In Windows 7 you can 'Switch User' to anyone who's been configured locally on the machine.

Can this be extended to allow someone to switch to a user defined in Active Directory (the same directory for everybody, if that makes a difference)?

3 Answers 3


from Running Windows 7 in Groups and Domains :

Windows 7 supports fast user switching in domain, homegroup, and workgroup configurations. When a user is logged on to a computer running Windows 7, you can use fast user switching to allow another user to log on without requiring the current user to log off.

To switch users, press Ctrl+Alt+Del, and then click the Switch User button. In a workgroup, the Log On screen is displayed as at startup. In a domain, a screen appears with the message "Press Ctrl+Alt+Del To Log On," and you must press Ctrl+Alt+Del again to display the Log On screen.

Just remember to to type the machine name when changing to the local login from domain.


Yes, you can and it's a new ability to Windows 7 as, IIRC, the Fast User Switching gets disabled when using domains in previous versions (I cannot remember about Vista, but I think at least the Welcome Screen got disabled).

However, I have been doing the same thing for years, even with XP, by using Direct User Switching Task, which makes switching between users as quick and easy as switching between application with ALT+TAB.


If your Windows desktop is added to the domain, then yes you can switch to any user you have created in your existing domain defined in AD.

I have tested this out (and currently use this network) with Windows Server 2008 servers and Windows 7 desktops.


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