How to skip the Windows 8 password

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One of the (several) things that people don’t like about Windows 8 is that it seems to force you to have a user account with a password just to log into your own computer.  Many home users don’t even want to bother with a Windows password because security is not really considered an issue.  Even in the workplace, a Windows password doesn’t block someone who is a little “tech savvy”.  I can get past a Windows password in about 2 minutes.

Windows 8 password


When you first set up a Windows 7 computer, this process is fairly easy and intuitive.  You just leave the password field blank, and that tells the computer you don’t want to use a password to log into Windows.

Windows 8 does not use that same process.  When you are setting up a Windows 8 computer, it tends to push you in the direction of thinking you need a Microsoft account (such as “”) and there has to be a password associated with that.  So most people just proceed that way, and then they find out that the next time they restart the computer, they have to use that password to log back in.

And they don’t provide any obvious way to get rid of that password either.  In Windows 7, you just go to Control Panel – User Accounts and you can make changes to your user profile – including eliminating the need for the login password.  In Windows 8, you usually end up at a screen called “Change your Microsoft account password” – and it doesn’t let you leave it blank.  So you can only change it, not get rid of it.

Here’s how you delete the password requirement for logging into Windows 8:

1. Move your cursor to the top right corner of the screen to make the “Charms Bar” (I think that is such a stupid name) appear.  Then click on the search icon and type:  netplwiz

2. That will bring up a User Accounts window:

Windows 8 password removal


3. Find the name of the profile you want to “un-password” and click once to highlight it.  Then just uncheck the box above it that says “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer”.

4. Click OK

Now restart the computer and you should see it just go straight to the desktop, without asking you for any password.

Incidentally, you can do this with Windows 7 and Vista also.  Just click the Start button (or hold down the Windows key and hit the R key) and type netplwiz in the field where the cursor is flashing, and hit Enter.

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Lee Siegman
March 24th, 2014

The Windows password in 8 enables synching desktops if you have several computers. More importantly, it is needed to allow access to Windows Store to download Apps and to get full access to Apps including those that are already installed by default. Some Apps may allow limited access without the Windows Password or, you may be able to sign in individually, but that would defeat the purpose of avoiding initial sign on. One could set up the Pin to sign on. This still requires the initial Windows Password setup, but will shorten the login procedure. No more secure as you pointed out, but still allows full access to Apps. If you don’t use apps, obviously, this doesn’t apply.

Jeff Owens
April 15th, 2014

I printed this out and gave it to a Vice President where I work. He wanted to configure his new Windows 8 laptop to do just this. He gave it back to me a few minutes later and asked “What is the charms bar?” That I could show him.

It worked like a charm (pun intended).