How to switch between two User profiles without logging off ?

Some people might have faced this issue, or lets say, requirement. You may want to switch to another user’s profile or you may have your own secondary account to which you want to switch over and then switch back, all without logging off and on.

So how does it work out?

1. Create accounts for both the user profiles in the same machine. Having them as power users is fine. We just need to have an admin account ready for getting all the settings ready.

2. Now, once the user accounts are ready, head to properties of My Computer. Goto ‘Remote’ tab and enable Remote Desktop. Then click on ‘Select Remote Users’. Add both  the user accounts into the list. Click Ok.

3. As a 3rd step, open gpedit.msc and browse to Computer Configuration- Windows Settings-Security Settings-Local Policies-User Rights Assignment
Double-click open the setting ‘Allow logon through Terminal Services’ and ensure both user accounts are added in it.

4. Open command prompt(cmd) in each profile. From the currently logged in account, open task manager and kill the explorer.exe process. The desktop will disappear now. (If you can’t kill the process from task manager, use this in the command line – taskkill /f /im explorer.exe.) Then take the cmd opened in secondary profile and type in explorer.exe. The desktop will reappear. This time, in secondary profile.

5. Repeat step no. 4 to switch back to the initial user profile.

The above steps should be enough for you to switch between two user profiles, minus a log off-log on.

Another positive thing about this is that your applications and unsaved data won’t be lost when you switch to the other profile. So you will get everything back as such, when you switch back to a user profile.

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2 comments on “How to switch between two User profiles without logging off ?

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