With a simple Group Policy setting or Registry change, you can completely disable Fast User Switching in Windows 10. Here's how to do it.
Windows 10 provides several different options and ways to switch between different user accounts. One such way is Fast User Switching. It appears in several different places such as the start menu, lock screen and in the task manager. When you click on the user of your choice, you will be instantly switched to that account and signed out of the current account. As you can guess, the Fast User Switching feature really provides a quick and easy way to switch between user accounts.
As useful as it is, it might not be helpful in all situations. Mainly because even though you've switched the user account, the other user's applications and files might still be running in the background and consuming the system resources. If that's the case, when you try to shut down the system, Windows shows a warning message letting you know that the other user account is still active. This is especially true of work environments where having multiple accounts is pretty common.
To avoid all this, you can simply disable Fast User Switching in Windows 10. Once disabled, you will no longer see the user list. So, without further ado, let me show how you can turn off fast user switching in Windows 10.
Steps to Disable Fast User Switching via Group Policy
The group policy editor provides a pretty simple group policy object to quickly disable fast user switching. Follow the below steps as it and you will be done in no time. Do keep in mind that the Group Policy Editor is only available in Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise versions. If you are using Home edition, follow the second method.
1. First, open the start menu, search for "Edit Group Policy" and click on the result to open the Group Policy Editor. Once the editor has been opened, go to the following folder.
Computer Configuration → Administrative Templates → System → Logon
2. Once you are in the Logon folder, find the "Hide entry points for Fast User Switching" policy on the right page and double-click on it.
3. As soon as you double-click on the policy, its settings window will open. Here, select the "Enabled" radio option and click on the "Ok" button to save changes.
4. Close the Local Group Policy Editor. Finally, either reboot Windows or open an elevated Command Prompt window and execute the
gpupdate /force command to apply the policy changes.
Once the policy is applied, you will no longer see the fast user switching option either in the start menu, task manager or on the lock screen.
To enable fast user switching, follow the same procedure but choose "Not Configured" in step 3.
(Alternative) Registry Method
Windows 10 Home edition users need to make registry changes to disable fast user switching. Though sounds complicated, it is pretty easy to do it. Just follow the steps and you will be good.
1. First, open the start menu, search for "Registry Editor" and click on the result to open it. In the registry editor, copy and paste the below path in the Registry Editor's address bar and press Enter. This will take you to the target folder where we need to make changes.
2. Once you are here, right-click on the "System" folder and select the "New → Dword Value" option. Name the value as "HideFastSwitching" and press Enter to confirm the name.
3. After creating the value, double-click on it. This will open the Edit Value window. Here, type "1" in the Value Data field and click "Ok".
4. After editing the value, close the Registry Editor and reboot Windows to apply the changes.
From now on, you will longer see the Fast User Switching option either in the start menu, task manager or on the lock screen. To make the fast user HideFastSwitchingswitching option appear again, simply delete the "HideFastSwitching" value and reboot the system.
I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.