Other People Are Logged Onto This Computer? But I'm The Only One Here!

Dave writes:

From time to time I get this message when I shut off my computer:

“Other people are logged on to this computer. Shutting down may cause them to lose data. Do you want to continue?”

I always say yes, as I am the only one who uses my computer. My wife has her own, we have no kids, and no pets. So no one else ever uses my computer in this house. Is someone accessing and using my computer despite my security measures?


Windows XP has a feature that allows every member of the family to have their own virtual system through the use of User Profiles (Mom, Dad, Kids, Pets, etc.)

This allows everyone to keep their files and preferences separate and use a feature called Fast-User Switching to easily switch to another user.

Depending upon how your computer is set up for startup, you may be presented with a Welcome screen that wants you to choose a profile in order to proceed.

If you only have one profile, your system will either ask for a password for that profile or just open up the Windows Desktop if there is no password.

The idea behind Fast-User Switching (Start / Log Off / Switch User) is that once you open a profile, you can switch to another profile without losing everything that is open in the original profile. When you switch back, all of your open files and program will be in the same place.

This eliminates the need to save all your files and close all your programs in order for someone else to use their Profile.

There are a number of possibilities that could be causing the warning in your case including:

  1. If you try to shut down Windows while another profile is still open

  2. If you are on a home or business network and others are accessing your files
  3. If you have a wireless network that is not secure and a neighbor or drive-by hacker is connected to your system

Based on your description, it does not sound like another profile would be open, so we can likely eliminate that possibility.

If your wife’s computer can connect to yours, that may be the cause of the error. Try shutting her computer down first, then shut yours down to see if the warning goes away. If you don’t need to share files or printers with anyone else on your network, you can disable this option to play it safe.

Open Control Panel / Network Connections, then double click on your Local Area Connection and then click the properties button. Remove the checkmark from the box in front of File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks. If you have a wireless network and have not activated the encryption, I would highly recommend that you do (usually referred to as WEP or WAP).

If, after all of these steps, you are still getting the warning, you have likely installed a program or utility that is opening system files that are not associated to your Profile, so you won’t have to worry.

[tags]security,data doctors,ken colburn,other people are logged on to this computer,network safety[/tags]

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  • Miriam Moorman

    The “other people are logged onto this computer…” response was not a good answer to my problem. I am in a similar situation. I get the message even though I am definitely a lone user on this computer. The suggestion to go to Control Panel/ Network Connections and then double click on Local Area Network, doesn’t work because I don’t have a choice that says Network Connections. If I click around on the choices I do have, I can find a button that says Local Area Connections but it doesn’t have a “properties” button where I can turn off file sharing. I couldn’t find anything else like it so I cannot try the solution. Can anyone help?

  • Bob

    It could be an XBOX 360 Media Centre Extender – check the “Users” tab in Task Manager – the Mcx1 user was the culprit for me.

  • http://yahoo.com Exie Thomas Bridges

    I AM A 59 YEAR OLD LADY i GOT THIS FOR ME pLEASE HELP ME TO KEEP OTHER PEOPLE OFF MY COMPUTER. i HAVE THIS ONE FOR MY SELF AND SCHOOL.

  • vinay

    someone has logged onto your computer using remote desktop. that is what causing the problem.

  • sam

    I log my computer off then go to bed, wake up in the morning and find the message! are you sure you want to log off etc

    Yes i am sure! so what if somone else is logged on! You would expect the computer after say 5 mins to think, he hasn’t got back to me so ile shut down anyway!

  • Maxwell Evans

    Why not just create a playlist with all the songs you want on your iPod then sync that playlist? Then you could just delete and add songs to the playlist to change the songs on the iPod. That’s what I do. I keep it less complicated.

  • Maxwell Evans

    Why not just create a playlist with all the songs you want on your iPod then sync that playlist? Then you could just delete and add songs to the playlist to change the songs on the iPod. That’s what I do. I keep it less complicated.

  • Swapnildinkar

    how to delete te songs without connecting d pod to the computer .. ?? Thats something that would have had been new . This is not something you expect from a geeks blog .. !! :) :(