Starting with Windows 8 and continuing in Windows 10, users must type their password before logging into their account after booting or when switching user accounts. This Windows 10 password login screen will appear by default for any user account with which a password is associated.
While strong account passwords are important (and recommended) not every user wants or needs to enter their password every time they boot their PC. Thankfully, users can disable or bypass the Windows 10 login screen and automatically log directly into their account when booting. Here’s how it works.
First, log into your Windows 10 user account as you normally do by entering your password at the login screen. Next, click Start (or tap the Windows Key on your keyboard) and type netplwiz. The “netplwiz” command will appear as a search result in the Start Menu search. Hit Enter on your keyboard or click on the result to open it.
A new window labeled “User Accounts” will appear, listing all user accounts on the PC. Click on your user account to select it and uncheck the box labeled “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer.”
You’ll be prompted to enter the user account’s password (this is a safeguard to ensure that other users on the PC can’t change the settings for accounts they don’t have access to). Enter your account’s password and then click OK to close the window.
Finally, test the new setting by saving all open work and rebooting your PC. If all steps above were performed correctly, Windows 10 should bypass the login screen and load directly into your user account without prompting you for the account’s password.
Security Concerns When Bypassing the Windows 10 Login Screen
Configuring your account to bypass the Windows 10 login screen obviously reduces the security of your account, so why do it? First, the steps here only affect the local PC itself, meaning that someone would have to be physically sitting in front of your computer to bypass your account password. Anyone attempting to remotely log in to your PC, including you, will need to know and enter your password.
Therefore, bypassing the Windows 10 login screen is relatively safe if there is a low chance of someone else gaining physical access to your PC. If you work in a shared office space or use a laptop that travels outside of your home or office, for example, you probably shouldn’t configure your account to bypass the Windows 10 login screen. But if you’re a home user with a desktop PC or laptop that never leaves the house, and you don’t have a history of break-ins or nosy children, it’s relatively unlikely that an unauthorized user will gain physical access to your PC, and you’ll need to weigh that low likelihood against the convenience of automatically logging into your account without needing to type your password.
Even if you do choose to bypass the Windows 10 login screen, you may still want to take extra security precautions to protect your most sensitive information, such as tax returns or confidential business data. You can do this by storing such information in an encrypted drive or folder, either by using Windows’ built-in encryption tools or a third party encryption utility. This gives you the convenience of automatic login when performing routine and non-essential tasks such as Web browsing and photo editing, but still protects your most sensitive data behind a strong password.
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