Windows makes it easy to switch between user accounts. For instance, you can use the start menu shortcut or the Alt + F4 shortcut. However, these shortcuts take quite a few clicks and you might even need to sign out first to switch user. If you are switching between users frequently, you can create switch user desktop shortcut. Using this shortcut, you can switch users with a single double-click. Let me show you how.
When you try to switch user using default options, Windows automatically executes a built-in tool called tsdiscon.exe that is responsible for user switching.
So, we will create a new shortcut around this file to switch between user accounts.
Note: If you are running Windows Home version, you will not have access to the tsdiscon.exe file. Since we need that file to create user switcher desktop shortcut, download it from here. Alternatively, you can also copy the file from System32 directory from a Pro or Enterprise version of Windows.
Steps to Create Switch User Desktop Shortcut
1. To create desktop shortcuts, we need to use the create shortcut wizard. So, right-click on the desktop and select New -> Create Shortcut.
2. In the location field, type in the following location. Rather than using the full file path, we are using an environment variable to make things easier. If you’ve downloaded the file using the above link then extract the file and enter that path. Click on the Next button to continue.
3. Now, name the shortcut anything you want. In my case, I named the shortcut as User Switcher.
That is it. You are done creating a desktop shortcut for switching users. Double-click on the shortcut to access the user switcher screen where you can select the user account you want to switch to.
However, the default application icon is generic and frankly not that good looking. So, if you want to, follow the below steps to add a custom icon to the shortcut we just created.
(Optional) Add Custom Icon to the Switch User Desktop Shortcut
You can add a custom icon to the shortcut you just created. This makes it easy to recognize the shortcut among all the other folders, files, and shortcuts.
1. RIght-click on the newly created shortcut and select Properties.
2. In the properties window, go to the Shortcut tab and click on the Change Icon button.
3. You will see a message letting you know that the exe file has no icon. Click on the Ok button to continue.
4. Now, find the icon you want to assign, select it and click on the Ok button. If you don’t like the default Windows icons, you can use your own custom icon by clicking on the Browse button. Just make sure that your custom icon is in ICO format and has at least 32x32 dimensions.
5. In the main window, click on the Apply and Ok buttons to save changes.
6. The new icon is applied instantly and you can see it on the desktop.
That is it. At this point, you are done creating a desktop shortcut with its own icon for switching users. Simply double-click on the shortcut and you will be taken to the user switcher screen where you can select the user account you want to switch to.