7 ways to switch the user in Windows 11

Having multiple users on a Windows 11 computer is a great way to make sure each person who uses the computer has a pleasant experience while using it. Keeping files, settings, and apps separated helps with security and privacy, so it’s a good idea to have multiple user accounts if your computer is used by multiple people. Are you looking for the best way to switch users in Windows 11 on a shared computer? Look no further, as we have compiled a list of seven ways to do it:

NOTE: This article covers switching users without signing out the active user. If you want to know how to sign out in Windows 11, read this article: 6 ways to sign out of Windows 11.

1. How to switch users in Windows 11 from the sign-in screen

The lock screen is the first thing you see when interacting with a Windows computer. It’s also one gesture away from the place where you can most easily switch users. So, click, tap or swipe the lock screen to bring up the user login options.

Tap, click, or swipe the lock screen to access the login screen

After doing this, you will notice that in the lower-left corner of the screen, there is a list with all the users of the computer. Simply click or tap on the one you want to switch to and then type in the password/PIN for that account (or use the corresponding authentication method).

Click or tap on the user you want to switch to, then log in as usual

NOTE: If Facial recognition (Windows Hello) is enabled, the device may automatically log you in with your default account if it detects your face. If this happens and prevents you from switching users, make sure you disable or block the camera, then try again.

2. How to switch users in Windows 11 using Windows + L

If you need to leave your computer for a brief period of time, but you want to make sure no one is able to access your data while you are away, you can lock access to your user by pressing Windows + L. This does not shut down the computer, nor does it make you lose the data you were working on. If you want to know more ways of locking your PC, read this article: 7 ways to lock a Windows 11 PC. Since pressing Windows + L takes you to the lock screen, you can also use it to quickly switch between users.

The shortcut for locking your PC

After you press the key combination, simply follow the steps from the first method.

3. How to switch users in Windows 11 from the Start Menu

If you are already logged in, the Start Menu is an easy place from which you can switch users. First, press the Windows key on your keyboard or the Start button on the taskbar to open the Start Menu. Next, click on your user name in the lower-left corner of the menu. This brings up a contextual menu that includes a list with all the users. Click on the user you wish to switch to, and you are immediately taken to the sign-in screen.

Switch users from the Start Menu in Windows 11

4. Switch users in Windows 11 using Ctrl + Alt + Delete

Another way you can switch users if you are already logged in is with the good ol’ Ctrl + Alt + Delete. Press this key combination on your keyboard and, in the security screen that appears, select Switch user.

Click or tap on Switch user in the security screen after pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del

From this moment on, just follow the steps from the first method: select the user you want to switch to in the lower-left corner of the screen, then insert the password or the PIN.

5. Switch users in Windows 11 using ALT + F4

This one is only valid if you are already logged into the computer. The method requires that the desktop is in focus, so go ahead and click or tap on it first. Then, press Alt + F4 on your keyboard to bring up the Shut Down Windows dialog box. Press the downward arrow to open the drop-down menu and select Switch user. Finally, click or tap on OK.

Switch users by using the Shut Down Windows menu

You are greeted with the familiar sign-in screen. Select the user you want to switch to from the list in the lower-left corner, then insert the password or the PIN.

6. Switch users in Windows 11 using Windows Terminal, PowerShell or Command Prompt

If you are used to command-line interfaces (or you just want to impress your coworkers), you can type a command to switch the user. First, open Command Prompt, PowerShell, or Windows Terminal, then type in tsdiscon followed by Enter.

Switch users with Command Prompt, PowerShell, or Terminal in Windows 11

This takes you to the login screen. From there, the steps are identical to method 1.

NOTE: This method only works in Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise. If you have Windows 11 Home, the command is not available by default. If you don’t know what version of Windows you have, read this article: How to tell what Windows I have (11 ways).

7. How to switch users in Windows 11 using the Run window

Provided you have the Pro edition (or above) of Windows, you can use the same command from the previous method in the Run window. First, open the Run window (for example by pressing Windows + R on your keyboard), then type tsdiscon, and press Enter or click/tap on OK.

Use the Run window to switch users in Windows 11

After getting to the lock screen, follow the instructions from the first method to choose another user.

Do you want to know more about user accounts in Windows?

If you want to learn more about user accounts in Windows, the difference between Microsoft accounts and local accounts, how to personalize them, and so on, we recommend the following tutorials:

How do you prefer to switch users in Windows 11?

Now you know seven ways to switch users without logging off other users. Which one do you prefer? Do you know any other method to do it? Let us know in the comment section below.

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