How to log on automatically on Windows 8 using a Microsoft Account

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 6, 2013
Updated • Nov 6, 2013
Tutorials, Windows 8

Windows 8 users have options to log on to the system using a local account or a Microsoft Account. Both options have their advantages. The local account does not communicate with Microsoft during logon, while the second enables the synchronization of select personalization features of the operating system on each system the user logs on.

If you are using a Microsoft Account to log on to Windows 8, you have probably noticed that you have to enter the user account password each time you are doing so while the username is filled out automatically by the operating system.

If you are the only user on the system you may want to speed up the logon process by enabling automatic logons on the system.

Note: While that is very comfortable to do, it also means that anyone who gets access to the system will benefit from the same thing. It is therefore only suggested if you protect your system by other means, for instance by fully encrypting all of its storage devices. This is for instance possible using TrueCrypt, or the equally excellent DiskCryptor.

Configuring automatic Microsoft Account logons on Windows 8

automatic logon windows 8 with microsoft account

If you want to configure automatic log ons on a Windows 8 PC, you need to do the following to do so:

  • Tap on the Windows-key to go to the start screen. If you are already there, skip the step.
  • Type regedit and select the result to open the Windows Registry Editor.
  • Navigate to the following Registry key using the structure on the left: HKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\Winlogon
  • The first preference that you need to locate is AutoAdminLogon. It is set to 0 by default, which means that it is not enabled. Double-click the value and change it to 1.
  • Locate DefaultUserName and make sure it is your Microsoft Account username. It should start with MicrosoftAccount\ followed by the email address.
  • Try to find DefaultPassword. If it does not exist, right-click and select New > String and name it exactly like that.
  • Double-click the value and enter your password here. Notice that it is displayed in clear text here.
  • Once done, restart Windows.

If everything turned out alright, you should be logged in automatically without any user interaction or display of the lockscreen.

If things did not turn out right, go back to the Registry Editor and make sure everything is set up correctly.

Closing Words

Unless you run full disk encryption on your Windows 8 PC, it is usually not a good idea from a security point of view to configure automatic sign in to the system, as the password is exposed to all users who know where to look for it.

Now Read: If you use a local account, do this to log on automatically


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  1. Richard said on November 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I wanted to do this on a Windows Server 2012 R2 essentials box today. I tried the old “control userpasswords2” run command to no avail.

    Are you a mind reader? Seems so.


  2. ilev said on November 7, 2013 at 6:09 am
  3. Jim said on November 7, 2013 at 2:34 am

    “control userpasswords2” works too, and provides a little friendlier interface. just put in your microsoft account credentials.

    Hmmm… “Control Userpasswords2” and “Netplwiz” appear to be the same thing. Didn’t know that until now.

  4. Zinc said on November 6, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Am I missing something?

    “Netplwiz” has been working just fine for me since I installed Windows 8…two summers ago…

    1. Stig said on November 7, 2013 at 10:17 am

      I agree, Netplwiz is the better option since you don’t have to fuzz with Regsitry-values with that approach.

  5. imu said on November 6, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Quite risky solution but knowledge is power and people do what they like :)

    BTW. Martin is there any chance you can confirm that GMER doesn’t work on Windows 8.1? plus tanks for Hitman pro alert tip and link as there is no way to come across this beta by visiting their website :)

    1. Robert Stover said on February 7, 2015 at 10:08 am

      Wow ,, Thanks for the GIFT ,,
      I programmed this into my Windows 7 Registry and had minor ONE issue ,, It didn`t work. lol ..
      Then set my Login Stats to that registry IE; CURRENT: User Name
      As well as my current password ..

      IT IS AWESOME ,,, try it or contact me .. $3.00 and an email and I`ll send you the Zipped to merge
      Computer Interface Systems ®™ First

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on November 7, 2013 at 9:01 am

      What exactly is not working on your end? I was able to download and run GMER on Windows 8.1. Scans seem to work as well. Is there any particular aspect that is not working on your end?

      1. imu said on November 7, 2013 at 11:30 am

        It’s getting stuck during the scan and always in the same place on all my laptops with W8.1 ,please do have a look :
        I have no such issue with W8.
        Did you run full scan?

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on November 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm

        Scan runs through fine on my system (Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit)

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