One of the first things that I configure on a new personal computer that only I use is the automatic system log on.
This bypasses the Windows logon screen completely to load the operating system directly. Handy for single user systems, not so much for multi-user systems.
The main reason why I do this is speed. It saves time and removes the hassle of having to enter the account password every time you boot the PC.
Note: I use full disk encryption on my system, so that no one -- a thief for example -- can get access to the system. Since it is necessary to enter a passphrase during logon, it does not really matter if the account password for the local Windows account does not need to be entered.
Windows 8 in this regard works much like Windows 7. It is still possible to configure a user account to automatically log on. Here is how.
Log on automatically to local Windows 8 accounts
Start Windows 8 and log into the user account. You are taken to the Metro UI start screen. Type netplwiz and hit enter. This should open the User Accounts screen on the Desktop.
Here you see a list of all user accounts known on the system.
Locate the "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" box at the top and uncheck it. Click the Ok button. This triggers a prompt where you need to enter the password of the username.
Just enter your password and the password confirmation in the prompt that opens. Windows "saves" that password for you, so that you do not have to enter it anymore during log on.
A click on OK completes the process. I suggest you restart the computer afterwards to see if the log on is indeed bypassed.
If it is not, you may need to open the User Accounts screen again to verify that the changes have been properly saved.
If you bypass Metro UI automatically, you can open the User Accounts configuration screen with the shortcut Win-R, and typing netplwiz in the run box.
Please note that anyone using the computer from that moment on can log on with the user account, as no password is required to do so. This makes it a security issue on multi-user systems.
I suggest you only do this if you have other security in place, like the aforementioned full disk encryption that protects the PC's data from unauthorized access.
If you are using a Microsoft Account to sign in, check out this guide that explains how you can configure it to sign on automatically as well.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
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.