Tip: Auto-Login Your Windows 7 User Account

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Description

Although I don’t personally recommend this, there are some people out there who don’t want to bother with using a password to protect their Windows user account. Of course, using a password in Windows isn’t required, only suggested. But even if you don’t fill one in, you still have to click your user icon to start the login process.

An easier way - although again much less secure - is to enable auto-logins for your Windows PC. This is possible in Windows 7, as it was in prior versions, but it takes a little finagling to do so. (And for good reason, darn it.)

Still, if you must do this, here’s how:

  1. Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to launch the “Run” dialog box.
  2. Type in control userpasswords2
  3. Press Enter. The User Accounts window will display.
  4. Uncheck the option “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer”
  5. Click “OK”
  6. You will then be prompted to enter the current password and confirm it.
  7. After doing so, you will no longer be prompted to enter your password upon login.

Use this tip at your own risk!

The Discussion

  • User profile image
    Bradley Ward

    Something must have changed since this post was written because this no longer works. I am running Windows 7 Ultimate and even logged on as an administrator, there is no such checkbox on the User Accounts window. 
    Researching this, I found that whether or not that checkbox shows will depend on the setting of the value of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\AutoAdminLogon value in the registry. Mine was set to 0 so it did not show. I set it to 1, and now it shows.
    Once it showed up, it was already unchecked, and when I hit OK it did not ask me for a username and password. I then checked it, hit OK, then opened it again and unchecked it, and hit OK. The dialog for me to enter the username and password then appeared and worked as documented in this post.

  • User profile image
    Me Sah

    This works 100%.  Don't know what Bradley Ward is talk, talk, talking about.

  • User profile image
    Biff

    Did run right over to Brad's house and try it? Or do you mean it worked on the one PC you tried it on?

  • User profile image
    Claus

    @Bradley Ward:
    Had the same issue as Bradley. Following Bradley's solution worked perfectly for me as well... Thumbs up...

  • User profile image
    Kiran

    Ya.. It's working 100%
    Thanks..

  • User profile image
    runner2035

    The Checkbox was not there for me either.
    So you could just follow the same procedure Microsoft had for windows xp.
    1. Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to launch the “Run” dialog box. 
    2. Type regedit and hit enter to open the Registry Editor 
    3. Then browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\
    4. Set AutoAdminLogon  = 1 (create it if doesn't exist its a string variable)
    5. Set DefaultUserName = your username (create it if doesn't exist its a string variable)
    6. Set DefaultPassword = your password (create it if doesn't exist its a string variable)
     

  • User profile image
    smartcyp

    Worked for me on Windows 7 Professional x64 and Windows 7 Ultimate x32

  • User profile image
    Nothra

    As in Windows XP, if you are connected to an Active Directory Domain you will not have the option to uncheck this. However you can do the Registry Hack that Bradley is talking about.

  • User profile image
    AkiraDoe

    If "userpasswords2" does nothing, use "netplwiz"

  • User profile image
    ygi

    Hi, the checkbox doesn't appear if the machine is part of a domain.... but it does when standalone.

  • User profile image
    nefarios

    "netplwiz" by AkiraDoe does the solution, its just like "control userpasswords2" in windows xp..
    great.. tnx.

  • User profile image
    smujh

    Worked well on Win 7 Ultimate x64

  • User profile image
    kaw

    Why is this necessary a "much less secure" solution? It seems like if you know your box is safe, but you want to have a password for external connections, this is a much more secure solution than having no password at all.

  • User profile image
    stagepoint

    @Bradley Ward:
    Just for the heck of it I went and added the following registry keys just as they used to exist in Windows XP:  hkey_local_machine>software>microsoft>windows nt>current version>winlogon>
    (all strings)
    DefaultDomainName: 
    DefaultUserName:
    DefaultPassword:
    with the appropriate values and my PC logged into the account perfectly.

  • User profile image
    Sean

    These instructions worked for me:
    http://pcsupport.about.com/od/windows7/ht/auto-logon-windows-7.htm

  • User profile image
    Justin Kubicek

    @Bradley Ward: I had the same problem as you. I created a shortcut to "control userpasswords2". Then I right clicked on the shortcut and choose "Run as administrator". Then the dialog opened.

  • User profile image
    Oldfart

    You can also just save the below to a .reg file and then merge it into your registry.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]"DefaultUserName"="user1""DefaultPassword"="Passsword1*""ForceAutoLogon"="1""AutoAdminLogon"="1""DefaultDomainName"="EXCALIBUR"++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  • User profile image
    Richard

    @Bradley Ward: the administrator account works different than other user accounts. and is actually disabled by default in windows 7. Don't use it unless you have no other choice. You can create administrator accounts without using the default one.

