Many users have reported seeing the message “Someone is still using this PC” on their Windows 10 computer. This problem can be extremely frustrating because the message appears when you try to shut down or reboot your computer. This error also means that your work on another account will be lost if it is not registered.
As a result, some users who have experienced this error have ended up not rebooting or shutting down their PC for months. This causes your PC to slow down overall and causes you even more stress. As we understand what it’s like to be stuck in this vicious cycle, and also know how important it is for you to have access to your files, we’ll look at a quick solution in today’s article.
Since the specific cause of this error message can vary, we’ve listed the best diagnostic methods that could help users who find themselves in the same situation.
What is the cause of the “This PC is being used by someone else” error message?
We investigated this particular problem by reviewing various user reports and trying different recovery strategies that other affected users have recommended for this particular problem. It turns out that several different scripts are triggering this particular pop-up. Here is a shortlist of possible culprits that may be responsible for the “This PC is always being used by someone else” error:
The problem is caused by a connectivity option – It turns out that this particular problem is usually caused by a change in the Connectivity Options menu that forces the device to use credentials to automatically complete the device configuration and reopen applications. If this scenario applies, you can solve the problem by unchecking the connectivity option.
The previous user is still logged in – Another possibility is that the previous user who was using this PC did not complete the logout procedure. This could be due to an interruption of the machine or the user’s settings.
To solve this problem in this case, you need to use the task manager to log out the previous user.
Windows updates are installed in the background – If you see a problem in Windows 10, chances are that your operating system mistakenly thinks that another user is logged in, when in fact WU (a Windows component) is installing one or more updates in the background. In this case, you can avoid the error message by stopping the installation of updates first.
If you are currently experiencing the same error message, check out this article for troubleshooting steps. Below you will find a set of repair strategies that have already been proven successful by several users experiencing the same issues.
For best results, we recommend that you follow the possible solutions in the order in which we have arranged them, as we have categorized the methods according to their effectiveness and complexity. Finally, you should come across a method that solves the problem regardless of the cause.
What to do if ‘someone else is using this computer’.
Change the connection settings
The “Someone else is using this PC” error usually occurs after you change your connection settings, which is one of the most common causes of this error. You can change your privacy settings to solve this problem.
- Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog box. Type ms-settings: sign-in options and click OK to open Connection Settings.
- Under Privacy, uncheck Use my credentials to automatically complete the device configuration and reopen applications after an update or reboot.
- Reboot your computer to see if the error is corrected.
Logging out of a previous user
This problem can also occur because the previous user was not fully logged out. To fix the error in this case, you can log out the user who is preventing the shutdown or restart from completing, using the Task Manager.
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Task Manager.
- Select the Users tab, right-click the user that is no longer logged in, and select Logout.
- Repeat the action that previously caused the “This PC is still being used by another user” error to see if the error has now been resolved.
Stop installing pending updates for Windows 10.
If you encounter this problem with Windows 10, there is another known bug that can cause this problem. If you reboot or shut down your computer while Windows updates are loading in the background, the operating system may mistakenly assume that another user is connected to your computer.
To fix this error, you can go to the Windows Update screen and install any pending updates.
- Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box. Type ms-settings: windows update and click OK to open the Windows Update screen.
- Check to see if Windows Update is downloading. If the update is running, follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation.
- After installing Windows Update, repeat the previous action that caused the “This PC is still being used by another user” error to see if the problem is resolved.
Frequently Asked Questions
The problem is caused by a login option - It turns out that this particular problem is usually caused by a change in the login options menu that causes the computer to use credentials to automatically log out of the device configuration and reopen applications.
The easiest way is to use Windows Event Viewer, a built-in program that records your PC's activity. If it's been turned off or running in slow motion, there won't be much to see, but if someone else has been using it, you'll see the traces they have left.
To access the Windows event viewer, press the "Win + R" key combination and type eventvwr. msc in the Run dialog box. Pressing Enter will open the event viewer. Here, double-click Windows Logs, and then click Security. In the center pane, you'll see several log entries with the date and time stamps.
- Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager.
- Select the "Users" tab.
- This will display information about the users who are logged in to your computer.
Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog, techquack.com, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.