Fast user switching

How to quickly switch between accounts on Windows 10

If you're sharing your computer with multiple users, you can use this guide to quickly switch accounts without having to sign out of your session on Windows 10.

Switching accounts on Windows 10

While the ideal method to share a device with other users is to save your work, sign out, and let the other user sign in with a different account, sometimes, you’ll need to remain signed in and quickly switch to another account.

Fortunately, for situations like this, Windows 10 includes the Fast User Switching feature, which you can access in a few ways to switch user accounts.  

In this guide, you’ll learn at least three ways to quickly switch between user accounts on Windows 10.

How to switch accounts using Start menu

If you’re sharing a device with multiple users, you can quickly switch accounts without signing out from your account using these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Click your user account button.

    Start menu account switcher
    Start menu account switcher
  3. Select the account you or another person wants to access.

  4. Using the proper credentials, sign in to the Windows 10 account.

Once you’ve completed the steps, the other account will load, and later, you can use the same steps to go back to your account and continue working on your session.

How to switch accounts using security screen

You can also use the security screen to quickly switch account using these steps:

  1. Use the Ctrl + Alt + Delete keyboard shortcut.

  2. Click the Switch user option.

    Security screen account switcher
    Security screen account switcher
  3. In the Sign-in screen, select the user account you want to switch.

  4. Using the proper credentials, sign in to the Windows 10 account.

After completing the steps, the other account will load, and like the Start menu option, your session will remain active in the background in case you need to switch back.

How to switch accounts using Shut Down dialog

In addition, you can even use the old Shut Down dialog to access the account switcher on Windows 10 using these steps:

  1. Use the Alt + F4 keyboard shortcut.

  2. Use the drop-down menu and select Switch user.

    Shut down dialog account switcher
    Shut down dialog account switcher
  3. Click the OK button.

  4. Select the user account and sign in to Windows 10.

Once you’ve completed the steps, the other user account will load, and your account will remain loaded in the background.

Alternatively, you can always use the Window key + L keyboard shortcut to lock your device, and from Sign-in screen, select and sign in with the new account.

In the past, you were also able to switch users using the Users tab from Task Manager, but it no longer works, and the option was only available if the second account was already loaded in the background.

Although the feature allows to quickly switch between user accounts, remember that it’ll affect performance as your session will remain active in the background. Ideally, you want to save your work, sign out, and then sign in with another account.