  • User profile image
    TH

    @Bradley Ward:Thanks, I did not have a check box either, your registry hack saved the day. Thanks

  • User profile image
    Rajeev

    Nice and Helpful tip.

  • User profile image
    c0nfidential

    tnx, works like a charm

  • User profile image
    Tablet PC

    @Bradley Ward: the administrator account works different than other user accounts. and is actually disabled by default in windows 7. Don't use it unless you have no other choice. You can create administrator accounts without using the default one.

  • User profile image
    Tablet PC

    Nice and Helpful tip.http://www.myefox.it 
    <a href="http://www.myefox.it/tablet-pc-android-tablet-pc-c-69_70">Android Tablet PC</a>

  • User profile image
    sharma

    [Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]"DefaultUserName"="user1""DefaultPassword"="Passsword1*""ForceAutoLogon"="1""AutoAdminLogon"="1""DefaultDomainName"="EXCALIBUR"++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
     
     
    i try to create Default user name,but after systems restart there.\username,Example.\peter like appearing on login screen,then one error showing incorrect password,i have no update regedit version its default,i mean with os ver, could u help me,how can configure Default user login name.

  • User profile image
    bob

    If computer is on domain, the checkmark will not be available

  • User profile image
    Scarpa

    @bob:  On windows 7 Ultimate can you designate only one account for "Auto-login" and leave others password protected?  This would allow you to restrict the access on the auto-login account - which is what I need to do.  Thank You,  SP.

  • User profile image
    Scarpa

    @bob:  On windows 7 Ultimate can you designate only one account for "Auto-login" and leave others password protected?  This would allow you to restrict the access on the auto-login account - which is what I need to do.  Thank You,  SP.

  • User profile image
    gaffe

    If I had physical acess to your machine your Windows password would be useless at keeping me out of it. The only purpose it serves is to annoy the user.

    What's a hacker going to do, break into my house to see if he can have a crack at checking if my windows account has a password?

    This tip is very useful. The comment that you shouldn't do this is not. 

    Folks who believe we should be bothered to re-enter a password thousands of times over the course of the time we use our home machines in order to prevent a totally unrealistic scenario of how someone would try to break into your computer are missing the big security picture.

    It's like saying don't write down your passwords in your wallet. If someone can steal my wallet, or  the keys from my pocket, they can get into my house, so why do I care if they get into my computer?

  • User profile image
    L.hans

    http://www.logonexpert.com/freeautologon.html this article shows several ways how to configure Windows autologon, could be useful addition for this post. Also the web-site contains shareware tool for Win autologon in domain environment.

  • User profile image
    deedee

    So if you can hack any computer password, do you want to come to my house and get the password from my boyfriends computer?

  • User profile image
    LaAzara

    Great Article
    Helped me save lot of tension of enter the password again and again.
    Now I can lock my comp as and when and still the startup is fast.
    Thanks a lot.

  • User profile image
    Hansmann

    Why do I have to type in some weird string like "control userpasswords2" to fire up the right settings screen ?
    WHY IS THIS NOT LINKED WITHIN THE CONTROLPANEL, as it is supposed to be ?

  • User profile image
    Hale

    This method will not work on machines once entered under windows domain controller control.
    But as Bradley said, this is just a matter of AutoAdminLogon registry setting

  • User profile image
    Dario

    All you need to do is open a command prompt and then put in control userpasswords2 You don't need to modify the registry

  • User profile image
    Anton

    Thanx Bradley works like a charm ;))

  • User profile image
    wmcuser

    This is exactly what I was looking so that my laptop dedicated as a Media Center starts up automatically. A hidden gem of a tip.

  • User profile image
    deepthi

    i followed the entire steps...but when restarted..i have to click the icon and then enter .....please help me

  • User profile image
    ND4X

    Works great!!! Exactly what I needed for a digital signage project. Followed Runner2035 from Oct 29, 2010 at 7:01 AM instructions and works perfectly in Vista and Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit). Thanks

  • User profile image
    Ozkan

    Thanx

  • User profile image
    adam

    Thanks!

  • User profile image
    John

    People.

    I had the same problem like some other people. I followed the tutorial but it didn't work for me (Win7 Ultimate).

    Solution: ..My Windows is German so I hope I provide the right translations. In addition to the tutorial above you have to set the "password at reactivation" off. You can find it in Control Panel --> Power Management --> password for reactivation.

    After you have done that it will work like a charm.

