Windows 7 Tutorial

Login to Windows 7 as a different user (switch user profile without logging off)

The fact that someone is already logged into the computer you are using under a different profile is not a problem if you want to access Windows 7: all you need to do is switch user, a feature that allows multiple users to be logged into Windows at the same time. This tutorial will explain how the feature works, and some potential problems and issues to keep in mind when you make it a habit  to have a shared computer with constantly several users concurrently logged in. (No need to prevent other users to sign in to Windows, just a few precautions to take in some cases.)

 

Switch user: sign in to Windows under a different profile

If you come to your computer, and find it unattended with another user already logged in, do not log off, turn off or restart the computer: all you need to do is described below.

First case: you want to login to Windows, but the computer is locked:

If the other user comes back to the computer before you have left, here is what you need to do; this is also the second case, where you change user while another Windows user is logged in and using the computer: in other words, how to sign in to Windows as another user, without logging off first.

And this is how you can have two people use Windows and be logged in at the same time.

Precautions to keep in mind with multiple users simultaneously logged in

It is a good idea, on a shared computer, to close and save all your work before leaving the computer. If someone turns off or restarts the computer by mistake, or if Windows Updates automatically restarts the PC, you will have to login to Windows again, but at least your work will be safe.

Windows 7 will warn you when you are about to turn off or restart a PC where other users are currently logged in, but a puzzled user may just ignore the message, and log everyone out.

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