How do I change from other user on my laptop?

  • You can quickly change the user on your Windows computer without logging out of your current session.
  • Switching users will hibernate your current session while the other user account is active.
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Say you have a shared computer and another family member or friend needs to "just send a few emails really quick," but you currently have four applications open that you really don't want to save, close, and then re-open in fifteen minutes — this is where different user accounts would come in handy.

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How to change the user on your Windows 10 computer

1. Open the "Start" menu by clicking on the Windows icon at the bottom-left of the screen, or by pressing the Windows logo on your keyboard.

Click the Windows icon to open the pop-up menu. Ross James/Business Insider

2. Along the left hand menu bar there should be a profile icon. Click on it.

The icon should bring up your user options. Ross James/Business Insider

3. Click on the user you want to switch to. If the account is password protected, you will need to enter the password now.

This session will remain active until another user repeats these steps to access a different user account. If you the user is finished with their session, logging off will free system resources and allow another user to shut down more freely.

When in the login screen, the available users will be shown at the bottom-left of the screen. You can switch between any of these accounts from this screen.

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Ross James

Ross James is a freelance writer for Business Insider.

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Change between user accounts in seconds

Updated on February 19, 2020

There are multiple ways to switch users in Windows 10. The option you choose just depends on what's faster for you and whether you want to switch while your computer is on the login screen or while you're using it.

Why Switch Users on Windows 10?

In a household where multiple people use the same computer, the ability to switch users without logging off is important. It can help you avoid losing any work while the other person uses the same computer.

Switch Users in Windows 10 Sign-In Screen

The Windows 10 login screen is the first place where you can log into Windows using multiple users.

At the login screen, you'll see a list of available users who've logged into the Windows 10 PC in the bottom left corner of the screen. The next user can just select their user account and enter their login details to log into the computer. This will switch user accounts without logging out the previously logged in user.

The method for switching users in the login screen is the same exact approach you'll use to switch users from the Windows 10 lock screen. You just select the user from the list in the left icon menu and choose the user you want to switch to. To access the lock screen, press Windows key+L.

Switch Users in Windows 10 From Start Menu

One of the easiest ways to switch users on Windows 10 is straight from the Start menu.

While you're logged into the Windows 10 PC, you can simply select the Start menu. You'll see a list of users logged into the PC in the row of icons on the left of the screen. Just select the user you want to switch to.

This will open the login screen for that user. Once the next user enters their login information, it will open Windows using that user's account and include all of their custom account Windows settings.

Switch Users in Windows 10 Using Ctrl+Alt+Delete

In Windows 10, press Ctrl+Alt+Del, then select Switch user to switch to the lock screen.

This lock screen has the same list of available users who've logged into the PC. Select the user, then enter login details to access the account without logging out the previous user or losing their work.

Switch Users in Windows 10 Using Alt+F4

One of the fastest ways to switch users is with the Alt+F4 keyboard shortcut. When you press Alt+F4 in Windows 10, it'll close your currently open application. Repeatedly pressing Alt+F4 will close each application one at a time. Once all applications are closed, if you press Alt+F4 again it will launch the Shut Down Windows dialog.

If you select the dropdown list in this window, you'll see an option to Switch user. This will open the same login/lock screen you've seen in previous steps. The other user just needs to enter their login details to access their own account.

This option is only useful if the previous user doesn't need to keep any applications open, or at least has already saved their work.

Switch Users in Windows 10 Using the Command Prompt

Another method you can use to switch users doesn't require any utility or keyboard shortcut. All you have to do is open Command Prompt, then enter:

runas /user:<computer name>\<username> explorer.exe 

You'll see a request for the user's password. Type the password to switch to the other user's account.

This is a fast and easy method to quickly swap accounts in Windows 10 with just a few simple keystrokes. However, you do need to know the computer name and the user name.

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How do I get out of another user's screen?

Press and hold the Shift key..
Press or click the Power button in the lower-right corner of the Welcome Screen..
Press or click the Restart option..

How do I switch users on a locked laptop?

One way to switch users is to go through the lock screen. Hit Windows+L to access the lock screen immediately. Click in empty space, and the window should display the login screen. Then, on the bottom left of the login screen, click the desired user account.

Why can't I switch users on my laptop?

Create a new user on your computer. If your account is the only user account currently present on your computer, Windows 10 will automatically recognize this and hide the Switch User option. To fix this, you'll need to create another user account first, then check if the option is available afterwards.

What is the shortcut to switch user?

Switch user via the CTRL+ALT+DEL keyboard shortcut Simply press the CTRL+ALT+DEL combination on your keyboard and then select the Switch user option from the menu.