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Switch Windows users with a simple keyboard shortcut

Despite my original claims to the contrary, there is, in fact, a shortcut for this handy function. And it works in Windows 8, too.

Earlier this year I wrote about a handy freeware utility called Fast User Switch.

True to its name, the tool immediately takes you to the user-selection screen, thus saving you from the standard user-switching process of clicking Start, then the arrow next to Shut Down, and then Switch user.

At the time I bemoaned the lack of a keyboard shortcut for this option, but it turns out there is one--sort of.

As reader Noah and a few others pointed out, you can accomplish much the same thing by pressing Windows-L (i.e. hold down the Windows key and tap L). That actually takes you to the Lock screen, where you can then click Switch Users. (This works in Windows 8 as well.)

So it's not quite as straightforward as Fast User Switch, but it does get you to the same place--and save you a click or two along the way.

Alternately, you can press Ctrl-Alt-Del, then click Switch User. Can't believe I forgot that one. 

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at [email protected], or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community Forums. Sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.

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