How to Enable or Disable User Switching in Ubuntu Linux

This article explains the steps you can take to enable or disable the “Switch User” command on the system menu in Ubuntu Linux.

Ubuntu Linux is a multi-user operating system. Similar to Windows and other major operating systems, it supports fast user switching.

If you have more than one accounts set up on your Ubuntu Linux machine, you can use User Switching to switch between accounts without signing out of your account or closing your apps and files.

The “Switch User” command on the system menu will only show when you have multiple accounts. If a single account is created, this option will be hidden.

Here’s how to add or remove the “Switch User” command on the system menu on Ubuntu Linux.

Enable or disable the “Switch User” command on the system menu

As described above, in a multi-user operating system, users can switch accounts without first signing out or closing their apps.

On Ubuntu Linux, you can choose to show or hide the fast user-switching command on the system menu. Below is how to do that.

Enable or Disable fast switching using the command terminal console

As with many other Linux distributions, the majority of the system settings changes are done using the command terminal. Most Linux users should be somehow familiar with the command terminal.

First, open the Terminal app in Ubuntu Linux.

You can do that by pressing the Super key (or Windows key) to show the Overview screen. Then use the search box to search for ‘Terminal‘.

Select the Terminal app to launch.

Ubuntu Linux activities overview Terminal search
Ubuntu Linux activities overview Terminal search

Alternatively, press the keyboard shortcut (CTRL + ALT + T) on your keyboard to launch the Terminal app.

When the Terminal app opens, type the commands below to hide the “Switch User” command from the system menu.

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.lockdown disable-user-switching true

To reverse the change and display the “Switch User” command again, run the commands below.

gsettings reset org.gnome.desktop.lockdown disable-user-switching

Enable or Disable fast switching using the Dconf Editor

You can also use Dconf Editor to make common system changes if you can’t use the command Terminal app.

If you are familiar with Windows, then you know about Windows Registry Editor.

Ubuntu Linux doesn’t have a registry database to configure hidden system settings. Howerver, Ubuntu Linux uses the Dconf Editor tool to change low-level system configurations and settings.

You can call it a Ubuntu Linux Registry Editor because it provides similar functionality, but without a massive database that is in the Windows system.

To use Dconf Editor, you must first install it since it doesn’t come with Ubuntu Linux.

Read the post below to learn how to install software on Ubuntu Linux.

How to add or remove software on Ubuntu Linux

In the Ubuntu Software app, search for Dconf Editor to install.

ubuntu linux decon editor install
ubuntu Linux decon editor install

After installing and launching the Dconf Editor app, navigate to the path below:

org -> gnome -> desktop -> lockdown

Scroll down and locate the disable-user-switching settings and toggle the button to the On position to disable fast user switching.

To enable it, simply toggle the button back to the Off position.

ubuntu dconf editor for fast switching
ubuntu dconf editor for fast switching

Example of user switching on or off.

That should do it!


This post showed you how to disable fast user switching on Ubuntu Linux. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.