The 5 Best Ways to Switch Users in Windows 10

Change between user accounts in seconds

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.

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Screenshot of Windows Login 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.

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Screenshot of start menu switching account

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.

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Switch Users in Windows 10 Using Ctrl+Alt+Delete

Screenshot cntrl-alt-del switch user

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.

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Switch Users in Windows 10 Using Alt+F4

Screenshot of the Shut Down Windows window

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.

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Switch Users in Windows 10 Using the Command Prompt

Screenshot of switching users with 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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