How to enable/disable Fast User Switching in Windows

It is likely that you are sharing a computer with other users and with Fast User Switching, things can be more convenient. If you are using Windows 7, Vista or XP and you are sharing the computer with multiple users, you can enable this feature to log on at the same time using the same device. With Faster User Switching, you won’t have to close all the applications you are using and log off whenever someone else wants to use the computer. Another user can log on to play games or watch a movie and once they finish using the computer, you will be able to go back to your session and your programs will still be running. Here you will find the steps that you need to follow in order to enable or disable Fast User Switching in Windows.

Windows XP

  1. Open Control Panel and sect User Accounts
  2. Click the option that says Change the way users log on or off
  3. Select the checkbox for Use the Fast User Switching and then click on Apply Options
  4. To disable Fast User Switching, you just need to uncheck Fast User Switching and click on Apply Options.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista

The first option for Windows Vista and Windows 7 is to use Local Group Policy Editor. You can follow the below process.

  1. Click Start and in Start Search or Run dialog box, type gpedit.msc. Hit Enter.
  2. Go to this location: Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Logon
  3. To enable Fast User Switching you can set Hide entry points for Fast User Switching to “Enabled”. Once this function is enabled, administrators will be able to hide the Switch user button in the Start menu, the Logon User Interface, as well as the Task Manager.
  4. You can disable Fast User Switching by setting “Hide entry points for Fast User Switching” to Not configured.

Keep in mind that some editions of Windows Vista don’t include the Group Policy Editor. In that case, you will be able to change the settings through the registry using the second option. .

The second option to modify the Fast User Switching in Windows Vista is to use the registry. You can enable or disable this function via the registry, following the below steps:

  1. Click Start and in the Start search or Run dialog box enter regdit.exe and hit Enter
  2. Go to the following branch: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \CurrentVersion \ Policies \ System
  3. Right click on the right side of the editor and select New > DWORD(32bit) Value. The name of the DWORD (32-bit) Value should be HideFastUserSwitching
  4. The Value data for HideFastUserSwitching should be set to 1