In previous versions of Windows, when you went to log out or shut down the computer there was an option to switch users. Switching users allowed you to sign out, but keep your user session running, with all your programs and apps. It could let you sign in as another user to perform actions on their account, all while never really being signed out of your account. This could be useful if you needed to access some documents in another user’s documents folder but didn’t have the permissions required to access them.
Unfortunately, in Windows 10 the option to switch users isn’t available in the same place. In fact, it’s difficult to just sign out. The shutdown options, only let you sleep, restart, or shut down. You may also be able to hibernate if you haven’t disabled that option.
You can sign out of your session. To do so right-click on the Windows icon or press Windows key+X, then move your mouse over “Shut down or sign out” and click “Sign out” from the extra options. Unfortunatly this closes your session, forcing you to reopen all the documents and apps you were using when you sign back in – likely not ideal.
There is however a keyboard shortcut you can use that will let you switch users like you could in previous versions of Windows. Try pressing Windows key+L. It’s intended to “Lock” the screen, hence the “L”. However, when you are on the password entry screen, you can choose to sign in as another user instead. All available accounts are shown in the bottom left corner of the monitor. Select which account you want to use and type their password to sign in.
Once you’ve done what you need to with the second account, you can either sign out completely or lock the screen again to leave them logged in.