How to remove the Login Window entry from the OS X Lion Menu Bar

This tutorial will guide you through the steps required to remove the “Login Window” (which is know as Fast User Switching) entry from your OS X Lion Menu Bar. As illustrated in the image below, access to Fast User Switching is set to “your name” by default. This can take up quite a bit of space in your Menu Bar.

os x fast user switching menu bar icon

Background: One of the features of OS X is fast user switching. This allows you to sign in to your Mac using a different account (while you’re already signed in as another user) and quickly switch between both accounts.

Even if you’ve disabled this feature previously (in OS X Snow Leopard or earlier) – OS X Lion (10.7) re-enables it.

If you don’t use this feature very often, removing it (or editing it) can free up quite a bit of “space” in your Menu Bar. Here are the steps to do just that –

  1. As illustrated in the image below – having Fast User Switching in your Menu Bar, especially when it’s set to ‘your name’ – can take up a lot of space.
  2. To remove it from your Menu Bar (or at least make it smaller) – click it, and then select Users & Groups Preferences… from the drop-down menu.
  3. Select your account from the left menu, and then click the “Lock” icon in the bottom left corner so that you can make changes.

  4. click to enlarge

  5. Enter your password when prompted.
  6. Click the Login Options tab from the left menu.
  7. To completely remove the Fast User Switching entry from your OS X Menu Bar, remove the check mark in the box next to the Show fast user switching menu as option.
  8. Now the “Login Window” / Fast User Switching / “Your Name” entry will be completely gone from your Menu Bar.
  9. If you would like to keep the Fast User Switching feature in your Menu Bar, but not have it take up quite so much space, place a check in the box next to the option labelled Show fast user switching menu as to make sure it’s enabled, and then select Icon from the pull-down menu.
  10. Now you can use the much smaller icon to access Fast User Switching from the Menu Bar.

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5 thoughts on “How to remove the Login Window entry from the OS X Lion Menu Bar”

  1. I am very unhappy with OSX Lion and would love to have it removed but don’t know how. I wish to return to Snow Leopard where it’s much easier and don’t get so many issues like you do when trying to use Safari on OSX Lion!! Apple are picking up the attitude Microsoft had which was to launch products before they iron out all the bugs. Are they under pressure to sell more in order to deliver share holder value or what?

  2. This is one reason that I choose a 2-letter User ID, just my initials, then you don’t really need to worry about using so much space on your menu bar for this kind of thing.

  3. If you want it gone, the easiest way to remove it is to hold the command key and drag it out of the menu bar. You can do this with any of Apple’s menu bar items except Spotlight.

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