How to Enable or Disable Fast User Switching in Vista and Windows 7

information   Information
Fast User Switching or Switch User is a feature in Windows that allows you to switch to a different computer user account without closing programs and files first, and then be able to switch back where you left off. This makes it easier to share a computer with others. Fast User Switching is enabled by default.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove Switch User from the Start menu, CTRL+ALT+DEL screen, and Task Manager for all user accounts or only the current user account on the computer.

You must be logged in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.

Tip   Tip
If you want to add or remove Lock and Switch User from the Start menu, then see: How to Add or Remove Lock and Switch User from the Start Menu in Vista

EXAMPLE: Before and After Switch User Removal
NOTE: In Windows 7, "Switch User" is grayed out and disabled in the Start Menu instead of removed.
Name:  Before.jpg
Views: 49413
Size:  6.8 KBName:  After.jpg
Views: 49349
Size:  5.8 KB



METHOD ONE

Using Local Group Policy Editor
1. Open the Local Group Policy Editor.

2. In the left pane, click on Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, System, and Logon. (See screenshot below step 3)

3. In the right pane, right click on Hide entry points for Fast User Switching,and click on Properties.
-group_policy-jpg
4. To Add Switch User Back to All Users
A) Dot Disabled or Not Configured and click on OK. (See screenshot below step 5)
NOTE: Not configured is the default setting.

B) Go to step 6.
5. To Remove Switch User for All Users
A) Dot Enabled and click on OK. (See screenshot below)
-gp_properties-jpg
6. Close Local Group Policy Editor window. Your done.



METHOD TWO

Using a REG File Download

NOTE: This method will work for all Vista and Windows 7 editions.
1. To Remove Switch User for All Users
A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
Remove_All_Switch_User.reg

download
B) Go to step 4.
2. To Remove Switch User for Current User Only
A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
Remove_Current_Switch_User.reg

download
B) Go to step 4.
3. To Add Switch User for All Users
NOTE: This is the default setting.
A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
Add_All_Switch_User.reg

download
4. Click on Save, and save the .reg file to the Desktop.

5. Right click on the downloaded .reg file and click on Merge.

6. Click on Run, Continue (UAC-Vista) or Yes (UAC-Windows 7), Yes, and then OK when prompted.

7. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply the changes.

8. When done, you can delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.



METHOD THREE

Manually Using the Registry Editor

NOTE: This method will work for all Vista and Windows 7 editions.
1. Open the Start Menu.

2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type regedit and press Enter.

3. Click on the Continue button in the UAC prompt.
OPTION ONE:
To Add or Remove Switch User for All Users
4. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below)
NOTE: If you do not have System, then right click on Polices and click on New and Key, then type System and press Enter.

Code:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
5. To Remove Switch User
A) In the right pane of the System key, right click on a empty area and click New and click DWORD (32 bit) Value.

B) Type HideFastUserSwitching and press Enter. (See screenshot below)

C) Right click on HideFastUserSwitching and click Modify. (See screenshot below)
-finished-jpg
D) Type 1 and click on OK. (See screenshot below)
-modify-jpg
E) Go to step 8.
6. To Add Switch User
NOTE: This is the default setting.
A) Right click on HideFastUserSwitching and click Delete. (See screenshot below step 5C)

B) Click Yes to confirm the delete.

C) Go to step 8.
OPTION TWO:
To Add or Remove Switch User for Current User Only
7. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below)
NOTE: If you do not have System, then right click on Polices and click New -> Key, then type System and press Enter.

Code:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
A) Repeat step 5 or 6 above.
-hkcu_reg-jpg
8. Close regedit.

9. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply the changes.
That's it,
Shawn