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Using gpedit To Enable Or Disable Switch User In Vista SP2

Sometimes, there are more than one ways to solve a problem, i.e. more than one ways to the Rome.

Besides Windows Registry, you can also use Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) to enable or disable Windows Vista Fast User Switching function.

To certain extent, Local Group Policy editor can be regarded as a better front-end to Windows Registry editor, in the sense that changes made in Local Group Policy are actually reflected or stored in Windows Registry.

Also, gpedit.msc provides a more readable and friendly user interface than regedit.exe. For example, there is short description to explain each of the group policy:

Using Local Group Policy editor to disable or enable Switch User function in Windows Vista.

As shown in the screenshot, the “hide entry points for Fast User Switching” policy allows Administrator to hide the Switch User button in the Logon user interface, the Start menu, and the Windows Task Manager.

1) Click the Vista Orb (i.e. Vista Start button), type gpedit.msc and press Enter key to open Local Group Policy Editor.

2) On the left pane of editor window, locate to this path:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Logon

3) While stop at Logon entry on left pane, locate and click the “Hide entry points for Fast User Switching” in the right pane.

4) In the properties dialog box, select Enable and click OK to hide or disable Switch User function; otherwise select Disable and click OK.

After making change to this policy entry, you should notice the Registry key value of HideFastUserSwitching changed accordingly.

If “Not Configured” option is selected, the HideFastUserSwitching Registry key will be missing from Windows Registry. For my test case on Vista SP2, setting this policy to “not configured” is actually enabling Switch User function by default.

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