Having just read about the windows 8.1 Kiosk feature, I decided to experiment with it a little.

As an administrator, you are able to limit any users access to just one application which will automatically launch upon login.

There are many potentially uses for this - parental controls, employees and other sales environments, to name just a couple.

So, I decided to set up a test account and access the "Kiosk".

  • Kiosk got renamed - it is now called Assigned Access and it can be found by going to - Charm Bar -> Settings -> Accounts -> Other accounts -> "Set up an account for assigned access"
  • I set up a test user and assigned IE as the app. Rebooted the computer. Chose the test user and logged in.
  • Immediately, IE opens up (no start menu or anything) and initial thoughts were "Could be useful - let's log back out"

WINDOWS KEY + C - no effect.

WINDOWS KEY + Q - no effect.



CTRL+ALT+DEL - no effect.

Force power off and reboot machine - windows 8.1 remembers that this user was logged in last time so logs me back in to same account.

Try and google answer but only remembering the word kiosk - a million result which give no insight at all.

Narrow down results and find that answer is hitting WINDOWS KEY five times. Guess what? didn't work.


First, the answer - which I found by shear luck - was holding down the SHIFT key and tapping the WINDOWS KEY five times. This reboots the machine and you can switch users.

I have written this to give other users a precautionary warning and two pointers before you start experimenting:

  1. Put a password on the test account as it should give you a chance of switching users.
  2. The reboot does NOT log out this test user immediately! Mine is still logged in as I type. (hitting Remove gives this info - THIS PERSON NEEDS TO BE SIGNED OUT BEFORE YOU CAN DELETE ACCOUNT. RESTART MACHINE TO DO IT AUTOMATICALLY - I am confident this will be fine...)

I hope this will be of help to you should you experiment with this feature - I sure could have done with this answer when I was doing it myself.


  • On a Panasonic Toughbook, you sometimes have to hold the A1 button as well as tap the windows button 5 times. – Jeremy Warne Aug 12 '15 at 2:28

For a tablet - Surface 3, touch the windows icon on the tablet and keeping the finger on it, click the power button.

You would be navigated to user switch screen with list of users in Win 10. Select your admin account.

Haven't checked for Win 8/8.1, but above should work.

  • What does Windows 10 or Surface 3 Pro have to do with the author's question? – Ramhound Oct 21 '15 at 13:05
  • Kiosk mode or Assigned access can be set up on Windows 10 which can be on a tablet too with only touch option – Anant Oct 21 '15 at 13:14
  • If you have not even verified this works on Windows 8.1 it does not really help the author who is using Windows 8.1. – Ramhound Oct 21 '15 at 13:21

In my situation, I could not use the "5 windows key" solution with or without the shift key.

So I created another account in Windows 8.1 with administrator privileges, used ctrl-alt-del to bring up the option to switch users, and then in the new user account used the recover option to restart with a clean windows installation.

I went to this extreme because there were a number of issues besides the kiosk account – the volume indicator wouldn't disappear from the upper left corner, the start menu icon wouldn't appear in the lower right or left corners when I moved the cursor to the corners, and some control panel functions wouldn't work.

The computer is an Office Depot floor model HP Pavilion x360, and now that I've restored the system, it works just fine.


Instead of logging out. You could just close the application. This is equivalent to starting a new session. Now the challenge is how to close the app. A solution is to use a keyboard shortcut desktop program that starts at startup. I use autohotkey to close the app by hitting esc twice. I think u can use it to logout as well

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