I am trying to setup a computer to be shared between my 2 daughters who are just turning 5. I want to let them each have their own account, and I want to make it easy for them to switch between them. My idea was to have an 'always on top' set of icons on the left side of the screen that they could click on to switch to their user account. Any ideas?


Why not just use the built-in user switching? If you want to create a shortcut to switch users, you can make a shortcut on the desktop to tsdiscon. Running this shortcut will disconnect the current user session, then they can click on their username on the login screen to access their account.

  • This is closest to what I want. It is easy enough for me to write an always on top app which executes tsdiscon when clicked, and then from there, they click on their icon. Saves 2 steps (winkey+l, click switch user). thanks!
    – Raymond
    Feb 12 '11 at 5:17

I use Direct User Switching Task to switch between domain accounts. You can use either the system tray icon or a keyboard shortcut to switch between accounts in a similar way to switching between apps with ALT+TAB.

This may be a bit too fiddly for five year olds, but I thought I would mention it for the benefit of other readers. It would also be quite trivial to automate its use using AutoIt.

It's not free, but worth getting if you switch between accounts a lot.

  • dang, that is pretty close to what i want, only i want icons instead of hotkeys. would be interested to know how they accomplished that.
    – Raymond
    Feb 12 '11 at 5:02
  • @Raymond: Just try automating its use with AutoIt then. Your daughters would just need to double click on the script file to switch.
    – paradroid
    Feb 12 '11 at 5:03

If you know AutoIt you could use that to build a GUI program that when runs issues the command shutdown /l which logs off the user, and then you can make the program in the taskbar. Hope that helps.

  • +1 for the first time I have seen AutoIT suggested instead of horrible AutoHotKey.
    – paradroid
    Feb 12 '11 at 4:51
  • @paradroid I have never ever and will nerver use hotkey unless it is to save my life.
    – Benny
    Feb 12 '11 at 4:52

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