Switch User” feature was introduced in Windows XP which allows one user to switch to other user without ending the current session. Its a very useful feature and also available in Windows Vista and 7. Many system administrators might want to disable this feature to restrict end-users. If the users are using Windows XP, its very easy task. You can disable “Switch User” option using “User Accounts” applet in Control Panel.
But its not that easy under Windows Vista and 7 as there is no such option available anywhere in Control Panel. So how to disable “Switch User” option in Vista and 7?
Although it is hard but not impossible. It can be done using Group Policy Editor as well as Registry Editor. So here we are sharing both methods which can be used to disable the “Switch User” option in Windows Vista and 7. Open the Local Group Policy Editor and navigate to the location below
- Computer Configuration - Administrative Templates - System and - Logon
- In the right pane of Logon in Local Group Policy Editor - Double click/tap on the Hide entry points for Fast User Switching policy to edit it.
This can also be done via scripting. Take a look at the script session.
Via the Registry: To have this done via the registry, follow these steps. Search for regedit.exe or search for “run” and hit enter. Next, type regedit in the rub dialog box press ok or enter on your keyboard.
This will open Registry Editor, please navigate through the following paths as highlighted below.
In right-side pane, create a new DWORD value called HideFastUserSwitching
- Set the value to 1
Now the switch user is gone from the start menu. Here is another way to switch a user via the shutdown Window dialog
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del on the keyboard
But because the switch user feature is disabled, it is not available here. To launch the shutdown dialog box, use Alt + F4.