Do you sometimes power on your computer and leave immediately afterwards for other activities, like making coffee or breakfast, taking a shower or going into a meeting? There are two possible scenarios here. If you have not configured auto login, you will see the the logon screen where all user accounts of the Windows operating system are shown when you return. When you are back, you need to log in and wait until the desktop has been loaded. Not an optimized way of logging in.
The second option is to configure Windows to perform the login automatically. The benefit here is that the desktop loads completely so that there is not a waiting period after coming back to the computer desk. The operating system may lock the computer eventually if it is configured this way, but there is a period where the computer is accessible by anyone.
Windows Auto Logon & Lock offers all the benefits of the second method without the security implications. The free software configures the Windows operating system to auto log in users and lock the desktop afterwards automatically as well.
The benefit of this option is that the desktop is fully loaded, but the system stays protected at the same time.
The program has been tested by the developers on 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows Vista and Windows 7. The program is available for download at the developer website.
Update: The developer website is no longer available. We have uploaded the latest version of Auto Logon & Lock to our own server. You can download it from the following link: Auto-Logon-Lock-v1.0.zip
Note that we do not support the software and take no responsibilities for it either.
You can use a different script for that alternatively if you want. Mike McQuaid has published a guide that explains how to log on automatically and lock the workstation afterwards.
It requires you to run a script using the operating system's Group Policy. Note that not all versions of Windows come with Group Policy support.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.