    Regards

  • User profile image
    brijesh kumar

    windows7 Audio devices ke dal te hi

  • User profile image
    Dmtiriy

    Thanks, your introduction to the tip made me change my mind and set the password for my account instead of enabling auto-login feature =)

  • User profile image
    Truk

    @runner2035 your method does not work on Win 7 unless you add the default domain (see below) but this must be because I am part of a domain so the domain name is required
    @stagepoint you nailed it but I explain why auto login is a great thing and an absolute for many people
    @Oldfart if on a domain you need more ;) and ForceAutoLogon what are you talking about and why would you need it – It’s NOT needed
    @ sharma try again
    @I am done reading the rest :-/

    I keep seeing that everyone wants you to (including this article)
    Uncheck the option “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer”
    THIS IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE SOLUTION FOR ME. I must have individual logins for my computer at home. I do not want my kids to have admin rights and when you un-check the box you only have one account to login with.

    Well you can auto login in Windows 7 like you used to in XP!!

    If you are on a domain the only thing that is missing that stops the autologin is that you need to add a new String Value titled DefaultDomainName. If you don't know what your DefaultDomainName then search your registry for the value DefaultDomainName and it should show up. Put that value in the DefaultDomainName location. Make sure you have changed the AutoAdminLogon to 1, added the DefaultPassword and its value, and added DefaultUserName and its value.

    Once you have done the above in the registry at the location HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon if you are like me your computer will automatically log in all by its self!!

    So many people say why would you ever want auto login. I can think of more reasons why I need it than why I should not use it. I will list just a few reasons.

    For work: if there is a power outage and the computer reboots even after the UPS runs (or if you do not have one for whatever your reasons are) out of battery I need the computer to boot fully into my profile so that certain tasks will execute. There are a bunch more reasons for work and the applicability.

    For home: I have to have individual accounts so my kids do not have administrator rights and if you do as this article suggests everyone that gets on your computer will all have the same rights. So why the auto login? If you have stuck with me here is the main reason. I have a camera attached to my computer and as windows is NOTORIOUS for the computer just reboots whenever it feels like it and if I am not there the computer sits in a non-logged in state until I login which may be hours to days and all my scheduled tasks and other programs will not run unless the computer is logged in fully into my profile.

    Hope I did not bore you too much :)

  • User profile image
    Justin

    Thanks! Lol I am soooooo happy that u helped me.

  • User profile image
    John U

    I suspect that the machines which do not permit auto-logon without a registry change are those with SP1 installed. A similar problem arose with a Service Pack in XP. I noticed this phenomenon briefly when I sidegraded to SP1. (Briefly because it caused several problems of which this was a major stopper for my needs). The registry mod suggested is the same as used for XP.

    As to the advice on not doing this auto-logon, I agree, there are circumstnces where it would be downright stupid. When I worked in a shared office, I would not have done it. In a house with two regular occupants and more than enough security to protect the far more valuable items than the computers, it would be stupid not to use it, especially as we need to turn computers on when away from home.

    Advice on how someone should manage their system is meaningless if it doesn't take account of their particular circumstancces. If advice has to be given in an open forum, it should be accompanied by a description of the conditions in which the advice might be useful.

  • User profile image
    jim

    "If "userpasswords2" does nothing, use "netplwiz""

    that worked in my case. thx

  • User profile image
    justincase

    Also note there is an area in User Accounts that you can "remove password" from an account. I got hung up on this but ended up figuring it out after doing the regedit, control userpasswords2 and netplwiz and not getting the results I wanted (after logging out or screen saver kicking in I was still required to enter a password.

  • User profile image
    Evert Kuijpers Netherlands

    If your network card attaches to the internet before you logon, which happens most, there is a good chance your firewall and antivirus software have not been started yet. In case of autologon your firewall and antivirus software will start as soon as possible. In case of no autologon your firewall and antivirus software might start after your manual logon. This is obviously less secure than using autologon. In case no one else can physically get to your computer AUTOLOGON IS MORE SECURE and handier than using manual logon. In case other people can get to your computer MANUAL LOGON MIGHT BE MORE SECURE.

  • User profile image
    ePhil

    all you need is:
    winkey r
    netplwiz
    uncheck must supply password.

  • User profile image
    Firoz

    1. Check if AutoLogonCount is defined & if yes it needs to be removed, regkey 'AutoLogonCount' will allow only that many times user to login (for each reboot it will -1 from the count)
    2. Once the 'AutoLogonCount' becomes 0, it will modify the reg key 'AutoAdminLogon' to 0 & remove the reg key 'DefaultPassword'

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