Do you have multiple user accounts on your Windows 11 PC? If so, sometimes you may need to sign in to a different user account to access the files therein.
However, you do not need to shut down or restart Windows to sign in to another user account. Instead, you can quickly switch to another user account while keeping the current account in the background. Here are six alternative ways to switch user accounts in Windows 11.
The Start menu includes an account profile icon. That icon’s menu includes several user account options. You can choose to switch accounts via the account profile icon as follows:
- Press Start to see that button’s menu.
- Click the account profile icon at the bottom of the Start menu.
- Select the user account to switch to from that menu.
- Enter the password for the selected account to log in to that account.
- You can then quickly switch between both accounts you’re signed into from the Start menu, without re-entering your login details.
2. Switch user accounts with hotkeys
Windows 11 has a Ctrl + Alt + Delete hotkey opens a menu with five different options on it. Many users press that shortcut to access Task Manager and terminate unresponsive programs. However, you can also choose a Switch users option on that menu to do it. You can then select another user account from the login screen to log into that account.
The Windows + ERROR hotkey is another shortcut for switching users. Pressing that hotkey will take you to the lock screen. You can then click once with your hand to get to the login screen, select another account, and sign in to that account.
3. Switching User Accounts via the Windows Shutdown Window
The Shut Down Windows dialog box is a window that includes five alternative shutdown options. Among them is a Switch users the option you can choose, as you guessed it, change to another account. Here’s how to switch users through the “Shutdown Windows” dialog:
- Click Alt + F4 keys at the same time.
- Click on the drop-down menu on Shutdown Windows dialog to select Switch users.
- Selection ALRIGHT to return to the login screen.
- Then log into another account from there.
4. Switching User Accounts via Task Manager
Task Manager includes a User tab showing the accounts you are signed in to. Once you’ve signed in to multiple accounts, you can choose to switch users from that tab. Here are the steps to switch users with Task Manager:
- Right click somewhere on your taskbar to select Workflow management context menu options.
- Click User tab shown directly below.
- Right click on the account to access and select Switch user accounts.
- Enter the login details for the user account you are switching to.
5. Switch user accounts via Windows Terminal (Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise only)
Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise editions include a “tsdiscon” command-line utility to disconnect from remote desktop sessions. You can switch between user accounts in Windows Terminal with tsdiscon in the Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows 11. Here’s how to switch accounts with tsidscon:
- Press and hold Windows key and X also to view the Power User menu.
- Choose Windows Terminal (Admin) shortcut from that menu.
- Input tsdiscon in the PowerShell or Command Prompt tab in Windows Terminal.
- Press enter to execute the tsdiscon command, which will lock the PC.
- Click to unlock the screen and select the user account to switch.
- Enter the required password or code to log in.
Windows 11 Home cannot switch users with the tsdiscon command. However, you can sign out of your account in all versions of Windows by typing shutdown / l replacement command. Executing that command will close all open software and log you out of your current account. You can then choose to sign in to another account.
6. Switch user accounts with desktop shortcuts (Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise only)
You can set up a desktop shortcut to switch users based on tsidiscon. Again, however, this method only applies to Windows 11/10 Pro and Enterprise editions. Here are the steps to add a switching user shortcut to the desktop:
- Click on an area of your screen with the right mouse button and select New.
- Selection Shortcut on the context menu submenu.
- Input %windir%\System32\tsdiscon.exe in the location textbox and select Next Selection.
- enter Switch user accounts as the title of the shortcut.
- Click Complete to add the Switch User Accounts shortcut.
- You can now double-click the Switch New User Account shortcut on the desktop to return to the login screen. From there, you can sign in to another account.
You can choose a more appropriate icon for the Switch User Accounts shortcut if you like. Imageres.dll has several user-themed icons to choose from. Here’s how you can choose the imageres.dll icon for your shortcut:
- Click the Switch User Accounts shortcut with the right mouse button to select Nature.
- Selection Change icons above Shortcut navigation.
- Click Browse button.
- Then select the imageres.dll file at C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll directory path.
- Click Open button.
- Select an appropriate user account icon and click ALRIGHT Selection.
- Click Apply for option to change your shortcut icon.
- Selection ALRIGHT to exit the shortcut’s properties window.
That desktop shortcut can be a taskbar or the Start menu if you prefer. Right-click the Switch User Accounts shortcut to select Show more options. Choose Pin to taskbar or Pin to Start menu on the classic context menu. You can then remove the Switch User Accounts shortcut from the desktop by right-clicking it to select Delete.
Which user account switching method do you prefer?
Switching user accounts using the methods above will allow you to enter different accounts without logging out and closing all open software in another. Therefore, it is more convenient to switch user accounts than to log out completely to log in to another account. Choose whichever method you prefer to switch user accounts.
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