[UPDATE - 2016/Jul/30 - Windows 10 Support and Recommendations]:
Thanks to Microsoft's policy of backwards compatibility, Windows 10 supports Autologin, so the below "ORIGINAL ARTICLE" instructions still do work.
'Though, before setting up Password-less Autologin on Windows 10, you might wish to investigate if your device supports Windows Hello and (if not), perhaps consider a PIN.
"Windows Hello" is your most secure and most convenient password-less login option.
If you'd like to know more about Windows Hello, please refer to below articles:
I'll simply consider Windows Hello as your "best" option.
Windows Hello relies on a special front-facing camera that recognises 3D faces (No, placing a photo in front of your camera WON'T unlock your computer!).
Windows Hello is pretty simple - anytime you watch your computer, the Windows Hello camera recognises your face and automatically unlocks your computer (ie. saving you from having to type the Password). That's it.
- The most popular Windows Hello device is clearly the Surface Pro 4 (Surface Pro 3 DOESN'T support Windows Hello).
To configure Windows Hello on your computer, please refer to the below article:
If you don't have a Windows Hello camera, your second best option is a fingerprint reader.
Some popular Windows 7 era laptops have builtin fingerprint readers known to be compatible with Windows Hello.
So, a single finger-swipe will unlock your computer.
- For the matter, I'm experiencing consistent success with an old HP Pavillion dv6.
Finally, if you lack a Windows Hello camera and a Windows Hello fingerprint reader, before setting up Password-less login, you might wish to investigate if a PIN would suit.
- A PIN is definitely easier to type on a tablet.
Windows 10 supports a special variant that links your PIN to your Password, so anytime you wish to login, you simply type the PIN on your device and you're good to go.
Active Directory (AD) Domain Password-less login.
Both Windows Hello and PIN are reported as working on domain environments.
After some further testing, I've discovered that, in order to setup autologin to a domain environment, you'll have to specify your registry settings differently (as follows):
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[ORIGINAL ARTICLE FOLLOWS]:
Auto-login saves you the hassle of typing your Password after your Windows System has been turned ON (or Restarted).
If you'd like your computer to go automatically to your Desktop (or, uhm...to the new Start Menu), then automatic login is for you.
The good news is - it works with every Windows version (starting from XP and/or Server 2003+ Editions).
Please note - by following this howto, you are:
- Seriously lowering (ie. compromising) your Windows System Security.
- You're making a potential thief's life easy!
- You're saving a minimum amount of time.
Before recurring to such extreme measures, ask yourself the economical value a malicious user could gain by just turning ON your unattended computer or by stealing it (yes, a facebook compromise has serious consequences).
That said, the compromising feature could be handy on a home environment, ie. when you want to share your system with other members of your family.
IF you still feel safe to apply this hack to your Windows system, then proceed as follows:
- Make sure you can edit (ie. add) regkeys to the Registry.
To hack your Registry, you will require Administrative Credentials.
[Obligatory disclaimer] By manually changing your Windows Registry, depending on what you do, your system might not Start anyomore, so:
- Pay attention to what you're doing.
- Stick to the instructions.
- Always make sure you are able to undo the changes in case (ya know...).
Of course I am not to be held responsible for any damages, but I'd be more than happy to fix it for you ;-)
Let's get hands-on.
- To check if you have "Administrator"-Credentials either:
1. Win+R -> control.exe -> "User Accounts" and check if your account is reported as "Standard" or "Administrator".
2. Ask your System Administrator (which I'm sure he'd be more than eager to delete all your accounts...).
Let's get dirty.
- Open Notepad and copy/paste the following text:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
- Text Change No.1): Locate the string "Administrator" and replace it with you User Logon Name (leave the quotes in place).
- Text Change No.2): Locate the string "your-cleartext-admin-password" and replace it with your Computer Password (leave the quotes in place).
- Save the above text as "autoadminlogin.reg" to you Desktop (make sure no txt extension is automatically attached to the file name).
- Right Click on your new "autoadminlogin.reg"-file and Select "Run As Administrator".
You'll be prompted to type-in your (Administrator) Password.
- Type the Password and Click on OK to Confirm.
- When Prompted, Click OK to insert your text data into your Windows Registry.
Reboot your Windows system and check if Automatic Windows Login (ie. w/o having to type your Password) works.
This hack will work on every Local (ie.non-domain-joined)
& Networked (ie. AD Domain-joined) Windows copy (be it XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 8.1).