Visual Studio 2013 Perform a Switch User Operation

Recently I was trying to activate a Visual Studio 2013 installation that had been installed on a machine for a different user. When entering the new user’s credentials, I got an error message directing me to “perform a switch user operation.” Of course, switching users can mean different things to different people. Did they mean the old pre-Windows 8 “switch user” feature accessed from the Start Menu? Of course not, this is Windows 10-era software so they would’ve said “perform a sign out operation” if they truly wanted me to sign out of Windows 10 and sign back in using a different users’ credentials.

Perhaps the error message was directing me to sign out of the Visual Studio app and sign back in. So I signed the old user out of Visual Studio 2013, then signed the new user back in. Same error message. So I went to the Googleverse and found this solution from Scott Klueppel/Offroad Coder and Derek@stackoverflow:

  1. Close Visual Studio.
  2. Open the Developer Command Prompt. On this user’s machine the shortcut was here: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\Tools\Shortcuts\VS2013 x64 Native Tools Command Prompt
  3. Type devenv /resetuserdata into the command line. Be patient because it takes about 10 seconds to complete.
  4. Open Visual Studio 2013 and it should present you with the sign-in dialog you ordinarily see on a fresh install.

Another issue I ran into was this user’s license hadn’t been assigned yet, or perhaps the user hadn’t activated it yet. I could see this because under Account Settings it showed Visual Studio Professional Trial Subscription. To resolve this, I had the main account user re-send the account activation email. To do this, the main user had to sign in to, the scroll down to the bottom left of the screen and look for “Manage Visual Studio”. The user had to sign in again, choose the correct Directory, and was then presented with the Visual Studio | Manage dashboard. From there, the primary user was able to click Resend and the delegate user received their benefit activation email.