How to Automatically Login to your Account in Windows 11 and Earlier

Every version of Windows, from Windows 2000 to Windows 11, allows you to automatically log in to your user account without typing the password. This is possible by securely storing the user account credentials using the Netplwiz.exe utility.

However, on Windows 10 and Windows 11, some more steps are necessary to enable automatic sign-in to your user account using stored credentials.

Enable Automatic Login to your Account in Windows 11

Note that if you have enabled PIN sign-in, fingerprint, or facial recognition, the automatic login using stored credentials won’t work. So, disable Windows Hello mandatory sign-in requirement and also remove the stored PIN (if any).

Step 1: Disable Windows Hello and Remove the PIN

  1. Launch Settings (Win + i), and select “Accounts”
  2. In the right pane, expand “PIN (Windows Hello)”
  3. Click on the Remove button near the “Remove this sign-in option.
    automatic login userpasswords2 netplwiz windows 11 - disable windows hello
  4. Click Remove when you’re asked for confirmation.
  5. When prompted, type in your user account password to authenticate.
  6. Scroll down the page and then disable the option named “For improved security, only allow Windows Hello sign-in for Microsoft accounts on this device (Recommended)
    automatic login userpasswords2 netplwiz windows 11 - disable windows hello

Note: The screenshots are from a Windows 11 computer. However, the instructions in this article apply to Windows 10 as well.

Step 2: Enable auto-login by storing the credentials securely

Next, we need to securely store the credentials of the user account to which you want to log in automatically.

  1. Right-click Start, click Run.
  2. Type the command netplwiz.exe or control userpasswords2 and click OK.
    automatic login userpasswords2 netplwiz windows 11
  3. In the User Accounts dialog that opens, select your user account from the list.
  4. Uncheck “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer
  5. Click Apply.
  6. You’ll be prompted for the user account password. Input the password and click OK.
  7. Click OK to close the dialog.
  8. Restart Windows to check if the automatic sign-in is working.

Note: The “Users must enter a user name…” checkbox would be missing if the “Windows Hello sign-in” requirement is not disabled in Step 1. You can read more about that in the article “Users must enter a user name and password” option missing.

Alternate way: Using Autologon.exe from Windows Sysinternals

You can also enable automatic login using the Windows Sysinternals Autologon.exe utility. This utility is an alternative to the netplwiz.exe or control userpasswords2 method described in Step 2.

“Autologon” from Windows Sysinternals enables you to easily configure Windows’ built-in auto-login mechanism. Instead of waiting for a user to enter their name and password, Windows uses the credentials you enter with Autologon, which are encrypted in the registry, to log on the specified user automatically.



automatic login sysinternals autologon

The currently logged-on user account name and the domain (or computer name) are filled in automatically. All you need to do is type the password and click Enable.

Download Autologon.exe from:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/autologon

Additional Information

In addition to the above methods, there is also another way to enable auto-login using stored credentials. It’s done by inputting the AutoAdminLogon, DefaultUserName, and DefaultPassword registry values manually under the Winlogon registry key. That method is not recommended, as the password is visible in plain text, and any non-admin user can see it.

Please use the Netplwiz.exe or Autologon.exe tools instead, as they’re much safer because they store the user account password securely. There is a caveat, though. Although the password is encrypted in the registry as an LSA secret, a user with administrative rights can easily retrieve and decrypt it.


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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

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