How to skip the Windows sign-in password

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When you get a new computer, especially if you get one of the more recent ones that are running Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, part of the set-up process is setting a Windows password. Most people don’t realize that you don’t NEED to have a Windows password on your computer, but the wording on the screen makes it sound like you are required to create one. I’ve even had some people go through this process without really thinking about it, then the next time they boot up their computer, they get prompted for the Windows password – and they don’t remember what it is.

Windows password

 

We have ways of getting around the problem of a forgotten password. Most techs will know how to bypass a Windows password (which should tell you something about how well it secures your computer). Of course, the easiest solution is to never create the password requirement when you are first setting up the computer. When I’m setting up a new PC for a client, I always set it so there is no Windows password. The owner of the computer can always add one later on if it’s necessary.

But what if you’ve already set up your computer, and it requires you to enter a password every time you boot up Windows?

Here’s how you turn off the Windows password requirement:

Click the Start button (Microsoft logo) in the bottom left corner of the screen, and in the search field, type:

netplwiz

then hit the Enter button. This is going to bring up a window called “User Accounts” which looks like this:

Windows password

 

At this point, you could probably figure out what to do just by looking at the contents of that window. First, look at the list of users. In my case, there are 3 entries. On your computer, it might only list a single user profile name. Either way, click once to highlight the user name for whom you want to skip the password entry requirement. Then UNcheck the box next to “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer” and click OK at the bottom of the window.

Then you will be prompted to enter your current password, and confirm it:

Windows password

 

After you click OK on that screen, you’re done. Next time you boot up into that user profile on Windows, you won’t have to put in a password.

A couple of things to remember about this:

  • The “netplwiz” process works with Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10. If you’re using a version of Windows older than Vista, you have bigger problems than being bothered with a password.
  • You should only disable the Windows password requirement if you are not concerned about safety/security in relation to someone else having physical access to your computer. If it’s just you and your computer in your home, that’s one thing. If your computer sits in an office or some other place where other people are nearby, you might want to keep the password requirement in place. It’s not foolproof, but it would at least slow someone down if they are trying to access your files without permission.

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Rachel
October 11th, 2015

I’ve tried this several times using Windows 8.1 and it’s not working for me. Any suggestions?

Scott Johnson
October 12th, 2015

Call me for help with this – 727-254-9078.

Rachel
October 12th, 2015

Update…. It’s working when I first boot up, but as soon as the screen goes black (like if I leave the computer for a few monutes), I have to type in the password again. I don’t suppose there is any way to prevent that, is there?

Scott Johnson
October 12th, 2015

Yes – go to Control Panel – Power options – and on the left side click on “Require a password on wakeup”. Then check the “Don’t require a password” option.

Rachel
October 20th, 2015

Thanks. I found the box to check, but it was grayed out. I could not click on it to activate it. I checked to make sure that I was on as the administrator, and I was. So I still can’t stop the computer from locking when it goes into a save energy mode, even after only a few seconds.

Rachel
October 20th, 2015

Update. I found a way to change the settings. Thanks for all your help!