How to Quickly Switch User Accounts Using the Mac Menu Bar

Nancy Messieh 13-02-2018

If you have a shared family Mac computer, switching between accounts can be a quick process if you use the fast user switching feature that comes with all Mac computers. This is one those everyday tasks you can make easier on your Mac.


The fast user switching feature is disabled by default if you haven’t already created multiple user accounts to log in to the computer. If you have more than one user profile created, it should already be turned on.

How to Enable Fast User Switching on Mac

If you’ve turned it off or if you don’t see the option to switch profiles in the menu bar, turning the feature on is an easy four-step process:

  1. Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Options.
  2. Click the lock icon in the bottom right corner so you can change your settings. You’ll be prompted to enter your user password.
  3. Turn this setting on, by checking the box: Show fast user switching menu as.
  4. You can choose one of three options on how this will be displayed in the menu bar: Full Name, Account Name, or Icon.

How to Quickly Switch User Accounts Using the Mac Menu Bar Mac Switch User 1 e1518210976981

Once enabled, you should see the option in your menu bar. When you click on it, you can quickly switch between the various accounts added to your computer.

How to Quickly Switch User Accounts Using the Mac Menu Bar Mac Switch User


Even if you just one user account and the Guest profile enabled, you should now be able to easily switch between the two different profiles. When you click on the other profile name, you will be prompted to enter your password. If the account doesn’t have a password, your computer will instantly switch profiles.

If you don’t turn this feature on, switching profiles will require you to first log out of your profile to bring you back to the Mac login screen.

Fast user switching comes in quite handy when you want to run multiple copies of an app on your Mac 5 Ways to Run Multiple Copies of an App on Your Mac Running multiple instances of an app on your Mac lets you work with multiple accounts at once. Here's how to set it up. Read More .

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