Fast User Switching

When multiple users share a computer, logging off and logging on to the computer in order to switch users can become tiresome.

Fast User Switching, a feature of Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional when it is not joined to a domain, makes it possible for you to quickly switch between users without actually logging off from the computer. Multiple users can share a computer and use it simultaneously, switching back and forth without closing the programs they are running.

For example, suppose you are working on the household budget and you have to leave the computer for a short time. Your child expresses a desire to play a game while you are away. With Fast User Switching, you can leave your financial program running and let your child log on to play the game. When you log back on, you return to the budget without losing your place.

To switch to another user, click Start, click Log Off, click Switch User, and then click the user account you would like to switch to. For more information about switching between users without logging off, click Related Topics.


When Fast User Switching is turned on, Serial Keys will not work. Serial Keys is an accessibility feature that provides support so that alternative input devices, such as single switch or puff and sip devices, can be used in place of the computer's standard keyboard or mouse. For more information, click Related Topics


Fast User Switching will not appear if it has not been turned on in User Accounts in Control Panel.

Fast User Switching is not available on computers that are members of a network domain.

Only users with a computer administrator account on a computer can turn on or turn off Fast User Switching.

Fast User Switching cannot be turned off while multiple users are logged on to the computer.

When Fast User Switching is not turned on, programs shut down when you log off, and the computer runs faster for the next user who logs on. For information about turning on Fast User Switching in User Accounts in Control Panel, click Related Topics.

Change users without logging off in a workgroup environment

Turn Fast User Switching on or off

Turn the Welcome screen on or off

Turn Fast User Switching on or off

Turn the Welcome screen on or off

Turn on Serial Keys

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