Computer Tip: Bring back multi-user login in Windows 8
June 9, 2013 Leave a comment
In one of the goofs that are strictly associated with Windows 8 – that did not occur in previous recent versions of Windows – someone at Microsoft decided to make a change on how people log into their computer.
In Windows 7, you were able to see anyone who have previously logged in, see their account at the login screen. So if you had a family computer that you share with a spouse and your kid[s], you would see the login screen with each account visible.
In Windows 8, that option is gone. All you see is the last person who logged in. Nice if no one touches your computer. Not as convenient for a family. Now to see the other accounts, you need to click on the left arrow next to your login screen mugshot.
How can you show all accounts permanently on the screen?
Well, you would think there is some type of registry fix. Well yes. But here’s the kicker. Right after you log in, it reverts back to the default setting [i.e. just one account visible]. Seems that Windows 8 considers the key [or at least that setting] to be a system setting and even though you are allowed to change it, the operating system automatically reverts back to the default value as soon as you log in. [Groundhog day, Windows style!]
So how do you force all accounts to be visible?
How about the task scheduler. You create a task that after someone logs into the computer it will run a batch file [or if you are creative, PowerShell or any other script language that Windows accepts] that will be executed. Note that you have to give the option to Run with highest privileges and supply credentials to do so. Without that option, the registry won’t be changed.
You also need to check the box for Run whether user is logged on or not option as if you don’t, the registry fix will work only for the person you supplied credentials for. And again, it should be when the user logs in and for any user.
As for what to change, here is “Reg” version of what to change.
REG ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows|CurrentVersion|Authentication\LogonUI\UserSwitch /v Enabled /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
As usual, you may want to test this out first. Once gain, use at your own risk.