Sign in to a Windows 10 account automatically on start

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 28, 2014
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Whenever I set up a new Windows PC at home I configure it to sign in to an account automatically.

This bypasses the user selection screen and the need to enter the account password during sign in on the computer.

While that is great if you are the only user of the system or have other means of protection such as full disk encryption in place, it means that anyone with access to the PC can sign in to the selected account as well.

This makes it impracticable on multi-user systems as every user will be signed in to the one account when the PC is booted. Note that others will have access to your personal files, programs and other information if they can access the PC locally.

Windows 10 uses the same mechanics as previous versions of the Windows operating system to select an account for automatic login.

The method works for local and remote Microsoft Accounts just like it did in Windows 8.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Sign in to your Windows account. You can sign in to any Windows account, you don't need to sign in to the account that you want to configure automatic sign ins for. Just make sure it is not restricted.
  2. Tap on the Windows-key, type cmd.exe and hit enter. This should load the Windows command prompt.
  3. Type control userpasswords2 and hit the enter key afterwards (you can also type netplwiz which takes you to the same system tool). You may receive a prompt asking for the administrative password. This opens the User Accounts control panel applet on the screen.
  4. Select the user account from the list that you want the system to log in to automatically. Uncheck the box "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" and click apply.
  5. You are prompted to enter the account password which Windows will use to sign in.
  6. Check the user account displayed by Windows to make sure it is the right one.
  7. After you have entered the password twice and clicked on ok, restart the PC to test the change.

user accounts

If things go well, you should be logged in automatically from now on. Windows 10 will boot to the desktop or Start Screen depending on the computer you are using and how it is configured.

You can undo the change at any time by repeating the steps outlined above. Just check the box "Users must enter ..." again to block the automatic login.

Sign in to a Windows 10 account automatically on start
Article Name
Sign in to a Windows 10 account automatically on start
The guide walks you through the steps of selecting a Windows account for automatic log in on a PC running Windows 10.
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  1. Billy S Poulos said on March 26, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    I want automatic sign on to windows 10! Is there no automatic to do this?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 26, 2017 at 7:37 pm

      The guide explains how you do that. Do you have troubles getting it to work?

  2. Nick said on August 26, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    When I untick the “Users must enter …” box, it asks me for the login and password, so i type in my hotmail address and the password, then it want to reboot.

    on reboot it wants my password again.

  3. DENNIS said on August 6, 2016 at 3:29 am


  4. James Adams said on January 17, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Didn’t work. Still had to use pin#. I want to be able to start the computer w/o any sign-in, if possible. Windows 10.

  5. Andrew said on December 29, 2014 at 12:47 am

    I know this trick doesn’t work on my Win8.1, the “User must enter…” box is missing. I am guessing this is because I use a Microsoft account instead of a local windows account. Still it would be nice to be able to do since my computer is encrypted, but switching to using a pin isn’t too bad.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 29, 2014 at 12:52 am

      I have configured the PC to sign in automatically to a Microsoft Account. Is your computer on a domain?

      1. Andrew said on December 29, 2014 at 12:56 am

        No, and I posted that before I followed links back to the article on how to regedit to have it automatically log in with a microsoft account…

        I should have guessed you have already figured out how to do it and posted about it, you always seemed to find the tricks and hacks needed, thanks :)

  6. 1fr17 said on December 28, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    There’s no need for this…if you don’t set a password in W10 it automatically signs you in on startup. The only thing it doesn’t do is resume to the desktop after logging out, but I don’t think this does it either.

  7. chesscanoe said on December 28, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    For those who want this function implemented a bit more simply, Autologon works well at least on Win7 x64 Home – the author says XP and higher.

  8. CalBear said on December 28, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    I’ve been using this since Windows 7. Its one of the first things I do when installing a new OS. A reminder about this important convenience change is a good idea.

  9. SCBright said on December 28, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I’m using Windows 10 TP only for testing purposes, so security is not a concern.
    Thanks for the article Martin, I almost forgot this feature.

  10. Anonymous said on December 28, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Irresponsible article, still living in the days of ‘cute’ hacks which bypass security measures.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 28, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      As I mentioned, it makes no difference if you are the only one accessing the PC. If you are not, don’t use it or use other security measures such as encryption.

      My entire PC is encrypted for example which means that you need to enter a password to boot the operating system. There is no need for extra authentication afterwards.

    2. Robert Palmar said on December 28, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      Irresponsible post by a poster still living
      in the days of being cute posting anonymously.

      This is not a hack. Learn how to read.

      The feature to sign-in automatically is built
      into Windows and this article shows how to use it.

      Signing in is not a security measure for someone who
      is the only person who has access to the computer.

      1. Adela said on February 5, 2016 at 12:22 pm

        Well said!!! I’m the only one using my computer (W10) and this irresponsible demand to sign in not only each time the computer is shut down, but at least in my case, every 5 or 10 minutes! I get up for a glass of water or a stretch, when I return…in comes this odious demand for signing in!!! Very bad idea!!!

        I’m grateful that there are well versed computer people who are generous enough to share their knowledge like Martin Brinkmann. But I must say I tried the Netplwiz method and it worked only one day. At the following day…again the demand to sign in! Is there any other way by now (2016)? However, I will try again. :o)

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