All modern-day operating systems are emphasizing security. That’s why with Windows 10 you are forced into logging in with one of Microsoft’s login options, consisting of either a traditional password, PIN code, and facial recognition or fingerprint readers that come with Windows Hello.
Since newer editions of Windows come with Microsoft accounts that can be accessed from anywhere in the world, it was all the more necessary to make sure those accounts were protected.
Nowadays most people should have Microsoft accounts if they use a computer often and are accustomed to the Windows operating system, even if it is just to check mail every now and again. This is because a user must create a Microsoft account that is then to be logged in to if they aren’t using a local account, and it is the Microsoft account that presents the more popular option due to it giving users the most upside. But there’s also a way you can keep that Microsoft account secure while just logging into the computer you’re using with a password.
It should be noted before you do though that many security experts advise against this. There are a couple of ways that you can automatically login in Windows 10, and they both have their own caveats.
For instance, when you turn on automatic logins, the password is always stored on the computer. Any programs that are installed on the computer and that have administrative rights to the operating system can potentially read what that password is. Thus you are putting trust in everything installed on your computer to not take advantage of that. Additionally, if it’s a password you use for other things as well—which is never advised for this very reason (in case you one day slip up)—then all those different passwords to places are going to be compromised, too.
And if you were to enable the automatic logins from the Registry Editor hack instead, you have no choice but to enter the password in plain text which will then be stored in the registry the entire time that you’re automatically logging in.
It’s probably for these reasons that Windows doesn’t offer people the chance to log in to Windows 10 automatically just from the settings. That said though, Windows developers have still made it possible to achieve logging in automatically, and that’s because there are always going to be some people out there who want to do it. And each person should assess their situations differently. If you’re the type of person who is using the computer a lot, doesn’t install many additional programs and applications, and does take all the recommended security measures to stay safe online, then you should be able to get away with logging in automatically without too many issues. What’s more is that if you just make sure that your password for logging in to Windows is unique from all other passwords you use for banking applications such as PayPal, then the damage will at least be limited. If you were to give hackers access to your Windows account though this is going to be a potential disaster, as you might have saved passwords in your web browsers that will allow the hackers access to everything you usually have kept for your convenience. For this reason, it’s best to use a local account instead of a Microsoft account if you are to proceed with removing the Windows login password.
Autologon for Windows
Update: Microsoft has released an official tool that allows users to log in to Windows 10 automatically, and it encrypts your credentials, so nobody else can ever see them for maximum security—something the other options lacked. We highly recommend using this updated method if you still want to log in to Windows 10 automatically. To get started, head over to the official Microsoft website, and download the Autologon for Windows v3.10 tool from the link provided toward the top of the page.
As the introduction from the page clearly states, this new Autologon tool by Microsoft can configure Windows’ built-in autologon mechanism so that your credentials are automatically entered, thus allowing you to bypass manually logging in, while it all being encrypted in the registry this time. The encryption being the difference between this method and just using the registry manually yourself with the alternative way below.
How to Automatically Logon without Password
The quickest way to automatically logon to Windows 10 without a password is by using the User Accounts dialog. Here is how you can do that:
1. To get started, open the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows logo + R keys simultaneously, and then type Netplwiz, followed by hitting the OK button to confirm the command.
2. You’ll now have the User Accounts dialog open. From the Users tab of the dialog, highlight the user account you wish to remove the password for, and then uncheck the option where it says Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer. Click on the Apply button.
3. From the Automatically sign-in field, enter your password and then confirm it by typing it once again. Click on the OK button to confirm the changes and you’re done.
How to Turn on Automatic Sign-in Using Registry
You can also use the Registry Editor to turn on the automatic sign-in option for Windows 10 if you don’t like the above options instead.
Note: The Autologon for Windows tool developed by Microsoft, which is listed above, is now recommended over this method, since it comes with encryption for your passwords—a new feature that this method lacks, which is a security compromise.
1. Start off by opening the Registry Editor: bring up the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows logo key + R and then type Regedit and hit the OK button. If prompted by user account control, click on the OK button to continue.
2. With the Registry now at your fingertips, navigate your way to the following key:
3. When you get there, you’ll see an entry on the right side that’s called DefaultUserName. Double-click on it and ensure that your account—either Microsoft account or local account, depending on the one that you use—is appearing under the Value Data box.
4. After closing the DefaultUserName box but renaming in the same part of the registry, look for the next entry name called DefaultPassword and double-click on it. If you don’t see the entry there, you’ll need to create it by right-clicking on an empty space, choosing New > String Value, renaming it to Default Password, and finally entering your password into the Value Data box. Make sure to click on the OK button to save it.
5. Now comes the enabling of the automatic login. To do that, stay in the same part of the registry, and on the right side once again, locate the AutoAdminLogon entry. Change the Value Data inside, using numerical values, from 0 to 1.
Microsoft’s original idea of forcing passwords seems like the best idea for most people, but if you know you live a relatively sheltered life and only use your computer around trusted people, then it’s understandable that passwords won’t be for everybody. But you should definitely consider using Microsoft’s new tool that encrypts the passwords, instead of one of the older options, to keep your computer secure.
This article was last updated on May 21, 2019.