (13026) applies to Windows 7.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

MORE FROM BARRY

AutoRuns

Would you like to have one place to go in order to see what all programs are starting when your system starts or when you ...

Discover More

SyncToy

SyncToy allows you to keep multiple pairs of folders in sync. This means it can also serve as a decent file-backup utility. ...

Discover More

Disabling Automatic Driver Installation

Whenever you plug something into your computer, Windows dutifully tries to find and install the driver for your new device. ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Deleting a User Account

Windows allows you to define individual user accounts for different people using a computer. If a person no longer needs ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Your Windows 7 Password

When you get rid of your Windows login password, you accomplish two things. First, you make it easier to log onto your ...

Discover More

Using Your Own Picture as an Account Picture

You can easily customize your computing experience by using your own picture as your account picture. This tip explains how.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.