Microsoft Windows: Auto Login

As I’d posted before I’m really sick of passwords.

Now, my situation may not be very standard… Okay, it’s not. I work from home. I’m the only person who touches my computer, and I don’t have dozens of people walking by during the day, so actually logging into my computer with my username and password is a step (albeit a small one) that I would prefer to bypass.

Clearly, as a professional IT guy, I do not recommend you do this, unless you fully understand that when your computer is restarted, it will log in and whomever is sitting at the keys will have access to your profile. Even if you lock your screen when you walk away, all someone needs to do is yank the power cord, wait a sec, plug it back in, turn it on, and boom: they’re in, with access to all your files.

This will also frustrate the hell out of anyone who shares your computer, and has to wait for your profile to load before he / she can log you out, and themselves in.

This trick is specifically for Windows 8, because that’s what I have installed, but the idea is the same for Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. There are some subtle differences between Windows versions and the rest, which I’ll explain as we go.

Hit the Windows key on your keyboard. It looks like one of these, depending on the age of your keyboard… :


When you hit it, it brings you to the “Metro” in Windows 8… (In other versions of Microsoft Windows, it brings up the “Start” menu.)



It’s where all the “Charms” are…

Now, what people don’t realize most of the time, is once you’re in the metro, you can just start typing, and it automatically starts searching. You don’t have to click a search box. Just begin typing what you’re looking for. In this case, you’re going to type “netplwiz” and it’s going to show up in a search box on the right side of the screen.

NOTE: If you’d like to bypass the metro all together, press the windows button and the “r” key simultaneously. This brings up the good ‘ol familiar “Run” box. (This is true for all versions of windows, I believe… Certainly as far back as Windows 2000…) 

ALSO NOTE: In Windows XP, you do not type netplwiz. In Windows XP, type

control userpasswords2

Note the space between the two words, and the 2 at the end. I don’t know why there’s a 2, and I don’t know if there is a userpasswords1… So don’t ask. 🙂 



Notice below it, I’ve got “Apps” highlighted. Your search results will show up on the left, like so:



Click on the result there, where the two people seem to be snuggling that little key like a baby. This brings up the users accounts box. I’ve blanked out all the user accounts on here, because with Windows 8, you’re able to log in with your Windows Live account, which is an email address and I don’t need people sending spam to me, my wife or kids…



You’ll notice the empty check-box at the top that says “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer.” By default, that box is checked. To continue, un-check this box, and hit apply. This brings up the following box:



Your user name will be filled in already, you just have to supply your password, twice. Mercifully, you won’t have to do it again to log in, until you undo this configuration, or get a new computer.

As I said, this information should get you where you want to go in Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. If you’re using any other version of Windows, you have my sincerest of condolences, but logging in is probably the least of your frustrations.

Use this information if you like, please understand it comes from me, not from my place of employment, and I do not recommend doing it… Because if I do, and you muck it up, it’s not my fault. This information comes with no warranties or promise of support…

That said, it’s pretty straight forward. Don’t blame me if you get in trouble with your IT department. …and if I AM your IT department, yes, you will get in trouble. …or at least billed 15 minutes for me to remove your auto login setting. You have been warned. …on second thought, go ahead. I could use the extra billable time. 😉


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