For added security on your Windows PC, it’s always recommended to have a password on your user account. This is especially the case when there are multiple users accessing the same machine to help keep each users personal data and information from the other peoples prying eyes. Other than that, having a password on a user account is also a requirement to enable some remote features in Windows as it does not accept blank password.
If there are accounts secured with passwords, every time you start your computer you’re prompted to enter the password on the account in order to logon to Windows. Although it’s not really a problem when you have to choose between users because you’re on the same screen anyway, it can be a little bit irritating when no one else is using your computer that is sitting at home. Personally, I’m the only one who uses my computer so there’s no point in needing to type in a password on the logon screen.
Thankfully, asking Windows to log you automatically onto your account is just follow a few simple steps. Listed below is a very simply way to enable auto logon and this method works in Windows XP, Vista and also Windows 7.
1. Click on your Start button and go to “Run” or press the Win key + R. For Vista and 7 you can also type the command into the search box in the Start menu.
2. Type “control userpasswords2” and press Enter. For Vista and 7 users, you can also use the command “netplwiz” if control userpasswords2 doesn’t work.
3. A User Account dialog box will appear. Uncheck the “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer” checkbox and click the OK button.
4. Another dialog box will appear asking you to type in the default user account that you’d like to login whenever you start your computer. The entered user name should already be correct but if it’s not, type the name you want. Then enter the account password twice. You only need to do this procedure once.
Now when you boot into Windows the next time, there won’t be the password screen! Please take note that this only works if you’re trying to login locally. This feature allows other users to start your computer and use the account that you automatically log on to, so make sure you trust any users that will be able to potentially use your machine. Enabling auto logon makes your computer more convenient to use, but can pose a security risk since anyone can just turn the machine on and access your files.
If you’re running Windows XP there are a couple of small utilities available that can also do this for you:
Autologon for Windows is a small utility from SysInternals that makes the job of setting up the auto logon function even more simple.
It’s a tiny portable executable and when you run it, all that’s needed is for you to enter the password of the the primary user. Change the user name if it’s not correct and enter the password for that account. Then press “Enable”.
Another utility for XP is one you may already have installed which is the TweakUI Power Toy. If you don’t have it installed, TweakUI is one of Microsoft’s own tools that has a number of tweaks, fixes and enhancements and is definitely a program worth having.
Download and install the program, open the Logon tree and click on Autologon. Tick the “Log on automatically at system startup” box and make sure the right user name is displayed or type it in. Then click the “Set Password” button to enter the password for the account.
To suppress the autologon function and enable the standard logon screen for you to enter a password, simply hold down the Shift key just before you would normally see the user selection / logon screen.