Don’t Switch Users

February 28, 2009

You may know that you can have multipe users set up in Windows. For example, if there are 4 people in your family and you all share one computer, you may each have your own windows user so that each person can customize Windows the way they want, and also to keep their data seperate. When you have more than one user, you typically get the Welcome Screen which shows you a list of users. You can then click on yours to login to Windows. Some versions of Windows require you to press Control-Alt-Delete and then enter the name you want to login to.


See full size imageMany computers only have only one Windows user with no password. In that case, you never see the Welcome screen. It will just automatically login as that user and go right to the desktop.


For those who have multiple Windows users, I wanted to alert you to something. When a windows user is done, don’t switch users. Instead, log off. The reason is that when you switch users, it leaves the user  you are switching from logged in and taking up resources. This slows the computer down. I’ve seen computers where they had four Windows users and every one of them was logged in.


I recommend turning off fast user switching. This will prevent people from switching users. User will then logoff and it will go back to the welcome screen. Then the next user can login. To turn off fast user switching in XP, click on Start and then click on Contorol Panel. In the Control Panel, double-click on “User Accounts”. Now click on “Change the way users log on or off” Click on the box next to “Use Fast User Switching” to remove the checkmark and turn off fast user switching.


In Vista, for some strange reason, Microsoft made it difficult to disable fast user switching. Because of that, I don’t think it’s something that the average user should attempt, so I’m not going to include instructions for disabling it here. But never fear. Click here. Save this file to your hard drive. Then find the file, right-click on it, choose rename. Now change the word “download” in the filename to “reg”. The file should now be named “Remove_All_Switch_user.reg” Now right-click on the file and choose merge.

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