How To Enable/Disable Fast User Switching In Windows 7, Vista, XP

A single computer is often shared between multiple users, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 makes it easier for users to share a computer using the Fast User Switching feature enabled, it allows more than one user to log on simultaneously at a single computer, for example, if you are currently logged onto a computer, another user can log on to watch movies, without you having to close your open programs and log off. Once the user is finished, you can return to your session where all your programs will still be running.

In Windows 7 / Vista – Method 1: Using Local Group Policy Editor

Click Start, type gpedit.msc in the Start Search or Run dialog box and press Enter.

Now navigate to the following location:

Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Logon

logon

To Disable Fast User Switching:

Set Hide entry points for Fast User Switching to Enabled. By enabling the policy, Administrators can hide the Switch user button in the Logon UI, the Start menu and the Task Manager.

To Enable Fast User Switching:

Set Hide entry points for Fast User Switching to Not configured for enabling Fast User Switching.

not configured

Group Policy Editor does not exist in certain editions of Windows Vista. Alternately, you can change the settings via the registry.

In Windows Vista – Method 2: Using Registry

To change settings via registry, follow these simple steps:

Click Start, type regedit.exe in the Start Search or Run dialog box and press Enter.

registyr

Navigate to the following branch:


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ System

navigate

Create a DWORD (32-bit) Value named HideFastUserSwitching by right clicking on the right side of the editor and selecting New >  DWORD(32bit) Value.

dword

Set the Value data for HideFastUserSwitching to 1

value data

In Windows XP

Open Control Panel and then User Accounts.

user accounts

Click Change the way users log on or off option.

check

Check Use the Fast User Switching check box and now click the Apply Options button.

apply

And on the contrary, if you want Fast User Switching to be disabled, leave the checkmark unchecked in Fast User Switching option and click the Apply options button.

uncheck

And you are done !

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  • logan

    using the regedit method, i can get as far as the ‘Windows’ branch, but theres no ‘CurrentVersion’ folder to open. what do i do?! :(

    • http://www.addicitivetips.com Nakodari

      Which version of Windows are you using ?

      • joshsgirl19

        hey i have a labtopand everything isworkin but umm theres this thing ummmm like when turn on the computer theres this thing called kiosk and i gss it needs password to log in

    • knowit

      You are surely at the wrong place because there’s always a Current Version folder under HLKM/SOFTWARE/MICROSOFT/WINDOWS/CURRENTVERSION… OR HKCU/SOFTWARE/MICROSOFT/WINDOWS/CURRENTVERSION

  • joshsgirl19

    hey i have a labtopand everything isworkin but umm theres this thing ummmm like when turn on the computer theres this thing called kiosk and i gss it needs password to log in

  • joshsgirl19

    hey i have a labtopand everything isworkin but umm theres this thing ummmm like when turn on the computer theres this thing called kiosk and i gss it needs password to log in

  • slboy

    There is nothing like “Logon” under “System”. What must I do?.

  • eric

    Most Windows 7 users will not be able to do this as it’s impossible to actually run gpedit.msc on most Windows 7 systems.

  • JayKay

    Not true, however, you must have RSAT installed on windows 7 to run gpedit.msc

    • KnowIt

      you so not need RSTA to have gpedit.msc. Just that, if you have windows Home Edition, you won’t have gpedit.msc. It is only in Pro+

  • Vipul

    Verry nice answer…………….Thanks..

  • Spark

    It don’t help. I wanted to Enable FastUserSwitching. I set: Not Configured and in regedit i set number 1.. Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit.. :-(

  • Didit Yudo

    I have same problem,, but let me know to enable it,, my windows XP SP3 ,, thanks

  • KenS

    I used the gpedit method on win7 pro. Setting ‘not configured’ did not have any effect. I set ‘Disabled’ and it worked.

    • http://blog.vipergeek.com ViperGeek

      Thanks! ‘Disabled’ worked for me as well.

  • Megaponder

    I don’t have the “logon” branch on gpedit.
    Btw I had the switch user button before I reinstalled windows 7

  • http://darkangelights2009.tumblr.com/ darkangelights

    Thanks so much for this works great on my laptop! now i just need to find something that will work on my desktop as well

  • http://darkangelights2009.tumblr.com/ darkangelights

    win 7 says cant find gpedit.msc what t do?

    • http://up-beam.blogspot.com Anton Kravtsov

      You’re probably using Windows 7 Home or so.
      gpedit.msc is available in Windows 7 Pro, Ultimate (and higher).

  • fukko

    theres no such thing as “gpedit.msc” in windows vista.

  • blake

    I don’t suppose there is a similar method to doing this that doesn’t remote control panel from the administrator account.

  • Hootie

    How do I lock my computer when I’m away?

    • Compnerd

      Windows key + L

  • Nick

    I actually had HideFastUserSwitching set to “1” in the registry and “not configured” in the group policy to begin with. I’m using Windows 8.1 and, oddly, what fixed my problem was switching it back to “0” in the registry. Try that if anybody is still having issues after trying these steps.