Author Topic: Login to Windows straight to desktop .. how?  (Read 1160 times)

Offline Rupert

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Login to Windows straight to desktop .. how?
« on: January 27, 2015, 12:12:32 PM »
Our local U3A now has a new laptop running Windows 8.1 and at the moment we have to enter a password (Microsoft account already established) before the desktop appears.

The laptop will not contain any stored files or folders (i.e. no sensitive or confidential material), merely the OS it came with, plus MS Office and Adobe PDF reader.  It will be used by responsible mature adults on a more or less weekly basis, as a means to present PowerPoint material through an old (but still perfectly functioning) Mitsubishi projector.

Between times, as I am currently the custodian of the AV equipment, the laptop will reside with me in a secure location.  I shall perform virus scans and allow Windows updates, but apart from that it will not be in use.

What I'm leading up to is the question of the login password and whether I can safely bypass it so that when the computer is turned on it boots up straight to the desktop.  At the moment, if it goes into sleep mode before I touch any of the keys or the mouse pad, I can't just wake it up like I do with my own desktop PC (by pressing any key).  I have to press the start button and re-enter the password each time .. rather tiresome!

I can see this being even more irritating to my older U3A colleagues, for whom I am trying to keep things as simple as possible (Windows 8.1 is rather different from the previous XP they're used to!).  I have read on one or two forums where this question has been aired that it can be a bit difficult to bypass this login stage.  One forum member followed another person's guidelines and ended up with two MS accounts, both of which still required a login password to be entered each and every time!

I would value your guidance as to the simplest way that I can over-ride the requirement to enter a password.

Offline Nick Peers

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Re: Login to Windows straight to desktop .. how?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2015, 01:11:26 PM »
Hi Rupert,
             It's a two-step process - you first have to bypass the Lock Screen with a Registry tweak, then use the hidden Advanced User Account Control Panel to instruct Windows to automatically log in each time.

Quick question: which Microsoft Account did you use when setting up the PC? It's best if it was an account specifically created for the purpose of using the laptop, rather than someone's personal account. That's the only warning I would have.

Anyway, here are the two tweaks you need to perform, cut and pasted from an old article I once wrote for CNET (and sadly no longer online, it seems):

If you?re the only user of your PC, then having to swipe the lock screen and then enter your password might seem like a waste of time each morning. Removing these annoyances is a two-part process.

Dumping the lock screen requires a trip to the Registry Editor - press [Win] + [R], type regedit and press [Enter]. Now browse to the following Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows. Look for a Personalization key - if it's not present, right-click the Windows key in the left-hand pane and choose New > Key and call it Personalization. With Personalization selected, choose Edit > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Change its name to NoLockScreen, double-click it and set its value to 1. Click OK, close Registry Editor and reboot to effect the change.

Logging in automatically from here is mercifully much simpler: press [Win] + [R] again, but this time type netplwiz and press [Enter]. Select your username, then untick "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer". Click OK, enter your user password twice and click OK again. Job done.
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Offline Rupert

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Re: Login to Windows straight to desktop .. how?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2015, 04:54:04 PM »
Thanks Nick.

Two things ...

I can't remember the exact details of the account I set up (although I did make a note of its password, which is different to the login password I'm trying to bypass!) but it would have been specific to this particular laptop. However, as we're not setting up email on it, I would have selected my own email address as the point of contact.

As for your helpful article - there are so many question marks in it I'm finding it a bit confusing to follow.  I assume that [WIN] is the Windows logo key.  Are you able to re-post it without the query marks, please?

Offline Nick Peers

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Re: Login to Windows straight to desktop .. how?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2015, 05:13:30 PM »
Ach, apologies for that. My original post is modified accordingly. Yes [Win] refers to the Windows key, and [R] to the [R] key.
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Offline Rupert

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Re: Login to Windows straight to desktop .. how?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2015, 02:48:10 PM »
That's brilliant, Nick .. thank you!

I followed your instructions to the letter without a hint of objection from either Microsoft or Toshiba, but after part one of the process when I needed to reboot, it decided that then was a good time to install (and subsequently configure) 54 updates ... 54!  The thing's less than a week old, how behind can it have got?!

It obviously thought that 54 wasn't quite enough delay so, after I'd completed part two of the process it installed and configured a further 25 updates!

I had a worrying moment when I put it to Sleep and woke it up again to find that it wanted a password.  I repeated part two of your process and things were still as they were after I'd done it earlier.  I then shut it down completely (i.e. not a Restart), left it for a moment and then booted it up again.  There was the Welcome page which hung around for a few moments before revealing the desktop, so I guess all really is well.

If I get any subsequent glitches I'll be sure to get back to you.  Meanwhile, thanks again for all your help.

Offline Nick Peers

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Re: Login to Windows straight to desktop .. how?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2015, 08:50:13 AM »
Glad to hear it's working. See http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/7771/prevent-windows-asking-for-a-password-on-wake-up-from-sleepstandby/ for  guide to disabling the password requirement after you bring the laptop out of sleep.
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