If you mainly use your Windows device at home or in another secure environment, you can allow it to automatically log in to your Administrator account. This helps you skip the system password for faster desktop access. An instant login is also useful if you have to frequently restart the computer, send it to a technician, or re-enter the system when it’s locked. Let’s explore the methods that easily enable and disable Windows automatic login.
Windows 10 Automatic Login
As a default, you’d need a system password to sign in to a Windows computer. It will always require you to set up this password when in its original factory-shipped condition. Other than that, there are several second layer sign-in options, such as dynamic lock, Windows Hello PIN, picture password, or a physical security key. To enable automatic login for a Windows 10 device means removing all these authentication steps including the system password.
Now why would you want to do that? Here are the top reasons to consider automatic login in Windows.
- Avoid typing user password/PIN: While it’s just a few keystrokes, frequently reentering the password/PIN can seem a waste of time. If you’re sure no one else has access to your device, then it’s faster to enable automatic login for Windows. Moreover, complicated passwords and PIN are easy to forget. If it happens to you, you should have the security questions handy, otherwise you’ll be locked out of your Windows device – and only a factory reset can get you back in. Not having to type your password/PIN reduces your likelihood of getting locked out of your own device.
- PC Auto Restart after Power Failure: if you live in an area that is prone to unexpected power failures, enabling automatic login in Windows quickly gets you back to a specific user account through a simple auto restart after the power is back on.
- Managing Headless Servers: headless servers are computers without peripherals, such as keyboards, mice, and monitors. They sit on a rack and are managed by a central console through SSH, Telnet, or other networking protocols. If you are a remote admin, it is faster to configure Windows to log in automatically to such headless devices.
How to Log in to Windows 10 Without a Password
To enable automatic login in Windows, you first need to cancel the authentication, such as Hello PIN, at a secondary level followed by revoking the system password at the primary level. For PIN removal, go to “Sign-in options” in the Search box and select “Windows Hello PIN.” Click “Remove” to proceed. You will have to verify the PIN removal using your system password just once.
Apart from Hello PIN, the same mechanism is used to remove the picture password, Windows Hello Fingerprint, or any other secondary authentication tools.
Once the secondary authentication is removed, it’s time to revoke the system password. Go to the “Password” field in the sign-in options and click “change” to proceed. Enter your current system password for the next step.
You can now see three blank fields: “new password,” “confirm password,” and “password hint.” The trick to enabling automatic login is to simply keep all three fields blank and just skipping past it by clicking “Next.”
It takes just a few seconds for the password (“no password”) to change. Click “Finish” once it’s over.
You should be able to see the changes in the Password field of the sign-in options. It should say, “Your account does not have a password. You must add a password before you can use the other sign-in options.”
The automatic login screen for Windows will be visible after this. You just have to click the “sign in” button and again not fill in any passwords/PINs.
Make Windows 10 Log in Automatically
The above steps for automatic login will suffice for most casual users. But if you need a really fully automatic login, such as for headless servers, you can remove the system username and password permissions. This way you don’t even need to deal with the lockscreen.
From the search box or Win + R keyboard shortcut, open a Run command called “netplwiz.”
For automatic login, you only need to uncheck the field “Users must enter a username and password to use the computer.”
Are you not a fan of revoking the username/password requirements entirely? There’s another method for automatic logon using the Sysinternals Autologon utility, which we cover below.
Enable Automatic Login for Windows 10 Using Sysinternals Autologon
Windows 10 has its own native security utility called Sysinternals Autologon, which encrypts the user credentials for a smooth, fully automatic access to Windows. This is the safest method to allow fully automatic login into Window, as it doesn’t upset the default system configurations on your device. Also, you can turn it on/off with just one click.
Download the ZIP file and extract the folder. Run the exe file that’s compatible with your operating system architecture (x64 mostly).
Enter the system password to allow Autologon to access the system automatically. Click “Enable” to confirm the operation.
You will see a notification that reads: “Autologon successfully configured. Note: the autologon password is encrypted.”
How to Disable Automatic Login in Windows 10
For security reasons, it’s important to know how to disable automatic login in Windows 10. If you use Sysinternals Autologon utility, you don’t need to disable/enable the passwords frequently.
Go back to the sign-in options screen and click “Add” in the Password section. The order is reversed compared to enabling automatic login: you first need to set the primary system password before you can add PIN and other secondary authentication mechanisms.
Once the password is confirmed, click “Finish” to enable the password feature.
You should see a new status in the Password section of the sign-in options screen: “Your account password is all set up to sign in to Windows, apps, and services.”
Further, add the Hello PIN using the system password. It should be between 4 and 127 characters and can include alphanumeric and special characters.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I unlock Windows during automatic login?
Locking Windows remains the same with the Win + L shortcut. To unlock the device, you only need to click the “sign in” page which won’t require any password/PIN.
What security precautions should be taken before enabling the Windows automatic login?
The following security precautions are handy before enabling automatic login:
- Make sure you’re using your Windows computer at a private place, preferably your home or other secure environment, as disabling passwords and username/password access should be done discreetly.
- If you’re traveling to a public place with your laptop, you should disable the automatic login.
- Write down the passwords or PINs somewhere, such as a phone, in case you forget easily. Too many authentication errors can disable access to your PC.
- If you forget your PIN, you can reset it again. But for that, you will need a system password.
- Make sure your Microsoft account password (which you’ll need in case you forget the PIN), is long, alphanumeric, uses special characters, and has both uppercase and lowercase letters.
What is the most secure way to log in to your Windows PC?
Any of the Windows Hello techniques are the safest means to access Windows devices. The Windows Hello program has received the FIDO2 certification, which makes the whole authentication process extremely safe. But if your camera or touch scanner isn’t up to snuff, then it’s equally safe to use Windows Hello PIN, as long as you don’t forget it and don’t share it with others.
Although we recommend having a system password or PIN for security from intruders, Windows automatic login can be quite convenient for limited use. Most Windows default settings can be tweaked for your temporary task requirements: for instance, you can disable the SmartScreen filter, and re-enable it later.
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