Log In Much? Windows 8.1 Tips for Faster, Safer Access

Logging in to Windows has always been tedious. Here are more Windows 8.1 tips from our Brian Burgess to help you set your system for faster, safer access. How To gallery.

aNewDomain.net — Logging in to Windows has always been a tedious process. That hasn’t changed in Windows 8.1. But there are ways to make the process easier. And faster. To help ease your transition pain from Windows 7 to 8.1, here are some Windows 8.1 tips that will make the whole login process smoother for you.

Below, find tips on how to set a four-digit PIN for logging in, and how to automate the login process and disable login requirements in Windows 8.1 altogether.

Set a Four-digit PIN to Log In

It’s easier to type in four digits to log in rather than a complex password each time. To create a PIN login bring up the Charms bar and go to Settings > Change PC Settings.

All following screenshot image credits: Brian Burgess

Change PC Settings

One the next screen select Accounts.


On the next screen select Sign-in options from the left panel. Then on the right select the Add button under PIN.


Next you’ll be prompted to enter in your Microsoft Account password to verify your account.

verify MS Account

Then type in the four-digit PIN you want to use. Type this new PIN again. After that, you’ll simply need to quickly type in your four-digit PIN.

Create PIN

Bonus Tip: While still on the Accounts screen, select the Change button under Password Policy. After changing it, you won’t need to log in again each time your system goes to sleep. Just remember you’ll want to leave this feature on while in public or the workplace.

Password Policy

Make Windows 8.1 Log in Automatically

This tip isn’t one I would recommend if you use your computer in a shared environment or public place. But, if you know you’re the only one who will have access to the computer, making Windows log in automatically will save time and it’s easy to set up.

On your keyboard Hit Ctrl+R to bring up the run dialog – you can use this keyboard shortcut in either the desktop or modern environment.

Type: control userpasswords2 and click OK.

Run Line

Next the User Accounts screen comes up. Uncheck the box: Users must enter a user name or password to use this computer and click OK.


Then you’ll need to enter in your username and your password twice. If you’re logging in with your Microsoft Account (which I recommend) enter in your account password. Otherwise type in your local account password.


Disable Lock Screen

One more way to make the logging in process easier is to disable the Lock Screen. On your keyboard hit Windows Key + R to bring up the run dialog.

Type: gpedit.msc and click OK.


When Local Group Policy Editor opens go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization. Then under Setting in the right, double click on Do not display the lock screen.

group policy editor

Change the setting from Not configured to Enabled, click OK and close out of Group Policy Editor. This tip works with Windows 8.1 Pro only. The basic version doesn’t include Local Group Policy.


For aNewDomain.net, I’m Brian Burgess.

Based in Pelican Rapids, MN, Brian Burgess led the relaunch of BYTE with Gina Smith, co-founded aNewDomain.net with Gina, John C. Dvorak and Jerry Pournelle in 2011, and serves as the editor-in-chief of GroovyPost.com. He is the How To gallery captain here at aNewDomain.net. Email him at Brian@aNewDomain.net or Brian@Groovypost.com and find him on Google + and on Twitter as @mysticgeek.