On Resume, Password Protect Vs On Resume, Display Welcome Screen Setting in Windows XP

When you open the Display Settings Control Panel applet and click the Screensaver tab, one of the following options are shown:

  • On resume, display Welcome screen
  • On resume, password protect

The second option is seen in systems which are connected to domain (which disables the Welcome screen.) If you enable this option, you’ll see the "Unlock Computer" classic logon prompt when resuming from screensaver mode. Whereas the former displays the Welcome screen when resuming from screensaver mode.

What if the "On resume, password protect" option is shown in a standalone system where the Welcome screen is enabled? What causes the "On resume, password protect" option to be shown in standalone systems and systems in a Workgroup?

This was asked by many Windows XP users over these years in various forums where I participate, but no entire explanation for this observation has been found anywhere. Hence this article was written.

The "On resume, password protect" is displayed if at least one the following conditions is true:

  1. Fast User Switching is disabled. (REF Enable Fast User Switching in Windows XP)
  2. There is only one user account in the system (not taking the "Guest" account into consideration)
  3. There are more than one user account, but only one is shown in the Welcome Screen and all others hidden.
  4. Terminal Services is not running. This in turn disables Fast User Switching. (To start Terminal Services, launch Services.msc, double-click Terminal Services, set its start type to Manual. Restart Windows.)

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.