How to disable ‘Fast User Switching’ feature on Windows 10, 8, and 7

disable fast user switching

Fast User Switching” was a useful feature introduced with the newly released version of Windows Operating System, Windows 10. The primary purpose of “Fast User Switching”
feature is to offer quicker switching between different accounts meanwhile keeping the existing user signed in. While the feature is a fantastic offering from multiple users sharing the same machine, it comes with certain drawbacks. And the limitations offered by it outweigh its advantages briefly.

One of the issues faced by users on Windows with “Fast User Switching” enabled is that
when various users are signed in, the device can’t be powered off since it may lead to other users losing their unsaved work. Although, the feature seems like a convenience on shared computers, but is evidently plagued by restrictions.

Another issue often addressed by multiple users is the high usage of system resources and
memory utilities. With numerous users already signed in, each user consumed system resourced such as processes, memory, and disk thus, slowing down the computer considerably. However, such issues are often dependent on the computer hardware. Hence, if you just like various other users want to disable the “Fast User Switching” feature on your computer, there are primarily two ways of doing so:

  1. Disabling “Fast User Switching” using Group Policy
  2. Disabling “Fast User Switching” using Windows Registry

Please read below for brief guides on how to disable the “Fast User Switching” feature on
Windows 10, 8, and 7 with Group Policy and Windows Registry.

How to disable Fast User Switching using Group Policy

The best way for disabling “Fast User Switching” in Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise Edition, is to use Local Group Policy Editor. Not only is it the most comfortable method of disabling the user switching feature but it also is the most convenient one.

Please follow the given steps for disabling “Fast User Switching” using Local Group Policy
Editor (gpedit.msc)

How-to-do

  • Press the combination of Windows + R key on your keyboard to run the “Group Policy
    Editor” Command.
  • Enter “gedit.msc” in the input box and click OK

Fast User Switching

  • On clicking OK, you will notice a new Window will open. It is the ‘Local Group Policy
    Editor.’
  • Once open, navigate to the below path to disable the User Switching policy

Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Login

  • Search for ‘Hide Entry point for Fast User Switching‘ option on the right side of the
    Window.

How to disable 'Fast User Switching' feature on Windows

  • Double click on it to open a new popup Window.
  • Select ‘Enabled‘ option on the Window and Click on Apply to save the changes.

How to disable 'Fast User Switching' feature on Windows

  • Click OK and close the Local Group Policy Editor.
  • Restart your Computer for the changes to take effect.
  • When the computer boots up, open the user profile menu at the Start to see whether the “Faster User Switching” option appears or not.
  • Once it is disabled users will need to save their changes and sign out so that other users can log in to the system.
  • You can also enable the “Fast User Switching” feature by following the same steps from 1-6 and Select ‘Not Configured’ option and apply the changes by following the rest of the steps.

How to disable Fast User Switching using Windows Registry

For other users who are running a basic version of Windows 10, the Windows 10 Home, who are unable to open ‘Group Policy Editor’ you can use the Windows Registry to disable the ‘Fasting User Switching’ policy. Modifying the registry is an alternate option when you do not have access to the Local Group Policy Editor.

However, Windows Registry is one of the essential tools, and we recommend that you proceed cautiously for the same. The changes/editing done on registry files are risky and irreversible. Not following the below steps carefully can damage the OS installation on your computer. Also, it is better suggested to take a full back-up before proceeding with modifying the Windows Registry.

Please follow the given steps for disabling “Fast User Switching” using Windows Registry
(regedit.exe)

  • Using the combination of Windows + R key on your keyboard open up the “Windows
    Registry”
  • Enter “regedit” in the input box and click OK to open the Windows Registry

disable Fast User Switching using Windows Registry

  • Once the Windows Registry is open go to the below-mentioned path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

 

!!! NOTE: Post the Windows 10 Creators Update, you can now easily navigate to any path in the Windows Registry by copy paste. Just copy the path you want to navigate to and paste it in the address bar of Windows Registry to quickly jump to the location without worrying about browsing each node and key separately.

  • Once you have opened the list of elements on the right side for that particular node right
    click on the right side of the Windows. You will be able to see a small bar with ‘New.’
  • Select ‘New‘ and click on ‘DWORD(32-bit)‘ Value to create a new Key.

disable Fast User Switching using Windows Registry

  • Name the Key as ‘HideFastSwtiching‘ and Press Enter.
  • Select the newly created ‘HideFastSwtiching’ Key to change its properties. Set the Value of the same to ‘1’ from ‘0’ as shown in the below image to disable the ‘Fast User Switching’ feature.

disable Fast User Switching using Windows Registry

  • Click OK to apply and save the changes.
  • Once you completed all the steps as mentioned, please reboot your system for the changes to take effect on your computer. Open the User Profile menu under the Start window and check if the User Switching feature has been disabled or not.
  • To re-enable the ‘Fast User Switching’ feature we suggest you change the value of the ‘HideFastSwtiching’ Key in the Windows Registry to ‘0’ from ‘1’. Restart the system again to let the changes take effect on your system.

Conclusion:

One thing to note as a user is that the ‘Fast User Switching’ feature is baked into the Windows 10 OS. After following the steps mentioned above, you are disabling the user switching feature from Start menu screen, Sign-in screen and the Task Manager only. The feature will not be wholly de-activated but will still be accessible.

However, users won’t be able to utilize the same thereby forcing them to save their work and sign out before anyone else can log in.

While the methods are entirely dedicated to Windows 10, it should be noted that the same set of methods and techniques can be used on any of the versions of Windows for disabling the ‘Fast User Switching.’ The tricks aforementioned work clearly on Windows 8.1/8 and 7 without any hassle. 

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