I recently upgraded to Windows 8 from Windows 7. One major annoyance is how slow the "switch user" command is.

In Windows 7 switching users was fairly fast.

Under Windows 8, it takes 7 seconds from clicking "Switch user" until the user selection screen comes up. This is compared to ~1 second for Windows 7.

I've got an SSD drive with pretty good hardware, so I'm suspecting it's something with Windows 8, either a defect, or the fact that I upgraded from Windows 7 instead of doing a clean install.

My wife is complaining enough about Windows 8 and this is one of the biggest complaints. Does anyone have a solution to this problem?

  • Have you tried going directly to Windows 8. This honestly seems like a problem with your specific hardware then Windows 8 in general. – Ramhound Sep 20 '12 at 15:17
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    How slow is slow? Are we talking about several minutes here? First step should be to get a better idea of what's going on. I'd start with capturing a Process Monitor log and checking for obvious delays. – Der Hochstapler Sep 20 '12 at 15:30
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    I know this question is pretty old now, but I'm also experiencing this. Very annoying switching between accounts. – Brazzle Oct 14 '12 at 18:51
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    Yep, I have this issue too. I did a clean install of Windows 8 instead of an upgrade. When I click the "Switch user" -button, everything just freezes for 5-8 seconds before the login view is shown. – Mikael Koskinen Oct 24 '12 at 15:52
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    Sadly this question is still unanswered, none of the suggestions bring the speed anywhere close to Windows 7 / Vista fast user switching, and I have a fairly speedy computer. – Christopher Galpin Jun 5 '13 at 18:02

Disable Lock Screen in Windows 8

  1. Run gpedit.msc
  2. Navigate to:

    Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Control Panel –> Personalization

  3. Double-click Do not display the lock screen.
  4. Click Enabled.
  5. Click OK.
  6. This should fasten the speed to switch user.
  • To complete the answer, as far as I know the Core version of Windows 8 doesn't ship the policies editor. In that case users can accomplish the same by editing the registry. The corresponding entry is a DWORD named NoLockScreen under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization (if that key doesn't exist you can create it). A value of 1 would disable the lock screen. 0, or deleting it would enable it again ;). – Xandy Nov 1 '12 at 0:25
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    Setting this option had no effect for me. Still takes 7-8 seconds after clicking the 'back' button on the logon screen. – Grant Holliday Mar 9 '13 at 0:34

I did a clean install of Windows 8.1 on my pc (using the exact same hardware configuration). This time, user switching is fast.

So the possible culprits are:

  • Windows 7 to 8 update
  • Windows 8
  • Unicorns?

I'm not sure, but I no longer have the issue.


Are you login to Windows 8 using a Microsoft account? If yes, what might happen is that when you are switching account, you are being logout to your online Microsoft account and this is being slow because you have an slow internet connection.

One solution would be to switch to 'local' user account. Here's what you should do :

  1. Go to Settings > PC Settings
  2. Click on Users and click on Switch to a Local account.
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    Setting this option had no effect for me. Still takes 7-8 seconds after clicking the 'back' button on the logon screen. And I have a very fast Internet connection and PC. – Grant Holliday Mar 9 '13 at 0:34
  1. Use a pin instead of a full password for each user.
  2. Use Fast user-switching, guide
  3. Use the user menu from the start screen.
  4. Use an SSD.
  5. Make sure you have cleaned all excess temporary files, optimized/defragged your drives, and cleaned up all system update files and older system restore points, if there are any.

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