With Windows 11, just like its preceding Windows versions, you can switch between multiple user accounts, simultaneously on your PC. So, if you are working on a shared PC, you would need to switch between accounts, without closing any apps or tabs, or without losing any files or any critical data. And, Windows 11 allows you to do this flawlessly, without logging out of any account.
This can also be useful in circumstances where you have set up a parental control and you need to change between your (parent’s) and the child’s account to keep a tab on their online activity. So, if your PC has more than one user accounts, the Switch User feature comes handy. This feature, as said above, helps you to change between different accounts seamlessly, with all the apps, files, tabs, etc, saved, in all sign-in sessions, while you still stay signed into all accounts. You can simply switch back to your other account and continue from where you left off.
However, the only thing you should be cautious about is, that if anyone is remotely connected to your PC, will not be able to use the Switch User feature, since it’s turned off for Remote Desktop Connections. Moreover, it’s recommended to save your work, because if any other user who is logged into one of your accounts, shuts down or restarts your PC, your PC will lose any of your unsaved work.
So, how do you switch user accounts in Windows 11? Read on to know more..
Method 1: From the Start Menu
This is one of the easiest methods to try and hence, should be your first try to switch between user account on your Windows 11 PC. Let’s see how:
Step 1: Navigate to the Windows icon on your Taskbar (Start), click on it and you will see a menu that pops up with a few options.
Here, click on the other user account you want to change to.
Method 2: Using Ctrl+Alt+Delete Hotkeys
Ctrl + Alt + Delete is one of the shortcuts that have been persistent in all Windows versions till date. It is mostly used to open Task Manager or Sign out from the current account or lock the screen usually when the system hangs and none of the desktop options work.
So, if you do not want to go the classic way as Method 1, you can simply follow the below instructions to switch user accounts:
Step 1: Press the Ctrl + Alt + Delete shortcut keys simultaneously on your keyboard.
This will open a list of options.
Step 2: Click on Switch user to change to a different user account.
This will help you switch to another account of your choice.
Method 3: Using Alt + F4 Shortcut Key
Alternatively, you can also try another shortcut while you are on the desktop. However, before you use the shortcut keys, make sure you close any open windows, or it will simply close the open window. Now, proceed with the below steps:
Step 1: Close all your open windows on your desktop and press the shortcut leys – Alt + F4 on your keyboard at the same time.
This will open the Shut Down Windows prompt.
Step 2: Here, go to the ” What do you want your computer to do?” field, click on the drop-down and select Switch user.
Press the OK button below.
You will now see the login screen and here, you can select the account you want to switch to.
Method 4: Through Windows Terminal
This method is applicable for Windows 11 Pro users or those using higher version of Windows 11. This workaround gives you a feel of a hacker who can lock the screen in a jiffy just by running a simple command in the Windows Terminal and then switch the user account. Let’s see how:
Step 1: Go to the Start button, right-click on it and click on Windows Terminal (Admin).
Step 2: In the elevated Windows Terminal, type the below command hit Enter to execute:
Step 3: As soon as the command is executed, your screen will be locked.
Simply unlock the screen and as you see the login screen, click on the user account you want to change to.
Method 5: From the Lock Screen
This is another quick method to switch to another user account on your Windows 11 PC, that is, through your lock screen. Here’s how:
Step 1: Lock your screen, using the combination keys – Win + L on your keyboard at the same time.
Step 2: This will lock your screen.
Here, go to the bottom left of the screen and select the user account you want to switch to.
The best part is, you do not lose any open tabs or programs while switching user accounts.
Method 6: Using Elevated Command Prompt
You can also navigate between two user accounts on your Windows 11 PC, easily, using the Command Prompt with admin rights. Follow thee below instructions to switch to another user account:
Step 1: Open the Run command window using the Win + R shortcut keys (press them together simultaneously on your keyboard).
Step 2: In the Run command search bar, type cmd and press the hotkey combination – Ctrl + Shift + Enter together on your keyboard.
This will open the elevated Command Prompt.
Step 3: Copy and paste the below command in the Command Prompt (admin) window and hit Enter:
runas /user:UserAccountName explorer.exe
Replace the highlighted part with the user account name you want to switch to.
*Note – In this case, you must know the user name and the password for the user account you want to change to.
Step 4: As you execute the above command, you will asked to enter the password for the user account you want to switch to.
Type the password and hit Enter.
Now, you will be successfully logged into the other user account you want to switch to.
Method 7: Using Windows PowerShell (Admin)
This method helps you to change to the other user account on your PC using the Windows Powershell with admin rights. Let’s see how:
Step 1: Press the Win + R shortcut key combination on your keyboard ( make sure to press them at the same time) and the Run command box will be launched.
Step 2: In the search field, type Powershell and now, press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys simultaneously to open the Windows Powershell window with admin rights.
Step 3: In the elevated Windows Powershell, run the below command and press the Enter key:
runas /user:UserAccountName explorer.exe
Simply replace the highlighted part with the User Account Name you want to switch to.
*Note: Make sure you have the user name and the password for the account you want to switch to and accordingly replace the highlighted part with the user name of the account.
Step 4: When your prompted to enter the password, enter the password of the desired user account and hit Enter.
As soon as you enter the password, you will have access to the desired user account that you want to switch to.