If you use your PC or laptop in a secured location where only you have access to it, you may want to set it up for auto login so that you don’t have to type a password every time Windows starts up. Let’s see how to set up automatic logon to Windows.
Understand what is auto logon and make sure you understand it’s a convenience feature
First understand that this is different from a passwordless login. When you don’t have a password set at all in Windows and there’s a single active user account present on the machine, Windows does log you in automatically.
The procedure described in this article is for a different case – it is for PCs that have a password set but where users want to sign in automatically to their user account when the PC boots up.
Setting up automatic login in Windows also does not mean that you won’t be prompted for a password ever again. It just means that the first login is automated. For example, when viewing stored passwords (credentials) in Google Chrome or another web browser, you will still be prompted for your Windows account password.
Even after turning on auto sign in, you can always configure your Windows PC such that when it goes to sleep/standby without logging you out, or when it is manually locked with Win + L, you will be prompted every time to enter a password.
Set up automatic logon in Windows
Unblock auto login first
In newer versions of Windows 10, Microsoft does not allow automatic logon by default. When you open netplwiz.exe, you will see no option to login automatically. You must first set a Registry value and only then the option becomes available.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Passwordless\Device] "DevicePasswordLessBuildVersion"=dword:00000000
At this Registry key, the value for the DevicePasswordLessBuildVersion is set to 2 by default. Because of this, the checkbox to enable auto logon is missing in Windows User Accounts Control Panel. Set it to 0 first.
Another possibility for the checkbox not being present is if your machine is joined to an organization’s domain. In that case, to set up autologon, you need to disconnect from the domain obviously.
Next, in Start search or Run dialog (Win + R), type netplwiz and press Enter. Now the checkbox will become available.
If there are multiple user accounts listed, first select the user account with which you wish to auto logon. Then uncheck the box Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer.
Auto logon for local (non-Microsoft) user accounts
Now Windows will prompt you for user name and password. If you selected the correct user account first before unchecking the box, the user name should be filled in automatically. But if it isn’t for some reason, enter the exact user name of your local account as shown in the dialog. Carefully type your password twice and click OK.
You’re done! Windows will now auto login this local user account the next time your system restarts.
Auto logon for Microsoft (or cloud) user accounts
If you are using a Microsoft user account or a cloud-based user accounts from Azure, when Windows prompt you for user name and password, enter the full email address in the user name field. Carefully type your password and confirm it. Then click OK.
That’s it. You have set up automatic sign in for your Microsoft account as well.