Fast User Switching with Butler

By Dan Hinckley

2 responses. »

One of our first articles at Maciverse.com discussed the unfortunate nature of OSX lack for a keyboard shortcut for Fast User Switching. To solve the problem, Aaron provided us with an application that would allow us to enter in the name of the user we’d like to switch to and showed that using Spotlight could act as a keyboard shortcut for the app.

Recently, we discovered a new keyboard shortcut approach with the help of Butler. Butler is an application for OSX that’s main purpose is to make it easy to perform easy and different tasks.

One task it is great at is allowing you to create keyboard shortcuts for things you do often, including Fast User Switching. To create a Fast User Switching keyboard shortcut be sure to download and install Butler and follow these steps:

  1. Enable Fast User Switching under Accounts >> Login Options in System Preferences.
  2. Open Butler from the Menu Bar Shortcut, Select Butler, and then Preferences
  3. FinderScreenSnapz001.png
  4. After The Butler:Preferences has opened, select Configuration
  5. Butler_ Preferences.png
  6. On the Configuration Tab under Menu Bar (Natural) Select This Mac and then click the Plus button at the bottom of the window
  7. ButlerScreenSnapz001.png
  8. Select Smart Item and the Fast User Switching – This will add Fast User Switching to the This Mac drop down and will allow us to create a Keyboard Shortcut for it.
  9. ButlerScreenSnapz002.png
  10. Select the Fast User Switching Parent and then click Triggers – Enter the keyboard shortcut you’d like to apply for Fast User Switching (I recommend control+alt+S or control+alt+U). Select how you like the shortcut to perform in the drop down below Hot Key (I recommend Opens a menu near the mouse).
  11. Butler_ Configuration.png
  12. Try it out, After you’ve applied the steps above you should be able to press the Keyboard Shortcut you created and the Fast User Switching Window should appear near your mouse. Select the user you’d like to switch to and OSX will open the user’s desktop
  13. sub-1.png
  14. Apply these same steps for all users and use the same keyboard shortcut to add the feature for every user that has an account on the system

If you find that you use this shortcut often, be sure to add Butler to your list off applications that launches on Boot by selecting System Preferences >> Accounts >> Login Items >> and add it to the list.

Stay tuned by subscribing the Maciverse RSS feed for additional tips on getting things done with the help of Butler.

About Dan Hinckley
Dan Hinckley is an experienced Mac user who converted to Apple products when they introduced them on Intel Processors. He loves helping others get more out of their devices! Subscribe to Maciverse.com to get the latest from Dan and the Maciverse Team!! Find out more about Dan:

2 Responses so far.

  1. Fast User Switching and Keyboard Shortcuts

    December 21, 2008 at 6:49 am

    [...] Fast User Switching with Butler [...]

  2. Enhancing your OS X — Part 2 | Atomic Spin

    May 27, 2011 at 6:26 am

    [...] allows me to bind a keyboard shortcut to the login window. You can follow the instruction on this page, and create a keyboard shortcut to bring up the login window. Once the login window is shown, you [...]

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