Automatically log in during Vista startup

Martin Brinkmann
May 27, 2007
Updated • Mar 3, 2014

One of the most annoying features of Windows Vista is the login screen that displays all user accounts on the system. You have to click on one of the accounts and enter the password belonging to that user account to log in and use Windows Vista.

I don't think it makes that much sense to display this information if you log in with the same user most of the time. Security should also be of no concern because it is not that complicated to access the data even if you do not know the account password of the user.

What you can do however is use full disk encryption, using a software program like True Crypt or DiskCryptor, as it protects the data from unauthorized access.

The guy running One Tip a Day found a way to automatically log in into a user account during Vista startup. All you need to do is perform the following operations to enable auto login.


auto login windows vista

  • Type in 'netplwiz' in the search box after clicking on the start button or press Windows + R and type the command into the box that opens up manually. This opens the Advanced User Accounts Menu.
  • Highlight the account in the users tab that you want to automatically login with and uncheck 'must enter a username and password to use this computer'
  • Click on apply afterwards and enter the password from that account twice
  • Click ok and restart Windows Vista to see if the changes made had the desired effect.

If everything went well Windows Vista will automatically log into the selected account during startup.

Update: Please note that you still need to click on the account to log in if that is not the only user account on the system.

The login process itself on the other hand does not require you to enter the password anymore, which can be useful in itself.

It is usually not recommended to use this method on multi-user systems, as other users would be able to log into the selected user account without entering the account password.

The method works for other versions of Windows such as Windows 7 or Windows 8 as well.


Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. caschy said on May 27, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    I use old skool TweakUI from MS to do that – works like a charme…

  2. Tim in Phoenix said on June 20, 2009 at 3:12 am

    This tip should be published on the front page of USA Today!

  3. LarryGFremont said on December 25, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    This hint does not work for Vista Home Basic: all the accounts are controlled by a single checkbox. How what?

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.