While shutting down or restarting your PC, you may see a warning message Someone else is still using this PC. Usually, this message appears when there is more than one user account created on a Windows computer and another user has switched his account instead of signing out. However, some users have reported that they received this message even when there is only one user account on their computer. In this case, this message seems suspicious as no other user is using the computer. In this article, we will discuss what the message Someone else is still using this PC means and how to fix this issue.
The complete error message is as follows:
Someone else is still using this PC. If you shut down now, they could lose unsaved work.
The purpose of displaying this message is to alert the user about unsaved work. If the user has unsaved work, he/she can log into his/her account to save the unsaved work before shutting down the system. This will protect users’ data from being lost.
Someone else is still using this PC
You may wonder, “Windows tells me Someone else is still using this PC, but no one is; So what does this mean & what should I do?” Below, we have explained some suggestions to fix this issue on Windows PC. But before we proceed, let’s see some possible causes of this error message.
When another user has not signed out
On a Windows PC, you can create more than one user account. By creating multiple user accounts, different users can use the same computer. They just have to sign in to their user account. When a user signs in to his account, Windows OS considers him as an active user until he signs out of his account. Let’s understand this with an example. Two users, User A and User B are using the same computer. User A has switched his account so that User B can start his work. Now, when User B shuts down the computer, Windows will prompt this message because the first user has not signed out of this account. Instead, he used the Switch User option.
Windows Updates are getting installed in the background
You may also see this message when Windows updates are getting installed in the background. In this case, you can wait till the update process gets completed.
Now, let’s see the ways to fix this issue.
- Check if another user is active or not
- Change sign-in options
- Check if a Windows Update is getting installed in the background
- Run antivirus or antimalware scans
- Troubleshoot in a Clean Boot state
- Remove the user account
Below, we have explained all these fixes in detail.
1] Check if another user is active or not
When more than one user is active on the same computer, you can view all of them in the Task Manager. The following steps will help you with that:
- Open the Task Manager.
- Go to the Users tab.
There, you will see all active users. Now, you can contact another user to confirm whether he/she has unsaved work or not. If not, you can sign out of his account from the Task Manager (if you are logged in to your system with an administrative account). If you are signed in to a Local account, you will not be able to sign out other users from the Task Manager. In this case, you have to tell that user to log in to his/her account and then sign out after saving the pending work to prevent data loss.
You may see the Disconnected in the Status of the other user account in the Task Manager. But still, Windows will show you the “Someone else is still using this PC” so that the other user can save the unsaved work by signing in to his account.
To sign out of other user accounts via the Task Manager, right-click on that user account and select Sign off. You may also see the Sign out option in place of Sign off.
2] Change sign-in options
Another common cause of this issue is the sign-in options setting in Windows 11/10. Some affected users were able to resolve the issue by changing the sign-in options in Windows 11/10 Accounts setting. This may also work for you. Follow the steps listed below:
- Open Windows 11/10 Settings.
- Go to “Accounts > Sign-in Options.”
- Under the Additional settings section, turn off the “Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting up after update” option.
3] Check if a Windows Update is getting installed in the background
You may also see this warning message while shutting down or signing off your system if a Windows Update is getting installed in the background. To check this, open Windows 11/10 Settings and go to the Windows Update page. If the update is getting installed, let Windows finish the installation. After that, you will be able to shut down your system.
4] Run antivirus or antimalware scan
If there is only one user account on your system and you see this warning message while shutting down your system, your system may be infected by viruses or malware. In this case, you should run antivirus and antimalware scans. You can use free antivirus software to scan your system.
5] Troubleshoot in a Clean Boot state
A Clean Boot is a state in which the computer starts only with Microsoft services. One possible cause of this warning message is the third-party apps or services running in the background. To check this, start your system in a Clean Boot state. To start your system in Clean Boot, you have to disable all third-party apps and services using MSConfig. Be careful, as you have to disable only the third-party services and not the Microsoft ones. If you disable all Services by mistake, you will get in trouble.
You have to restart your computer after disabling the third-party startup apps and services. Before doing this, make sure that you have not any unsaved work. When you are in the Clean Boot state, shut down or sign off your system and see if Windows displays the same warning message this time or not. If not, Windows was displaying the message because of third-party apps or services.
Now, you have to identify that app or service. For this, enable some of the startup apps and services and restart your computer. Shut down and see if the “Someone else is still using this PC” message appears this time. If yes, one of the third-party services or startup apps that you have just enabled is the culprit.
First, disable the startup apps one by one and see if this helps. If not, your next step is to disable the third-party services one by one and then check if the issue is fixed. In this way, you can identify the problematic third-party startup app and service. Once you identify it, uninstall the app and disable the service via the Services Manager.
6] Remove the user account
If you have created multiple user accounts but you are the only user, you can remove the user accounts that you do not use. This will fix the problem. The steps to remove a user account on Windows 11/10 are written below:
- Open the Run command box (Win + R).
- Type netplwiz and click OK.
- The User Accounts window will open.
- Select the user account that you want to remove and click Remove.
Hopefully, the above fixes will resolve your issue. However, if you are sure that you do not have unsaved work on your system and no other user is signed in on your system, you can ignore this warning message and shut down your computer. This will cause no data loss.
How do I get rid of a user on my PC?
You can get rid of a user on your PC by removing his/her user account. To do so, open the Control Panel and then go to “User Accounts > Remove Accounts.” Now, select the account that you want to remove from your system and then click Delete the account.
What does other user mean on Windows 11/10?
The user account from which you signed in to your system the last time is displayed on the login screen whenever you turn on your system. If you see the Other user on the login screen, it means that another user was signed in to your system the last time. Windows 11/10 also shows all the user accounts on the bottom left side of the login screen. You can select your user account and sign in to your system. Alternatively, press the Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys and select the Switch user option.
After signing in to your system, you can delete unnecessary user accounts from your system. The process to delete unwanted user accounts is already explained in this article. This should fix the issue.
How do I log off other users?
If other users are logged in to your system, Windows will prevent you from shutting down your system if they did not sign off their user accounts. In this case, you will see the “Someone else is still using this PC” warning message whenever you attempt to shut down or restart your system.
You can view all the active users in the Task Manager under the Users tab. To log off other users, go to the Users tab in the Task Manager, then right-click on the other user’s account, and select Sign off. You will receive the following confirmation message:
If you sign out a user, the user’s unsaved data might be lost.
Do you want to continue?
Click Sign out user. Do note that this action will delete the unsaved data of that user.
I hope this helps.