Ever wanted to quickly switch between users on your computer? You can enable Fast User Switching in Windows XP to swap between different accounts, even with your AOL service.

Fast User Switching allows you to stay signed on to the AOL service and switch users via the computer's operating system, allowing another AOL username to sign on to the AOL service. For example, if you have one Windows XP account and AOL username and a family member has a separate Windows XP account and AOL username on the same computer, this would allow both of you to stay connected and "toggle" back and forth between each account.

Note: You must have a computer administrator account on a computer that is a member of a workgroup or a stand-alone computer to enable or disable the Use Fast User Switching feature.

Enabling Fast User Switching

1. Click Start, then click Control Panel.

2. Click the User Accounts icon.

3. Click Change the way users log on or off.

4. Do one of the following:


  • To specify that a user's programs remain running when another user logs on to the computer, click the Use Fast User Switching box to place a check mark in it.
  • To specify that programs shut down when users log off the computer, uncheck the Use Fast User Switching check box. Programs will automatically shut down when you log off the computer, and the computer will run faster for the next user who logs on.




  • Fast User Switching is not available on computers that are part of a network domain.
  • Fast User Switching between sessions can leave any active sessions still connected and active when the current member is switched to another Windows session. You will be restricted from accessing the same Username in more than one Windows session.
  • When Fast User Switching is turned on, Serial Keys will not work. Serial Keys is an accessibility feature that allows the use of alternative input devices (such as single switch or puff-and-sip devices) in place of the computer's standard keyboard or mouse.
  • Fast User Switching cannot be turned off when more than one person is logged on to the computer.