The multi-user feature in macOS allows you to share one computer with multiple people, but switching users can be a slow process. Here’s how to speed it up by adding Fast User Switching to the menu bar and Control Center.
Enable Fast User Switching in the Menu Bar and Control Center
In macOS Big Sur, you can add a multi-user switch control to the Control Center or directly to the menu bar. It allows you to switch between users with just a few clicks.
You can set this through System Preferences. Click on the Apple icon in the top left corner of the screen and select ̵
In System Preferences, click on “Dock & Menu Bar”.
In the left sidebar, scroll down and choose ‘Quick user switch’. Click the check mark next to “Show in Menu Bar” or “Show in Control Center” to enable the respective features.
You can now click the red “Close” button in the top-left corner of the window to safely exit System Preferences.
To use the feature you just turned on, click the Quick User Switching menu bar icon (which looks like a person’s outline in a circle) in the top-right corner of your screen. You will see all available users. Select a user to switch to them.
If the user account is not password protected, macOS will switch to it immediately. If so, you’ll need to enter the password or use Touch ID to sign in.
To quickly switch users from Control Center, click the Control Center icon (which looks like two toggle switches) in the top right corner of the screen next to the time and date.
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You can find the Fast User Switching control at the bottom of the Control Center. Simply click on the control to see all available user accounts.
If you don’t want the Quick User Switching feature in the menu bar, you can simply drag it out of the menu bar while holding the Command key to get rid of it.
You can also go to System Preferences > Dock & Menu Bar > Fast User Switching to disable the “Show in Menu Bar” and “Show in Control Center” features separately.
Customize Fast User Switching
There is something more about the Fast User Switching feature that allows you to customize how the feature looks in the menu bar. By default, you’ll only see a simple icon, but you can change it to show the user’s name or profile.
To do this, open System Preferences and click on “Users & Groups”.
In the lower-left corner of the window, click the lock icon so you can make changes.
Verify with your password and click the “Unlock” button.
Go to the “Sign-in options” section in the sidebar and in the “Show quick user menu as” option, choose “Full name” or “Account name.”
The Quick User Switching icon in the menu bar is updated with the option you selected.
When you’re done configuring it the way you want, click the red Close button to close the System Preferences app.
Now that you have a multi-user setup, get into the habit of logging out of your Mac every time you’re away. But don’t worry, that’s not as annoying as it sounds. In fact, the Mac offers eight different ways (ranging from keyboard shortcuts to gestures) to help you log out safely and quickly!
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