How To Disable Fast User Switching On Windows?

How To Disable Fast User Switching On Windows 7, 8 & 10?

The Fast User Switching feature in Microsoft Windows allows users to login to a computer while keeping other users logged in and their applications running. It allows applications to remain open and in the same state, despite a new person logging in. This allows multiple users to make use of the computer without interrupting what others are working on.

Windows allows multiple users to have their own profile set-ups associated with their account. These profiles are usually password protected, and their settings, files and other information, are configured to meet individual needs. Setting up different profiles in Windows allows multiple people to use and share a single computer. Logging in and out of different accounts, however, takes time, and this is where fast user switching comes in.

Fast user switching is a convenient feature, but sometimes it can be a little problematic. For example, if other users remain signed in, you cannot shut down the computer, since they might lose unsaved work. Another downside of this feature is that other accounts in use consume system resources - running several accounts signed in, with running apps and services, will slow down your system.

If there are multiple user accounts on your computer and you do not wish to have fast user switching available, you can turn it off. You can also hide the ability to switch user interfaces that occur on Start menu, Task Manager, and Sign in screen. When you disable this feature, users will no longer be able to switch to other users using the Windows interface once they have signed out of their accounts. In this guide, we show how to easily disable this feature. You can apply these steps if you are using Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7.

how to disable fast user switching on windows

Table of Contents:

Disable Fast User Switching Using Local Group Policy Editor

Local Group Policy Editor is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) that provides a single user interface through which local Group Policy Objects can be managed. With Local Group Policy Editor, an administrator can edit local group policy objects, disable the computer or user settings in Local Group Policy, and use scripts for certain tasks that include startup and shutdown. Local Group Policy Editor can be found in all Windows Server versions since Windows Server 2008. Local Group Policy Editor is not available on Windows Home editions. So, if you are using Windows 10 Home or an earlier version with Home edition, Group Policy Editor is not available. Read how to disable Fast User Switching using Registry Editor.

We demonstrate how to disable Fast User Switching Using Local Group Policy Editor on Windows 7, but this also applies to other versions of Windows (except Home editions). First, open the Run dialog box by typing "run" in Search, and then click the "Run" result.

disable fast user switching using group policy editor step 1

In the Run dialog box, type "gpedit.msc" and click "OK" to open it.

disable fast user switching using group policy editor step 2

In Local Group Policy Editor, follow this path: "Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon". Find "Hide entry points for Fast User Switching" policy on the right pane and double-click it.

disable fast user switching using group policy editor step 3

In Hide entry points for Fast User Switching window, set the policy to "Enabled". Enabling the policy will hide the Switch user button in the Logon user interface, Start menu, and Task Manager. Click "Apply" to save changes and then click "OK". Restart your computer.

disable fast user switching using group policy editor step 4

You can always revert these changes by selecting the "Not Configured" option in the last step mentioned in this guide.

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Disable Fast User Switching Using Registry Editor

Windows Registry, usually referred to as just 'the registry', is a collection of databases of configuration settings in Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is used to store much of the information and settings for software programs, hardware devices, user preferences, operating system configurations, and much more.

Many of the options within the registry are not accessible elsewhere in Windows. Many advanced settings can only be changed by directly editing the registry. Some other settings might be accessible through Group Policy – but the Group Policy editor is only included in Professional editions of Windows. The registry allows you to change most settings that can be accessed through Group Policy.

Note: Editing the registry is risky, and can irreversibly damage your installation if you do not do this correctly.

We show how to disable Fast User Switching on Windows 10, but this also applies to other versions of Windows. Open the Run dialog box by typing "run" in Search and click the "Run" result.

disable fast user switching using registry editor step 1

In the Run dialog box, type "regedit" and click "OK" to open Registry Editor.

disable fast user switching using registry editor step 2

In the Registry Editor window, follow this path: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System". If you are using Windows 10 Creators Update, simply copy and paste this path into the registry address bar. Once you are in the correct directory, you will see a list of registry files in the right pane. Right-click the right pane and select "New" from the drop-down menu, and then click "DWORD (32-bit) Value".

disable fast user switching using registry editor step 3

Name it "HideFastSwitching" and press Enter on your keyboard. Then double-click your newly-created registry and set "Value data:" to 1 and click "OK".

disable fast user switching using registry editor step 4

Restart your computer after completing these steps. If you want to revert these changes, simply follow the instructions. When in Registry Editor, follow the same path to find your created HideFastSwitching registry file. Double-click it and change the value to 0. Alternatively, delete it by right-clicking on the HideFastSwitching registry file and choosing "Delete" from the drop-down menu.

By using the instructions in this guide, you are only removing the option to switch to user accounts listed in the Start menu, Sign in screen, and Task Manager, however, this feature will continue to be available on Windows 10. Despite this, users will not have access to the feature, thus forcing them to save their work and sign out before another person can sign in.

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Video Showing How To Disable Fast User Switching On Windows 7, 8 & 10:

Disable Fast User Switching using Local Group Policy:

Disable Fast User Switching using registry:

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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