The Windows Club

How to bypass login screen in Windows 10/8/7

Windows 10 has re-imagined the lock screen and the sign-in screen as compared to the previous versions of the OS. Turn your PC on and you first see the lock screen with some useful information. You can dismiss the same in order to land on the sign-in page where you can enter your credentials to log in to your account. However, sometimes users do not wish to see on the sign-in page and want to log in automatically depending on the selected domain and type of account (Local or MSA). In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps using which you can bypass login screen in Windows 10, using Microsoft SysInternals Autologon or by editing the Windows Registry.

Bypass login screen in Windows

We have already seen how to turn off Windows login screen and log on automatically using  control userpasswords2 or netplwiz. Now let us see how you do this using Microsoft Autologon utility or by tweaking the Windows Registry.

1] Using Microsoft Autologon

Autologon is a light-weight utility offered by Microsoft which can be used to configure Windows’ built-in auto-logon mechanism. Similar to the netplwiz utility, you can save the credentials for any local or MSA account for a given domain name. However, the most important advantage of Autologon is that it encrypts the password before saving it to the registry.

Download the Autologon tool from here and then run autologon.exe file to launch it. Fill in the required information and hit Enable to turn on the bypass password screen mechanism for the selected user account. A message will appear on the screen confirming that the autologon mechanism has been configured successfully.

You can also use the autologon utility through Command prompt using the below syntax:

autologon user domain password

2] Using Registry Editor

Follow the below steps to do so:

1. Create a system restore point first and then press Windows Key + R on your keyboard to launch Run box. Type regedit.exe and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.

2. Navigate to the followig path on the left side pane of Registry Editor.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

3. Now, on the right side pane, double click AutoAdminLogon and change its value to 1.

After that, you’d need to create few additional string values for storing your account credentials. Just right click on Winlogon on the left side pane, select New > String value and create the below strings one by one with their respective values assigned to them. If the string values are already present, you just need to edit the value accordingly.

String Name String Value
DefaultDomainName Computer Name (for Local Account) or Domain Name
DefaultUserName Username (as per C:\Users\<Username>)
DefaultPassword Password for the selected account

Once all the string values are created/edited, just save the settings and exit from Registry Editor.

I have to mention that one drawback of using Registry Editor for automatic login is that your password is stored here in plain text format. Anyone with registry access can see and manipulate it. However, this is not the case while using netplwiz or Autologon. Your password is properly encrypted there and no corresponding entry is made in the registry editor.

Hope this tip is useful for you.