How to Switch User in Windows 10

As Windows enables you to create multiple profiles, it also allows you to access or switch users in several ways.

Switch User in Windows 10

Read on to find how to switch users in Windows 10.

In this guide, you find ways to change the user profiles from the Sign-in screen, the Start menu, via three-finger salute, the Shutdown dialog, and of course, the versatile Command Prompt and PowerShell.

Method 1. Switch User in Windows 10 from the Start Menu

Besides being the primary location for accessing the installed program, folders, or saved files, the Start Menu also includes some primary settings.

Here’s how to switch accounts on Windows 10 from the Start Menu:

Step 1. Navigate to the Start(⊞) button or press the Win(⊞) key to open the Start menu.

Step 2. On the left side, click on the user-icon (the chosen picture) of your user account.

Step 3. You will see all the user accounts associated with your account. Simply click on the desired user to switch to the user.

how to switch user accounts on Windows 10 from the start menu

Once you select, Windows will prompt you to the login screen of the chosen user account. Entering the credentials, you can access the picked user account.

As you have seen, the Start menu is a quick way to switch users on Windows 10; however, there are also other fast and equitably straightforward alternatives.

Method 2. Switch User in Windows 10 from the Sign-in Screen

While there are multiple ways to switch users on Windows 10 after entering the computer, there is also an option to accomplish the same via the sign-in or login screen. Of course, without this particular option, the concept of multiple users will be flawed.

Follow these simple instructions on Windows 10 to log in as a different user from the sign-in screen:

Step 1. After you start the computer, Windows ensures that your first halt is the login screen. By default, Windows will load the last user profile or even log you in if you haven’t created a password.

Step 2. On the login screen, navigate to the bottom-left corner of the screen. You will see the list of all the accessible user accounts. Click the desired one to switch to that account.

all the existing user accounts on Windows 10 in the sign in screen

Once you opt, Windows will change the profile and replace it instantly with the selected one. Entering the password, Windows 10 will let you access the user account.

Note: The above method also applies to when you have logged in with an account and want to switch to another (on the computer):

  • To access the lock screen from within Windows, press Win(⊞)+L keys at once.
  • Repeat Step 2 — mentioned above.

The sign-in screen is the first place from where you can change the user account on Windows 10. And regardless of whether you are already within Windows or not, these two methods will let you change the user profile conveniently.

Method 3. Switch User in Windows 10 using Ctrl+Alt+Del

Ctrl+Alt+Del, or the three-finger salute, facilitates you to interrupt an ongoing process on Windows and present you with a list of system tweaks, one of which enables you to switch the user.

Follow these simple steps to learn how to change the user on Windows 10 by invoking the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys:

Step 1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del hotkeys at once (like you are pressing a single key).

A keyboard highlighting the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys

Step 2. Pressing the keys rightly, Windows will bring about a list of options. Choose the Switch user option.

Switch user option on Windows 10 by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del keys

Step 3. Selecting the option, Windows will prompt you to the lock screen (mentioned earlier). Again, the manner of changing the user profile remains the same, i.e.,

  • Hover to the bottom left corner of the lock screen.
  • Select the desired user account from the list of created usernames.
  • Enter the password of the chosen profile.

Once entered, you can access that particular user account. While the process seems similar, it might come in handy, especially in adverse situations like when your PC becomes unresponsive.

Method 4. Switch User in Windows 10 via the Shutdown Windows Dialog

Shutdown Dialog Box is a shortcut of the default action box that enables you to perform terminating actions like Shutdown, Switch user, Restart, Sleep, and more (unless modified).

Follow these simple steps to learn to switch the user in Windows 10 via the Shutdown Windows Dialog:

Step 1. Press Alt+F4 keys at once to access the Windows Access Dialog.

Use Alt+F4 keys to open the Shutdown Windows dialog box

Note: Alt+F4 also enables you to force-close a program on Windows 10. So, if you press during an ongoing process, Windows will close it. And, only when all the open programs get close, the key will direct the computer to show you the Shutdown Windows dialog box.

If you do not want to close the open applications and still want to switch the user profile via this method, then:

  • First, access the desktop on Windows 10.
  • Then, press Alt+F4 to showcase the Shutdown Windows Dialog box without closing the ongoing processes.
  • And follow the steps mentioned below.

Step 2. Select the down-pointing arrow to view all the options. Choose Switch user.

After setting the option, click OK or press Enter.

