I recently set up the first Vista laptop for our domain, and discovered that there is no longer a domain dropdown box. Main application is switching between domain and local computer accounts. Since the syntax of a full domain logon name is minor trivia to a user, is there a way put back the domain select, or at least have multiple users shown on the "Switch User" screen?


There's no way (that I'm aware of...) to show a list of available domains; howewer, Vista will by default logon to the domain the computer is joined to, if the user name you type is not the name of a local user account; so in most cases you don't need to type the domain name.

The most notable exception is, of course, the Administrator account, which always exists both int the local system and in the domain; if you only type "Administrator", Vista will do a local logon, so you need to explicitly type "DOMAIN\Administrator" if you want to log on as the domain Administrator. But if you type "username" and there's no local user called "username", Vista will logon to the domain.

Of ourse, if you have multiple domains, things tend to get a little tricky... I personally hate Vista's logon screen; but Microsoft seems to like it a lot :(


Nope, I tried for ages and even went through a support request at Microsoft.

The feature no longer exists and you have to type Domain\username.

By default, Windows will try and go to the default domain it is joined to - unless the user exists locally.


Using the UPN format might be more logical for the end-users, ie instead of domain\user or domain.com\user - use user@domain.com.

May one ask why local user accounts are used at all?

  • In this case, the laptop is owned by the employee. I've also used a higher-privilege account on the local machine to enable people to install software while having some coverage from malware, but this is mainly on XP. – Justin Love Sep 28 '09 at 21:17
  • Well for installing software on an XP machine with a local admin account, you could always teach them to just "run as..." instead of logging out and in again. – Oskar Duveborn Sep 28 '09 at 21:54

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