The Shutdown dialog box highlighting the Switch user on Windows 10

Step 3. Once selected, Windows will redirect you to the lock screen, and the procedure to change the user profile from there remains the same as indicated in Method 2, i.e.,

  • Navigate to the bottom-left corner of the screen,
  • Choose the preferred user account,
  • Enter the credentials to access the account.

Method 5. Switch User in Windows 10 from the Task Manager

While the Task Manager is noted for showing the system processes and allowing you to close them, it also includes numerous other options like open a new program or switch users. Here’s how to change a user on Windows 10:

Step 1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys at once to open the Task Manager on Windows on Windows 10.

Note: Sometimes, the Task Manager will open in the Summary view; click on More details (bottom-left corner) to open it in the Full view.

Step 2. Switch to the Users Tab. From the list of users, select the desired one.

And, choose the Switch user option on the bottom-right of the screen.

change user account on Windows 10 from task manager

Step 3. Once you select the Switch user option, Windows will redirect you to the lock screen. But with the profile of the chosen user.

All you have to do is enter the credentials to access the user account. There you go! Another method to follow on Windows to log in as a different user.

Method 6. Switch User in Windows 10 from Command Prompt or Powershell

The Command Prompt and the PowerShell are command-line interpreters. And while both differ in their purpose, they can help you communicate with Windows directly and perform numerous tasks, including administrative ones.

Follow these simple instructions to switch user in Windows 10 from Command Prompt or Powershell:

Step 1. Press Win(⊞)+R keys (Windows logo plus R) to open the Run box.

Step 2. Within the Powershell or Command Prompt window, type in the following command:

runas /user:\ explorer.exe

Note: Computer Name and Username in the above-script is just an example. You will have to type in your computer name and username instead. For instance, if your computer name is Administrator and username is John, the above script will be:

runas /user:\ explorer.exe

Step 3. Press Enter after entering the command.

Now, the Command Prompt or the PowerShell will ask you to type in the password of the entered user account.

After typing in the password, press Enter.

Command Prompt highlighting the command to change a user on Windows 10

Once you press Enter, either of them will switch the user and let you in the profile of the entered user.

The method to switch users on Windows 10 from the Command Prompt or Powershell is complex. There is no denying that. Still, if there exists a way, it is an obligation to mention it.

Note: Alternatively, you can access the lock screen from command prompt or PowerShell and then switch users from there using the earlier mentioned process. To do that, follow the step 1 and:

  • Type in tsdiscon.
  • And press Enter to access the lock screen.

Yes, this is more like the Win(⊞)+L keys, but as mentioned, both the command prompt and PowerShell can do all that the normal-Windows interaction lets you plus more.

FAQs About User Account in Windows 10

1. What is a User Account in Windows 10?

As the name indicates, a user account is an identity created on the computer. Although, that is not how the machines perceive it.

For the computer, a user account is a just collection of settings, files, folders, and some rules that helps it personalized the experience for the user who set those commands. Additionally, a user account can also be a machine entity rather than a person, yet, the purpose and structure remain the same, i.e., store the system files and processes.

Likewise, a user account in Windows 10 is also comparable, i.e., a collection of commands that the OS remembers.

2. How can I delete or remove a user account from Windows 10?

There are multiple ways to remove or delete an admin account on Windows 10, but the easiest method is via the Command Prompt.

All you have to do is:

Open an elevated Command Prompt on Windows 10.

Type in the following command:

net user username/delete

Press Enter.

Note: In the above command, replace the “username” with the username of the account you wish to remove.

3. How can I create a user account on Windows 10?

While there multiple ways to create a user account on Windows 10, the most straightforward one is via following the exact method mentioned earlier. But instead of “remove” in the script, type in add.

For instance, to add a new user named John, the script will be:

net user John/add

You can also add a password and change the account type if need be.

4. What is the difference between Standard user and Administrator (Windows 10)?

An administrator is a privileged account that has high-level authority on a Windows computer. A user with such rights can do almost anything imaginable — from modifying the mattering data to change the system configuration, installing/uninstalling critical software, upgrading the operating system itself — there is rarely a setting that an admin cannot access.

On the other hand, a standard user is just an interactive account with the permission to perform basic tasks, so much so that it does not affect or modifies other users’ settings on the computer. Note that there are also additional types of users on Windows OS.

Conclusion

Remembering all the methods to switch users on Windows 10, you can log in as a different user whenever you want, disregarding where you are on the computer, i.e., sign-in screen or within Windows 10.

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